DENVER — Governor Jared Polis and First Gentleman Marlon Reis declared the third week of November to be Colorado Recycles Week.
According to Eco-Cycle’s annual report, recycling participation dropped statewide in 2019 from the year before. In 2019, 15.9% of Coloradans recycled – 17% in 2018.
That number is still low compared to the national average of 36%.
Gov. Polis announced a more ambitious goal on Monday: 28% recycling participation by 2021.
The cities in the green below automatically provide recycling service, but people who live in the cities in red have to seek out their own recycling methods:
Last year, CDPHE’s Front Range Waste Diversion Grant Program awarded more than two million dollars in grants targeted at reducing waste. This year, Governor Polis signed into law Senate Bill 20-055, which takes a number of steps to advance public education and market development for recycling in Colorado, according to the state.
“As we see from recent global environmental disasters and wildfire evacuations right here in our state, climate change is happening now and is affecting Coloradans,” said Reis. “As I wrote in a recent op-ed, we’re already seeing the negative impacts of climate change on our friends and neighbors. We have a responsibility to safeguard our environment for ourselves and for the people of the future. Recycling is an important step we can take in our own homes and communities.”
Alongside First Gentleman Marlon Reis, Suzanne Jones, Executive Director of Eco-Cycle; Kristin Kim, Executive Director of Recycle Colorado; and Timothy Garcia, Principal of Red Hawk Elementary, Governor Polis celebrated recycling in Colorado while addressing the continued challenge of expanding access to recycling across the state.
Students from Red Hawk Elementary in Erie shared information about the programs they participate in and some of what they have learned.
“Red Hawk Elementary is proud to be a leader in green building design and sustainability,” said Principal Timothy Garcia. “Our kids are the beneficiaries of our efforts now to protect our environment and learn to live sustainability. Our students know the value of environmental preservation. Learning about sustainability is built into our curriculum, and we’re honored to have students who are engaged in finding solutions to the problems we face. We’re excited to join Governor Polis and First Gentleman Reis in celebrating Colorado Recycles Week.”