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Denver Residents Prefer Dumpsters Over Carts, Despite Negative Impact on Recycling Rate

The City of Denver has budgeted a plan to boost recycling rates, but not all residents are in agreement with the new changes.

A study conducted by Colorado Public Interest Research Group and Eco-Cycle reveals that the City of Denver only recycles 18 percent of the waste generated by single-family homes and apartments with less than seven units. And to help improve that number, the city has budgeted $3.3 million to add more recycling and composting routes and to fully switch from dumpsters to carts by 2018.

Westword Managing Editor Ana Campbell recently received feedback regarding the city’s new plan, and according to that feedback, a large number of residents would rather keep the dumpsters even if they are negatively impacting the city’s recycling rate.

Westword has more information:

Most Denverites like to think of themselves as environmentally friendly. But there's plenty of evidence to the contrary.

A report from Eco-Cycle on view below reveals that Denver's recycling rate is 18 percent — one of the worst on the front range and exceedingly mediocre on a national scale.

"The U.S. recycling average is 35 percent, so we're at about half of that," says Kate Bailey, Eco-Cycle Solutions' program director and co-author of the report. "Colorado as a whole is a pretty poor performer; as a state, we only recycle at about a 12 percent rate. So it's not a surprise that we're in the back of the pack. Some states recycle at a rate as high as 50 or 60 percent with goals of 75 or 90 percent."

Read the full story here.

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