Frequently Asked Questions - Environmental Sustainability
- What can I do with my yard waste?
How can I recycle my Christmas Tree?
How do I compost in Colorado Springs?
I don't have a yard, can I still compost?
Q: What can I do with my yard waste?
Yard waste can be composted in your backyard and turned into nutrient-rich soil.
The El Paso County Yard Waste Recycling Program is FREE (with donation of non-perishible food items for Care & Share - can goods, packaged noodles, or cash) and is open every Saturday 8am-4pm at Rocky Top Resources, 1755 E. Las Vegas Street, 579-9103. Over the last 5 years, donations have accounted for nearly 1,000,000 pounds of food for the Care & Share Food Bank!
-Branches, leaves, pine needles and grass
-Tree limbs, max length = 8 feet, max diameter = 8 inches
-NO railroad ties, lumber, tree stumps, or household trash
Q: How can I recycle my Christmas Tree?
The following locations will accept Christmas Trees for recycling:
Cheyenne Mountain Zoo 2450 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Rd 80906 633-9925
El Paso County Household Hazardous Waste Facility 3255 Akers Dr 80922 520-7878
Rocky Top Reources 1755 E Las Vegas St 80906 579-9103
Q: How do I compost in Colorado Springs?
- Composting yard and kitchen waste avoids the production of methane (a highly potent greenhouse gas that is expecially harmful at high elevations such as Colorado) and leachate (highly toxic) formulation in the landfills.
- Clay and sandy soils are significantly improved by compost amendment. This allows vegetation to grow better and stormwater to be absorbed and retained at higher levels. In combination, this not only helps homeowners maintain landscaping, but also lessens the impact on the City’s stormwater system which can decrease waterway pollution and prevent expensive erosion projects.
- Compost helps cleanup contaminated soil.
- Using compost reduces the need for water, fertilizer, and pesticides.
- Choose a convenient composting site with partial shade and protection from drying winds.
- Add moisture as needed to prevent drying out (water used to rinse vegetables or cooled water used to cook pasta work fine)
- Ensure oxygen access by turning a minimum of several times a week
- Click here for a Colorado State University Extension guide on how to compost in Colorado.
- Use kitchen waste such as vegetable scraps, grains, coffee grounds and eggshells.
- Use yard waste such as leaves, flowers, and grass clippings.
- Use a blender to liquefy kitchen waste in areas where bears or raccoons may be attracted to scraps (this also speeds up the process).
- Use plants that were diseased or treated with weed killers.
- Use cat or dog feces.
- Use weeds (unless they are not seeding or your compost heats up to 122 degrees).
City Code 6.4.104:
D. Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent the accumulation of by any person on private property. The accumulation of the compost shall not be in a condition which is dangerous to the public health, safety and welfare. For the purposes of this section, "compost" shall mean a mixture consisting of decayed organic matter used for fertilizing and conditioning land.
E. It shall be unlawful and shall constitute a nuisance for any person to maintain a compost pile which substantially annoys, injures or endangers the health, safety or welfare of the public. The term "annoy" shall include, but not be limited to, strong offensive odors or the presence of mice, rats, vermin or rodents.
Note: This material was generated from the El Paso County Recycling Directory. For questions and more information click HERE.
Q: I don't have a yard, can I still compost?
Yes you can!
Try Vermicomposting - using earthworms to turn organic wastes into very high quality compost. This is probably the best way of composting kitchen wastes.
These are not the usual big burrowing earthworms that live in garden soil. Called red worms, tiger worms, brandlings, angle worms, manure worms, or red wrigglers, they occupy a different ecological niche, living near the surface where there are high concentrations of organic matter, such as on pastures or in leaf mould, or under compost piles.
You can make a bin out of many different things, keep it inside or out, and if properly maintained you won't even know your worms are there!
Here are some resources from the University of WI to get you started.