KUSA - A new report is shedding light on what Colorado cities have the best recycling rates, and which ones could do better.
"We did start a program a long time ago that really put people in the mindset of recycling and making it easier for them," Tyler Bandermer, Solid Waste Superintendent for the City of Loveland said.
It's an idea that's caught on with Loveland residents like Joyce and Dayton Johnson who have been recycling for years.
"The only reason I can think that it’s so successful is that it is so well organized," Joyce said.
Denver's rate of recycling was much lower at 20 percent. Westminster and Northglenn tied for the lowest rate at just 11 percent.
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“We might think of ourselves as a green state but on average, each Coloradan is putting seven pounds of trash a day in landfills,” Danny Katz, director of the advocacy group CoPIRG said in a release. “This is not surprising when you consider 25 Colorado counties don’t offer curbside recycling services and seven counties don’t even have drop-off centers. Our policies in Colorado are pushing us to do the wrong thing – throw everything in the trash can.”
18 Colorado cities were mentioned in the report:
Loveland - 61 percent
Boulder - 53 percent
Louisville - 48 percent
Lafayette - 38 percent
Longmont - 35 percent
Golden - 34 percent
Lyons - 33 percent
Fort Collins - 30 percent
Greenwood Village - 28 percent
Superior - 22 percent
Denver - 20 percent
Sheridan -18 percent
Thornton -18 percent
Lone Tree - 17 percent
Commerce City -16 percent
Arvada -13 percent
Northglenn - 11 percent
Westminster - 11 percent
That equals out to a statewide recycling average of 12 percent, which is far below the national average of 34 percent.
Part of the problem, according to the report, is that only 60 percent of Colorado’s counties offer curbside residential recycling.
"It has to be as convenient as trash to get people to participate," Katie Bailey with Eco-Cycle said. "And the best way to make it convenient is to offer curbside.
More than 35 million pounds of trash is produced in Colorado every day, and more than $267 million worth of recyclables like aluminum cans and cardboard end up in Colorado landfills every year, according the report.
You can read more about the report here.
How much do you know about what you can and can't recycle in Denver? Take our quiz!
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