Colorado’s recycling rates lag far behind the national average and even further behind states with a progressive environmental agenda, a report shows.
Only 12 percent of waste produced in the state is recycled, compared with the national average of 34 percent, says the report by Eco-Cycle and the Colorado Public Interest Research Group.
Colorado Springs does not track recycling rates, but researchers estimated that El Paso and Teller counties had some of the worst rates at 12 percent. Denver did not fare much better at 20 percent, compared with Loveland and Boulder, which lead the state at 61 percent and 53 percent, respectively.
In August, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment adopted its first statewide recycling goals, aiming to match the national average by 2026 and reach 45 percent diversion by 2036.
Johnson and her team want to reach higher, though, starting with Colorado Springs. The Colorado Association for Recycling chose Colorado Springs for its pilot recycling agenda in early November.