Colorado school district recycles debris

The Boulder Valley school district in Colorado is recycling thousands of pounds of construction and demolition (C&D) debris, books and electronics while renovating its schools, a report by the Daily Camera says. More than 100,000 pounds of steel furniture, 85,000 books and 81,000 pounds of electronics have been recycled or reused so far.

A $576 million bond issue that was approved by voters in 2014 allowed the district to make reuse and recycling a priority, and included it in vendor contracts for several projects, the report says.

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Three Boulder Valley elementary schools, Boulder’s Creekside, Douglass and Broomfield’s Emerald, built new structures that opened in August. A new preschool through eighth grade building in Erie’s Flatiron Meadows neighborhood also opened in August, with the gyms, music room and lockers being finished in October. Other schools undergoing repairs and renovations will be getting new furniture for libraries and classrooms.

The report says the district set a goal of diverting 75 percent of its C&D debris from landfills. Sixty percent of the debris was recycled before the bond was issued. At Emerald, 92 percent of the debris was diverted from landfills.

The report says furniture and curriculum materials are first sent to other schools for use before being recycled. RAFT Colorado, a teacher resource in Denver has received 1,859 cubic feet of supplies from the program.

What could not be reused or donated in terms of technology, the report says, was sent to MeTech Recycling, an electronics recycling center in Denver. Maintenance staff also pulled door hardware, clocks, electrical components, hardware and smoke detectors from the old buildings for reuse or recycling.