Front Range Responsible for 87% of Colorado Waste
Monday kicked off the second annual Colorado Recycles Week, bringing new facts and figures to how the state disposed of waste in 2019.
Colorado's recycling rate has dropped down from 17.2 percent in 2018 to 15.9 percent in 2019, per the fourth-annual State of Recycling and Composting in Colorado report by CoPIRG Foundation and Eco-Cycle.
CoPIRG is a statewide nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy group and Eco-Cycle is a leading nationwide nonprofit recycling company.
The report stressed the need for composting programs, as the amount of yard waste and food scraps in landfills has quintupled since 2010. Food waste creates methane gas, which is roughly 84 times more portent as a heat-trapping gas than carbon dioxide.
Eco-Cycle and CoPIRG shared that Front Range communities collectively produce 87 percent of Colorado's total waste.
U.S. Census data says that about 85 percent of Coloradans live in the Front Range.
Front Range residents produce over 475 extra pounds of waste per person every year compared to residents living in the Greater Colorado area, as reported by CoPIRG Foundation.
"The communities with the highest recycling rates make sure that everyone has a trash bin, a recycling bin and in some cases a composting bin," said Danny Katz, Director of CoPIRG and a co-author of the report, in a Monday conference call.
According to Kate Bailey, the Policy and Research Director for Eco-Cycle, when China stopped accepting much of the world's recycling in 2018, many waste haulers increased rates, causing customers to cancel recycling services.
Today, Coloradans may be ready for a big environmental push unlike 10 years ago, when "council members got death threats" for suggesting fewer neighborhood trash pickups, Arvada Mayor Dot Miller told Colorado Sun.