Business Compost Pilot Program
Offered by the town’s environmental sustainability team, the business compost pilot program incentivizes Vail businesses to begin or improve existing compost programs to reduce organic waste going to the landfill.
The program will offer rebates to businesses with awards up to $2,000 and are based on whether a business is incorporating a new compost program, has an existing program that will be improved or continued. Rebates will cover the following:
- infrastructure, including compost bins and/or compost hauling containers
- educational materials
- compostable serviceware
- hauling fees
The program offers 3 rebate tiers, which are based on whether a program is new or existing.
NEW Programs: Businesses starting new compost programs during 2022 can apply for 75% of approved costs up to $2,000.
IMPROVING Existing Programs: Businesses who have been composting prior to January 1, 2022 and are making improvements to their existing compost program can apply for 50% of approved costs up to $1,000 spent January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2023.
EXISTING Programs: Early adopters of commercial composting prior to January 1, 2022, and not making improvements to their program can apply for 25% of approved costs up to $500 spent January 1, 2022 – December 31, 2023.
Funding is available on a first-come, first-serve basis and all applications will be reviewed by Staff to determine the appropriate level of funding.
Eligible businesses must provide receipts from eligible purchases and submit a W-9 form to receive a rebate and submit a progress report on successes and challenges with the compost program along with monthly compost tonnages and overall diversion rates within six months of receiving the rebate and no later than January 31, 2024. Instructions for submissions can be found on the rebate form.
Vail adopted the Climate Action Plan for the Eagle County Community in 2017, which establishes a goal of a 25% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2025, 50% by 2030 and 80% by 2050. The plan establishes a 30% diversion rate of all waste going to the landfill by 2030 with at least 80% of organics being diverted by 2030.
The 2018 Northwest Colorado Waste Diversion Study indicated that organic waste, including food and yard waste, comprises about 37.4% of all waste in the landfill. When organics break down in the anaerobic environment created in a landfill, they release methane gas, which is a greenhouse gas with an impact 25 times greater than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period.
In 2021, Town of Vail achieved a 35% recycling rate with 3.7% of organic waste being diverted. The goals of this pilot program are to increase business participation in composting, increase diversion of organic materials to reduce landfill contributions to greenhouse gas emissions and determine if it is a feasible program to implement fully throughout businesses in Vail.
For questions or help getting started, please contact Beth Markham, Environmental Sustainability Manager at the Town of Vail at firstname.lastname@example.org.