The Colorado Public Interest Research Group and Eco-Cycle named Boulder a gold medal community for its achievements in recycling in their third annual State of Recycling in Colorado report. The report highlights the successes of recycling in the state, with communities across Colorado recycling and composting over 1.2 million tons of materials in 2018, up nearly 75,000 tons compared to 2017, as well as opportunities for improvement.
Boulder’s state-leading diversion rate of 57% is significantly higher than the national average of 35% , thanks to the city’s Universal Zero Waste Ordinance and other leadership in moving towards zero waste. “The City of Boulder is pleased with what we have achieved in our community with our Universal Zero Waste Ordinance. Our residents and businesses have really stepped up to give our waste products a new useful life in a circular economy. It has made recycling and composting convenient and accessible to everyone everywhere—in schools, businesses, homes and government buildings,” says Mayor Pro Tem Sam Weaver.
In support of moving towards a circular economy, the city is launching a new effort to examine how to create a system that produces and reprocesses materials regionally, recirculates goods as long as possible. “We are thrilled to celebrate America Recycles Week with this recognition. Yet, we acknowledge that waste diversion is only part of the solution. Reducing our use of resources will require—in addition to recycling and composting—limiting waste and moving towards a circular economy,” said Sustainability Manager Kara Mertz.