​Resolve to save in 2020 and beyond

Published: 1/15/2020  7:00 AM
It’s a new decade and a new year, and that means new resolutions. This year, consider a home energy and water efficiency resolution. Whether you are a homeowner or renter, there are a number of strategies you can adopt to lower your utilities bill ...



​Engaging youth in the future of energy

Published: 1/14/2020  1:23 PM
As a municipal utility, community input – from all ages – is key to the success of our energy planning. After all, our Energy Vision concludes with the statement “to enhance our quality of life for generations to come.” Today’s youth are our future ...



Resolve to be environmentally friendly in 2020

Published: 1/10/2020  2:23 PM
​While January is the time for many to reflect on the past year and set goals for the months ahead, consider some eco-friendly resolutions this year. These practices promote sustainability and reduce overall environmental impact. In some cases, thes ...



Saving enough water for 5,000 Olympic Pools

Published: 12/19/2019  3:25 PM
​City Council voted this afternoon to implement new Water-Wise Rules in Colorado Springs starting in 2020.  These rules are intended to encourage the wise use of water on an everyday basis, not just during times of drought or periods of water shorta ...



Exploring ways to save customers money while benefiting the environment

Published: 12/17/2019  4:47 PM
Along with Xcel Energy, Black Hills Colorado Electric and Platte River Power Authority, we announced earlier this week plans to join the Western Energy Imbalance Market (WEIM), operated by the California Independent System Operator (CAISO), to save ...



Public invited to open house regarding North Union Boulevard

Published: 12/13/2019  12:17 PM
​Utility and resurfacing work scheduled to begin January 2020 We need to replace an aging water line under Union Boulevard to enhance reliability of the water system and prepare for the City’s 2C curb/gutter replacement and road paving. An open h ...



Happy Holi-Ways-to-Pay

Published: 12/10/2019  11:23 AM
In the midst of shopping, traveling, choir concerts and planning holiday parties, the last thing you need to worry about is finding your Utilities bill and remembering to pay it. We realize your life is hectic, that’s why we offer eBilling and other ...



​New solar array now powering Colorado Springs

Published: 12/6/2019  4:37 PM
Get a bird's eye view of our latest renewable energy project, the Grazing Yak Solar Project. Consisting of more than 119,000 panels on 278 acres near Calhan, Colo., Grazing Yak will provide 35 megawatts of electricity to our customers. That is enoug ...



Would you drink the fat?

Published: 11/25/2019  11:00 AM
What’s your favorite part of the traditional Thanksgiving meal? The turkey? The stuffing? The pecan pie? (My problem is I love it all.) What’s the worst part of the Thanksgiving meal? Cleaning up! After spending half the day preparing and then an ...



2020 Budget & Rates Approved

Published: 11/12/2019  4:39 PM
​Today, Colorado Springs City Council approved our budget and customer rates for 2020. The 2020 budget is $954.4 million, slightly higher (1.9 percent) than the 2019 approved budget appropriation. "The 2020 budget supports our mission to offe ...



 Next >>

Turning commodes into roads   

Natalie W.  by  Natalie W.  on  6/17/2019

Saving water and reusing materials for the benefit of all customers

Toilet crushersColorado Springs Utilities employees are constantly looking for new and innovative ways to save our customers money. One of the most creative ideas I'd ever heard of came about in 2011 when an employee looked at all the old toilets we were throwing away and thought of an alternative use for them. Working internally first with our gravel production department, safety and health, and our water conservation group, we figured out a way to turn these old toilets into gravel and avoid putting them into landfills. The idea was to collect and crush old porcelain toilets as part of a rebate program offered to the citizens of Colorado Springs for installing low-flow toilets.

"All our questions were carefully analyzed using air monitoring during a demonstration which showed that this was a viable option, and could potentially impact the flow of discarded toilets to our local landfills. Repurposing roll off containers that were originally used for our water main replacement pipe, we began delivering these units to large apartment complexes undergoing low flow toilet upgrades of 50 toilets or more," said Sean Evans, supervisor of our gravel production department.

The rebate incentive ended, but the benefits of the program had proved positive. Working with local area contractors and recyclers, we've explored other collection streams to keep the program alive. To our amazement, we were met with an overwhelming response.

Today Colorado Springs Utilities provides roll offs to agencies such as Good Will Industries, El Paso Household Hazardous Waste, Mr. Rooter, Olson Plumbing and Habitat for Humanity Restore. The success of this program spread, and in 2017 Mile High Youth Corps in Denver approached us to learn about the program and explore a partnership. After a visit to our crushing operations, the management of Mile High Youth Corps leaped at the opportunity to bring the benefits of our unique program to Denver.

Mile High Youth Corp roll offIn February 2018 we signed an MOU with the Mile High Youth Corps. Leveraging the success of the porcelain program, we've assisted them with drafting a statement for a Pell Grant to help this non-profit purchase a 30-yard roll off of their own.

After a year of collection, they called us for the first pickup of the collected toilets. The collected material weighed about 11 tons or 22,00 pounds and because of the careful oversight of the Mile High Youth Corps team, the product was very clean and free of contamination. With the addition of this roll off, we have diverted 1,144 tons or 2,288,000 pounds of porcelain from Colorado landfills.

"With an average household toilet weight of 50 pounds, this equates to 45,760 toilets recycled. Partnering with PPRTA, this material is immediately used as road base in the upgraded handicap ramps, curb and gutter infrastructure throughout Colorado Springs," Evans said.

This unique program was a recipient of the Outstanding Government or Non-Profit Recycling/Diversion Program from the non-profit organization Recycle Colorado, and recognized by the Investment Recovery Association in the August 2014 web page tutorial. Thanks to the hard work and creative thinking of our employees, we have found a clever way to save our customers thousands of dollars.

Crushed  Toilets

 
0  Comments
 

Add a comment

Name:
URL:
Comment*: