Colorado sets statewide diversion goals

By Cole Rosengren, Waste Dive.

Dive Brief:

  • The Colorado Solid and Hazardous Waste Commission voted on Aug. 15 to adopt a resolution that sets statewide diversion rate goals for the first time. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the state's diversion rate has hovered around 19% for about a decade. 
  • The state will now strive to hit 28% by 2021, 35% by 2026 and 45% by 2036. The resolution also set different local targets, with lower rates for rural counties and higher targets for about a dozen more urban "Front Range" counties. Diversion is defined explicitly as "recycling, composting and anaerobic digestion." 
  • The conversation around statewide goals was accelerated by CDPHE's release of a waste and materials management plan last summer and has continued over multiple public stakeholder meetings. The plan found that an estimated $267 million worth of recyclable material is being sent to landfills each year, with the majority coming from Front Range communities.