Denver climate activists are proposing a new ballot initiative to keep far more of the city’s waste out of landfills. The plan, dubbed “Waste No More,” would require all businesses — apartments, condos, restaurants, hospitals, hotels and sporting arenas, to name a few of many — to provide compost and recycling pickup services. State law prohibits the city from collecting compost and recycling at large apartment buildings and commercial properties.
“That’s a big gap right now,” said Kate Bailey, policy director at Eco-Cycle, a Boulder-based nonprofit aimed at reducing waste. “The city of Denver does a great job providing recycling to single-family homes, but multifamily properties are not serviced by the city, and so there’s a real lack of recycling services on multifamily properties.”
Construction companies would also face new rules for disposing of materials like concrete, metal and wood in a more environmentally-friendly way. Food and cement comprise 89 percent of the city’s solid waste, which contributes to harmful greenhouse gasses, according to a 2020 report by Denver’s Climate Action Task Force.