Bipartisan legislation would ease recycling for all Coloradans, improve Colorado’s waste diversion and cut down on excessive packaging
DENVER, CO – The House today passed a bipartisan bill on a preliminary vote to transform Colorado’s recycling and waste diversion. The Producer Recycling Responsibility Program, sponsored by Representative Lisa Cutter and Senators Kevin Priola and Julie Gonzales, would make recycling easier, more effective and save Coloradans money.
“Colorado’s waste diversion rates are terrible and that’s through no fault of everyday Coloradans,” said Rep. Lisa Cutter, D- Littleton. “It’s time to rethink the way we recycle and our bipartisan bill would create an easier and more consistent recycling system to combat climate change, improve waste diversion, create a circular economy and save Coloradans money. It’s clear, our current recycling system isn’t working – and this bill revamps the way Colorado diverts waste to protect our planet.”
The Producer Recycling Responsibility Program: HB22-1355, would transform Colorado’s fractured approach to recycling by requiring producers to contribute, based on their product’s packaging, to a producer responsibility organization to create more coordinated management of a statewide recycling system. This bill aims to distribute the recycling responsibility from consumers and local governments to producers.
Under the bill, producers will pay a fee based on the material used to package their products including cans, bottles, boxes, containers and shrink wrap. Revenue generated from producers would be used toward expanding Colorado’s recycling infrastructure, making it easier for Coloradans across the state to access reliable, no-cost curbside recycling.
Colorado’s recycling programs are disjointed resulting in inconvenient, inconsistent and costly waste diversion. As a result, Colorado only diverts 15 percent of all recyclable materials from landfills every year, less than half the national recycling rate. Colorado also buries more than 5.9 million tons of recyclable materials in landfills that are worth $100 million.
By increasing Colorado’s recycling rates, we can create a more reliable supply of materials for new products that support local communities and create a circular economy to save Colorado businesses and households money.
This bill would centralize Colorado’s recycling system to save Coloradans money, remove barriers for consumers and expand recycling services and access for everyone, including Coloradans living in rural communities. HB22-1355 is based on successful international producer responsibility programs that have resulted in recycling rates of 70-80 percent in Canada and some European countries.