- Denver recycled 20% of its household waste in 2016, only a 2% increase from its "abysmal" 18% rate in 2015, as reported by The Denver Post.
- Charlotte Pitt of Denver Recycles told the Post there isn't a state-level or regional recycling mandate, making it difficult to boost the rate in the city. Additionally, multifamily housing with eight or more units are not eligible for single-stream curbside recycling.
- The city aims to meet the national recycling rate of 34% by 2020.
While the full 2016 recycling audit is not yet available, it can be assumed that it is fairly similar to the 2015 audit which indicated the average participating household recycled 507 pounds of material and sent 2,354 pounds of trash to the landfill. At the time, a CoPIRG and Eco-Cycle report suggested the city set a "zero waste" goal as well as a goal to double business recycling rates, however it seems the city has not implemented either of these goals in the four months following the report.
There have been some developments in glass recycling however, as Salt Lake City-based Momentum Recycling opened its first Colorado facility in Broomfield earlier this year. Denver is now one of many cities in the area that will supply Momentum with glass, which will increase the state's glass recycling rate from 6.25% to 21.65%. This effort will also likely increase Colorado's 15% diversion rate.
The Denver Post lists many ways for Denver residents to take initiative in boosting diversion rates, including letting city council members know if a residential building doesn't offer recycling. While these suggestions are well-intended, none are directed at the government officials themselves. Denver will likely see more success if city council makes internal decisions to mandate recycling for all residents and businesses across the city, and without such regulations, it is a high possibility that the city will fall short of its 2020 goal.