County Examples

Recycling in a Hazardous Materials Facility

Boulder County, Colo.

Although recycling has become common practice in residential homes and in workplaces, one concept that isn’t commonly understood is “Zero Waste.” Zero Waste is a concept which focuses on reducing needless consumption, minimizing waste, maximizing recycling, and incentivizing the manufacturing of products that can be intentionally reused, repaired, or recycled back into the marketplace. In 2005, Boulder County adopted Zero Waste as a guiding principle and made a resolution to set the county on a path to achieve a goal of “Zero Waste – or darn near” throughout Boulder County by 2025. Zero Waste has the potential to inspire lifestyle modifications and change how businesses and governments behave. The Boulder County Hazardous Materials Management Facility (HMMF) plays a role in helping reach the countywide Zero Waste goal. The Facility accepts most types of household wastes that are traditionally hard to recycling including latex and oil based paints and stains, motor oil, antifreeze and other automotive products, garden, hobby and pet products, fluorescent bulbs, and more. Throughout 2016 the HMMF focused on maximizing recycling in sectors where recycling has been minor. HMMF staff identified waste streams that could be recycled with just a few extra steps, instead of being sent to the landfill. This helped move paint, rigid plastics, aerosols, and camping propane cylinders from primarily landfilled items to mostly recyclable.

Ms. Barb Halpin 
Public Information Officer

About 100 Brilliant Ideas at Work

Counties play an essential role in keeping America’s communities healthy, vibrant and safe. With public and private sector partners, we pursue innovative approaches to advance public health and well-being, protect public safety and foster economic strength and resiliency. Counties anticipate and adapt to challenges by thinking outside the box and demonstrating local leadership that makes a difference in people’s lives.

Under the leadership of NACo Immediate Past President Bryan Desloge, NACo embarked on an initiative to identify and share 100 examples of visionary county leadership that results in improving residents’ quality of life. Through this initiative, NACo worked with county leaders and partners to share best practices that bolster our nation’s ability to thrive county by county.

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