Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Why Colorado needs to take notes on recycling from abroad

With all of its 14ers, national parks and ecotourism, Colorado culture is often viewed as one of environmental stewardship that protects the natural wonders that characterize our state. However, our statewide recycling rate (the percentage of total waste generated that was recycled) was an unfortunate 17.2% in 2018 and a more depressing 15.9% in 2019. […]

Posted inBusiness, Environment, News

Front Range residents tossed out 28% more trash than their rural Colorado neighbors last year

Recycling is down in Colorado while the amount of trash produced is up.  But don’t blame it on COVID-19 and the numerous to-go containers Coloradans used to patronize local restaurants and businesses in the pandemic. The most recent data is from 2019, months before the first coronavirus case in the state was confirmed. According to […]

Posted inCOVID, Energy, Environment, News, Politics and Government

Coronavirus has led to a boom in single-use plastics. NREL is launching a new effort to upcycle them.

GOLDEN — In the coronavirus era, where germs present a deadly risk, people aren’t taking any chances.  They’d rather be sterile than sorry. The result has been a boom in single-use plastics — gloves, bottles, packaging — reversing a yearslong trend of trying to reduce waste wherever possible. Demand for flexible packaging is expected to […]

Posted inEnvironment, News

What happens when Colorado stays home? Lots of residential trash, for one thing.

In the past five weeks, Colorado residents have stocked up on everything from food to toilet paper. They’ve shifted their domestic habits to order takeout in support of local restaurants. They’ve gone online to save their consumer muscles from atrophy. The stay-at-home restrictions handed down from Gov. Jared Polis in mid-March have certainly scaled back […]

Posted inEnvironment, Politics and Government

Will 2020 be the year Colorado bans plastic bags, Styrofoam and other single-use plastics?

The Town of Avon did something daring in January: It banned expanded polystyrene food containers, a.k.a. Styrofoam. The move made the town the first community in Colorado to forbid such take-out food containers, which don’t do well in microwaves — or with trash recyclers. But it also put them at odds with an obscure state […]

Posted inBusiness, Environment, Politics and Government

10 states use bottle deposits to boost recycling rates. Could it work for Colorado?

Colorado has a bad recycling reputation. The state generated nearly 2 million more tons of trash in 2018 compared to 2017. And out of all that trash, only approximately 17% was recycled or composted, way below the national average of 35%. Colorado lawmakers spent recent months deliberating over ways to boost the state’s dismal recycling […]

Posted inBusiness, Environment, News

Colorado’s recycling rate improves to 17.2%, but we’re producing more trash than ever

Colorado’s recycling rate has dramatically improved — but read this with a giant asterisk.  We’re now at 17.2% for 2018, an increase from the prior year’s 12%, according to the latest “State of Recycling in Colorado” report produced by Eco-Cycle and the Colorado Public Interest Research Group. The difference was in how household recycling was […]

Posted inBusiness, Environment

Colorado is bad at recycling, so lawmakers spent months looking for solutions. Here’s what they proposed.

Colorado lawmakers spent months deliberating ways to address Colorado’s abysmal recycling rate, but in the end, a special committee mostly agreed to keep studying the issue. Two of five draft bills considered by the Zero Waste and Recycling Interim Study Committee advanced Tuesday. The first would study how to use tax breaks to incentivize Colorado […]

Posted inBusiness, Environment, News, Technology

Consumer gadgets are getting harder to fix and that’s creating a disposable culture

Independent repair shop TechHub in Denver finds it harder to make a decent living fixing Macbooks, iPhones and other consumer electronics.  As devices — looking at you iPhone — have become more technically complex, so has the ability to repair them. New tools, like the pentalobe screwdriver, were invented. Software locks were created partly to […]

Posted inBusiness, Environment, News

Colorado has two years to hit its 28% recycling goal. A new report shows we’re nowhere close.

With all the campaigns and eco-guilt heaped on Coloradans to recycle, the state just released new data showing that we’re still not where we want to be. The state’s recycling rate for 2018 landed at 17.2%, which is below the prior year’s 20.5%. But before anyone gets all judgy, the state’s Department of Public Health […]