Boulder group proposes worldwide recycling plans

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BOULDER, Colo. (AP) - A Boulder County recycling organization has announced plans to launch an institute promoting the elimination of waste around the world.

Eric Lombardi, director of Eco-Cycle, said he is forming a Boulder-based organization to train industries and governments in ways to do reduce landfill-bound waste.

Others trying to minimize landfill and incinerator waste around the world have expressed interest, and the Eco-Cycle zero waste institute is likely to have branches in New Zealand and London, he said.

"As I've worked on this, the project keeps getting bigger and bigger," Lombardi said. "I have no doubt this institute is going to launch, the question is whether it's going to be a little one or a large international one."

Appearing before the Boulder City Council on Tuesday, Lombardi brought with him New Zealand zero-waste expert Warren Snow who urged the city to embrace the movement.

"A community like this could lead the way for entire world," Snow said.

Snow co-founded the Zero Waste New Zealand Trust, which got 40 percent of the country's municipal governments to pledge to eliminate landfill-bound waste by 2015.

The cities provide incentives for industries to change their production practices to allow more material to be reused.

Snow said Boulder could strengthen its environmentally friendly reputation by pursuing a zero waste policy.

"What a perfect way to protect that premium that brand that Boulder has as pollution gets worse everywhere," he said.

Councilman Rich Lopez said the idea falls in line with other city environmental efforts.

"This community has taken some pretty bold steps and set some pretty high standards already," Lopez said.

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