Recycle Colorado has launched a six-month glass collection pilot project that will increase the collection of glass bottles in downtown Denver. The project, which is free for businesses to participate in, provides 96-gallon recycling carts to participating businesses and arranges for glass collection services through May.
According to Recycle Colorado, glass is a commodity with end markets in the state, unlike other materials that may have to be shipped out of state. In this closed loop system, post-consumer glass is collected, sorted and made into new products such as bottles. For Colorado's closed loop system to work properly, the organization says it needs to collect more glass.
The organization also states that it takes only a few weeks to remanufacture 100 percent of recycled glass into new bottles in Colorado—but first the glass must be collected. Currently, less than 30 percent of the total glass in the waste stream is captured for recycling, and keeping glass in a closed loop system and out of the landfill benefits Colorado both environmentally and economically. One ton of recycled glass saves 42 kilowatt hours of energy, and recycling creates an average of 10 times more jobs than sending material to landfill.
Businesses in the Greater Denver areas of South Broadway, Colfax east and west and Downtown Denver neighborhoods are being invited to participate. During the collection portion of the project, outreach teams will provide support and address any issues or concerns that arise. At the end of the project, participants can choose to continue to work with a service provider or return their recycling cart.
The project is sponsored by MillerCoors, Momentum Recycling and Rehrig Pacific Company, which supplied all of the 96-gallon carts. Alpine Waste & Recycling, Republic Services and Certifiably GreenDenver provided additional support. Cornerstone Apartments has also involved 18 of its multifamily unit buildings in the pilot as a program partner to help support recycling.
The local Baker Historic neighborhood residents who do not have single stream recycling service are also able to participate by taking their glass to the Sinclair gas station at 295 South Broadway in Denver.