Culture of Sustainability, Part 4

Part 4: The Frasier Resident Recycling Committee

Sustainability and being eco-friendly is a large part of Frasier’s culture. Whether for multimillion-dollar projects or encouraging residents and staff to recycle, Frasier is committed to improving its footprint on the environment. In part four of this four-part series, you’ll hear from Kay who is part of the resident-led Recycling Committee, an extension of the Resident Council, and how they help residents and team members recycle and are actively supported by Frasier’s leadership team.

 The Frasier Recycling Committee is an extension of the Resident Council and has over 30 residents actively engaged in Frasier’s sustainability efforts. Every building corridor has a recycling room and resident recycling monitors on every floor. Their job is to help all residents, staff, guests, and visitors participate in the community’s recycling efforts and monitor the recycling rooms for every building which have bins for collecting materials like cardboard and paper, organic waste for composting, and trash. They also have volunteers who oversee the small box room where residents can drop off used delivery boxes to be reused.

Resident Kay Forsythe has been serving on the Resident Recycling Committee for several years and is a key contributor to the community’s recycling program. She recruits and trains new monitors, greets new residents with recycling information, and creates the recycling signage indicating what materials can be recycled or composted and the proper bin to place these items in. The signs are detailed with exactly what can and cannot be recycled, and what recycling room certain items need to go to regardless of what building they come from. Residents are encouraged to drop off their unneeded plastic shopping bags to the Community Food Share box room.  Additionally, residents are directed to area organizations that will pick up unwanted furniture and electronics for refurbishing.

“Recycling is important to us. It’s important to a lot of older folks and the greater Boulder community. We are handing down this world to our children and grandchildren, “ Kay says.

The Recycling Committee meets often to discuss ideas for how they can continually expand their recycling efforts. For example, in one meeting they tackled the challenge of what to do with batteries, which are toxic if not disposed of properly. A member of the committee worked with the hazardous materials department of Boulder County and now oversees the collection and delivery of used batteries to that department for safe disposal.

In the past, the committee has collected used packaging materials like bubble wrap and Styrofoam peanuts and delivered them to the local United Parcel Service (UPS) office and then to other area small businesses that make deliveries.

“UPS could not handle all that we brought them, we collected too much, so we offered it to other businesses too,” Kay says.

One of the keys to Frasier’s sustainability efforts is the support the committee gets from Frasier’s leadership team. Kay provides information about recycling in the community weekly newsletter for residents and staff.  Also, the materials she needs to make signs for the recycle rooms are provided by Frasier. With all the resources and guidance available, recycling is easy for everyone to participate in.

Kay says the Frasier team is always responsive to their needs, especially the maintenance and environmental services team. If composting materials end up spilled on the floor, for example, a monitor just lets the team know and it is quickly cleaned up. The maintenance team also keeps the recycling room collection bins emptied into the larger bins for pick up by the city to reduce odor and messes and ensure there is always room for more recyclables. They also take difficult-to-recycle items like white box Styrofoam, stretchy plastic, and scrap metal to CHARM, the county’s Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials.

Kay says she has found that the residents, leadership team, and the entire staff have always been on board with the Recycling Committee’s efforts.

“I’ve only had one person say to me in all my time here they are ‘too busy’ to recycle. Residents would like to volunteer to do more,” Kay says.

To do their part as a member of the larger Boulder community that has long been committed to sustainability, Frasier has made recycling and environmentally sustainable living part of the community culture and appreciates the support of the residents who call it home.