Gov. Polis and First Gentleman Reis Celebrate Colorado Recycles Week

Friday, November 15, 2019

DENVER — Governor Jared Polis declared this week as Colorado Recycles Week. Gov. Jared and First Gentleman Marlon Reis today were joined by Mayor Michael Hancock, Eco-Cycle and other key stakeholders in celebrating Colorado Recycles Week.  

“We all play a role in ensuring our beautiful state remains the place we all know and love for generations to come, but it’s also critical that we increase access to recycling services,” said Governor Jared Polis. “Recycling is an important part of making the future work for Colorado, and helps us conserve our resources, protect our air and water, and drive private sector job growth. It’s exciting to see the cities and towns across our state that are stepping up on this issue, but know there is still plenty of work to be done.”

“It is so heartening to see all of the great work going on around our state on recycling, but there is a lot of room for improvement,” said First Gentleman Marlon Reis. “This is an important conversation that we must continue having in our homes and communities. Recycling is a critical tool that can help us preserve all that Colorado has to offer. It’s great to have partners like Eco-Cycle and COPIRG who are championing this issue and helping spread awareness.”

Colorado’s recycling rate is at 17 percent, half of the national average and behind the state’s goal of 20 percent by 2021. Recycling in Colorado creates nine times more jobs per ton than landfills. On average, in 2018, each Colorado resident threw away nearly seven pounds of trash per day. 

“Recycling plays a vital role in our strategy to help Colorado achieve 100 percent renewable energy,” said Betsy Markey, executive director of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT). “With incentives and grants for businesses that invest in landfill diversion efforts, we continue to protect our natural assets that make Colorado a global destination for visitors and businesses.”

“Thank you to Governor Polis and state legislative leaders for recognizing the importance of recycling to reduce our climate footprint and create jobs. While Colorado has made historic progress in the past year, we look forward to working with cities and the state to accelerate progress in improving Colorado’s recycling rates,” said Suzanne Jones, executive director of Eco-Cycle. “Our goal is curbside recycling for every household on the Front Range and in larger rural areas, and a comprehensive market development program to attract more end market business to the state to utilize our recycled materials.”

“We need to expand access to recycling statewide, so that it’s as easy for everyone to recycle in rural Colorado as it is along the Front Range. It’s why at the department we are committed to growing regional partnerships among multiple collection centers to improve the cost effectiveness and scalability of rural recycling,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “A healthy Colorado has fewer and smaller landfills. Recycling also helps us reverse the effects of climate change, which must be at the forefront of everything we do.”

Earlier this week, Eco-Cycle and COPIRG also released their annual “State of Recycling in Colorado” report which outlined simple recycling and reusing tips such as: 

  • Rinsing glass jars and bottles before recycling them;

  • Opting for reusable to-go mugs, cups, and straws when possible;

  • Using reusable or recycled gift wrapping material this holiday season; and

  • Participating in e-waste recycling drives