(June 8) – Rep. KC Becker came to Denver this afternoon to witness Gov. John Hickenlooper sign a bipartisan bill she sponsored to stimulate the resource recovery industry in Colorado, which includes recycling, reprocessing, remanufacturing and other forms of non-traditional waste processing.
SB16-124 expands a current state sales and use tax exemption for manufacturing machinery to include machinery purchased by businesses in the resource recovery industry. This powerful incentive will help spur capital investment in the industry, which will in turn help create jobs in the state.
“Resource recovery is a major industry in Colorado, providing 85,000 jobs and producing 5 percent of total economic output,” said Rep. Becker, D-Boulder. “Recycling is one of the clearest paths available for creating well-paying jobs in the state and building a sustainable relationship with our natural environment. Bottom line: this law is good for the economy and environment.”
Colorado lags far behind other states and the nation as a whole in recycling efforts. The average recycling rate in the United States is 33.5 percent, while in Colorado the rate is only 12 percent.
Resource recovery also has numerous environmental benefits. In 2013, the resource recovery industry in Colorado reduced the state’s greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 2 million metric tons while saving nearly 12 million BTUs of energy, enough energy to power over 100,000 homes for a year.
The new law also allows locals governments to opt in to the exemption to further encourage investment by the industry in local communities.