Xcel Energy’s community solar reward program is at the forefront of a new partnership between Western Disposal and Jack’s Solar Garden. The Colorado trash disposal service is working with Jack’s Solar Garden to source approximately 90% of its energy from a community solar partnership. According to the partnership, the recycling and compostable materials collection service has agreed to receive around 15% of the solar garden’s 1.2-megawatts.
To make the partnership possible, Western Disposal and Jack’s are working through Xcel Energy’s community solar program, which provides incentives to homeowners and small businesses for switching to renewable energy. To participate in the rewards program, businesses and homeowners subscribe to a third-party garden. For the energy that they use from the garden, subscribers receive a monthly credit on their utility bills. The amount is equal to what they have contributed to Xcel Energy’s power grid.
Western Disposal’s community relations manager stated that the disposal service had been looking for a renewable energy provider to partner with. Shortly after announcing its desire to go green and participate in clean power, Western Disposal received a proposal from Jack’s Solar Garden representative, Byron Kominek.
Before teaming up with Jack’s Solar Garden and Xcel Energy, Western Disposal focused primarily on wind energy. Though it wanted to improve its impact on the environment, the company sought a means of powering more of its facility with solar energy without having to construct additional solar panels. Jack’s Solar Garden helped the company by offering a community solar program that required no on-site construction
By taking part in the community solar program, Western Disposal is reducing its carbon emissions output by approximately 900 metric tons. This isn’t the first effort the trash disposal company put into switching over to more sustainable options. It has already been using natural gas from Boulder County’s wastewater treatment plant to power 65% of its fleet.