Colorado approves waste diversion goals

By Erin Voegele | August 17, 2017

The Colorado Solid and Hazardous Waste Commission has approved statewide waste division goals, aiming to achieve a 45 percent diversion rate by 2036. Waste diversion is defined to include recycling, composting and anaerobic digestion.

According to information released by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado’s waste diversion rate was only 19 percent last year, well below the national average of 35 percent. The statewide diversion rate has not changed significantly since the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment began collecting data, remaining in the teens and low twenties for nearly a decade.

“These new goals seek to increase awareness of Colorado’s below-average diversion rate and create opportunities to improve recycling and composting rates statewide,” said Gary Baughman, Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Division director.

The diversion targets set by the commission include three specific goals for different regions of the state and the state as a whole. In the Front Range region, which includes 11 counties, the goal is set at 32 percent in 2021, increasing to 39 percent in 2026 and 51 percent in 2036. For Greater Colorado, which includes 53 counties, the goal is set at 10 percent in 2021, increasing to 13 percent in 2026 and 15 percent in 2036. The statewide goal is set at 19 percent by 2016, 28 percent by 2021, 35 percent by 2026 and 45 percent by 2036.

A copy of the resolution is available on the Colorado government website.