The state of Colorado has been attempting to boost its recycling rate for years now. In 2018, the state’s recycling rate climbed to 17.2 percent from 2017’s 12 percent, but Coloradans continued to generate a large amount of trash. According to The Colorado Sun, Coloradans produced 1.4 million tons more trash in 2018 than in 2017.
One of the biggest issues affecting the recycling rate is the fact that many cities within the state don’t offer curbside recycling, therefore residents must bring their recyclables to a recycling center.
In an effort to reduce trash, get more residents to recycle and help the state reach its goal to recycle 28 percent of its waste by 2021, Colorado legislators in October advanced two recycling bills to the state’s General Assembly.
The Colorado Sun has more details:
Colorado’s recycling rate has dramatically improved — but read this with a giant asterisk.
We’re now at 17.2% for 2018, an increase from the prior year’s 12%, according to the latest “State of Recycling in Colorado” report produced by Eco-Cycle and the Colorado Public Interest Research Group. The difference was in how household recycling was tracked by the state between 2017 and 2018 (one includes some industrial debris; one doesn’t).
The other asterisk? Coloradans still generated 1.4 million tons more trash in 2018 than in 2017.
“We need to stop producing as much waste and then we need to be recycling more as well,” said Kate Bailey, director of Eco-Cycle, the non-profit recycling organization in Boulder. “Our recycling rate is half the national average. We’re still way behind our peer states. There are signs that there’s momentum, and we’re moving in the right direction, but we really need to pick up the pace.”