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CU students help Green Girl Recycling tackle Boulder’s Zero Waste Ordinance

This past fall semester Green Girl Recycling had the unique opportunity to work with a group of business and marketing students taking a class at CU in project management. We were asked to develop a project that the students could tackle that would benefit our company and help the students gain experience.

I was excited to choose the City of Boulder’s new Zero Waste Ordinanceas our project. What is the ordinance? Following Seattle and San Francisco, Boulder has become the third city in the nation to require recycling and composting citywide. On June 16, 2015, the Boulder City Council unanimously approved the Universal Zero Waste Ordinance, which mandates stricter diversion measures for every private residence, business, nonprofit, school and local government institutions. The City of Boulder has a goal to divert 85% of the city’s current waste from the landfill by 2025.

WOW – huge goal, big ordinance and lots to do. I began meeting with my ‘team’ of students: Sophie, John, Clark, Hunter and Slater. We started by setting goals for outreach to our customer base with a timeline and then worked backwards so that we could achieve outreach, education, and infrastructure goals by December.

Students at the University of Colorado helped educate business customers about the City of Boulder’s new Zero Waste Ordinance.

Did I say this was a big project? My team and I began meeting in October and by November they understood who Green Girl Recycling was, helped us create new educational and outreach flyers, and attended a huge City event where they learned about the Zero Waste Ordinance. The City of Boulder worked hard preparing for this event and even developed a new website, which helps with education. Check it out at:www.bouldercolorado.gov/zero-waste

After the Zero Waste Event held by the City, we created a complete data base, sent newsletters to all businesses about the ordinance, and partnered with PACE (Partners for a Clean Environment) who now helps us with face-to-face outreach at customer locations who want to sign-up for composting before June of 2016.

By the second month the CU students and I reworked all our flyers so that trash, recycling, and compost bin labeling would be exact, easier to understand, and stand out at break areas so that ANYONE would understand what is compostable, recyclable, or just going to the landfill. All these new flyers are on our website at www.greengirlrecycling.com – check them out!

I learned A LOT from this project and program. I bet I learned more than they did honestly. I found that the youth coming through business school today is vibrant, aware, and able. Someone told me once, you are a sum total of all your experiences. If that is true, I added much more to that total from working with those students in just those few months.

Extra special thank you to my student team who helped us accomplish so much in only two and a half months: John William Clayton, Slater Dean, Hunter Johnson, Sophie Li and Clark Salamie.

Bridget Johnson, Green Girl Recycling

This entry was posted on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016.