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Recycling News

RFI for On-Site Incident Recycling Services

Request for Information for providing on-site incident recycling services at wildfire fighting camps CA, OR, WA, NM, AZ and the other nearby states in the West

The US Forest Service is seeking vendors to maximize waste diversion efforts related to cardboard, mixed paper, and plastics #1 and #2. Recycling of plastics #3-7, on-site collection of compostable materials (e.g., food waste, compostable food packaging), batteries, etc. and hauling of such items off-site is also of interest. Waste diversion services include on-site collection, sorting, and transporting to the nearest recycle drop-off or processing center, and quantifying/documenting actual waste diversion quantities. NAICS is 562111.

The full RFI can be found here: https://www.fbo.gov/spg/USDA/FS/8371/12837119-RecycleRFI/listing.html

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 4th, 2018.

Report finds Colorado generated record amount of trash in 2017, calls on governor to boost investment in recycling

Eco-Cycle and CoPIRG, released their second annual State of Recycling in Colorado report, which found that Colorado generated a record 9.3 million tons of waste in 2017, while the state’s recycling rate remained stagnant at 12 percent, well below the national average of 35 percent.

The report’s city-by-city breakdown found that Loveland (61 percent), Boulder (52 percent), and Louisville (44 percent) continue to have the best residential recycling rates. Fort Collins has the best overall recycling rate for residential, commercial, and industrial waste (55 percent), and Aspen’s residential recycling rate of 40 percent is the best outside of the Front Range.

“Colorado’s low recycling rate comes as a shock to most people who think of us as a ‘green’ state,” said Kate Bailey, Eco-Cycle’s Director of Research and Policy and the report’s lead author. “The truth is, 95 percent of what we throw away could have been recycled or composted. With strong state leadership, Colorado is well-positioned to move forward quickly to realize the environmental and economic benefits of increased recycling,” she said. “Increasing our recycling rate statewide is one of the fastest, easiest steps we can take to reduce carbon pollution.”

The new report offers recently elected Governor Jared Polis four recommendations to reverse Colorado’s upward trash trend, including setting recycling and composting goals for state agencies, hiring a statewide Recycling Coordinator, and aggressively pursuing ways to attract new recycling businesses. The goal is to foster a circular economy where glass, bottles, cans, and other recyclable materials stay in Colorado an d are remanufactured into new products in a much more environmentally sustainable way.“

This is the second year we’ve dug into Colorado’s recycling rates and unfortunately, we are still trashy,” said Danny Katz, Director of the advocacy group CoPIRG. “We set the wrong record last year when we produced the most trash ever – 9.3 million tons. Even though Colorado’s one of the trashiest states in the country, our report highlights ways to put Colorado on a greener path.”

Eco-Cycle and CoPIRG offered four actions that Governor-elect Jared Polis can take starting in January, including:

1. Appoint a statewide Recycling Coordinator to coordinate and implement solutions with other state agencies, the state’s climate action plan, and local governments.

2. Launch a Recycling Market Development Initiative to attract and expand recycling businesses. Most of the paper, metal, and plastics collected for recycling are currently shipped out of state, or out of the country. Instead we need to create new businesses in Colorado to reuse and recycle as many of our materials as possible to keep the economic benefits, including jobs, here in Colorado.

3. Create a Statewide Waste Diversion Funding Task Force to study and recommend ways to increase funding for reduction, reuse, recycling, and remanufacturing. Colorado collects a small fee of $0.46 per ton of waste sent to landfills and uses the money to support recycling programs. We are far behind other states, such as Ohio and Wisconsin, which allocate between $2 and $7 per ton to recycling. Colorado’s rate is insufficient to achieve statewide recycling goals. The task force should make recommendations to the Governor and the legislature by January 1st, 2020.

4. Lead by example by expanding recycling and composting at state agencies, purchasing compost for state projects, and setting recycling goals for state construction projects.

John Lair, President and CEO of Momentum Recycling, said his company built a new state-of-the-art glass recycling facility in Broomfield because of the market opportunity. “Colorado was only recycling 6 percent of its glass when our bottle-to-bottle glass recycling facility opened,” Lair said. “Now we’re recycling 23 percent and if the state aggressively expands its recycling efforts, we could be recycling 50 percent in a few years’ time,” he added.

“This perfectly illustrates how a circular economy works,” Lair said, explaining that recyclable raw material (in this case glass) is collected locally, shipped to the local processor (Momentum), and then sent to local manufacturers (Rocky Mountain Bottle Company and O-I Bottling), where the glass is made back into new bottles.

Like last year, this year’s State of Recycling in Colorado report breaks down recycling rates city-by-city and county-by-county. Unfortunately, only 27 cities and 30 counties are collecting data to report, which leaves considerable room for improvement. An analysis of the data found that:

1. The five cities with the best residential-recycling rates (from single-family homes) are Loveland (61 percent), Boulder (52 percent), Louisville (44 percent), Aspen (40 percent) and Longmont (40 percent).

2. Longmont had the biggest improvements in their rates from last year, thanks to a new curbside composting program to collect food scraps and yard debris from residents.

3. The City of Fort Collins diverts nearly 70 percent of its industrial waste, including wood waste, scrap metal, concrete and asphalt, which was a big reason why it has the best recycling rate overall (55 percent) when you include residential, industrial and commercial recycling.

4. Edgewater, Morrison, New Castle, Rifle, and Silt reported data for the first time.

5. Only five counties track and report recycling rates annually: Boulder (40 percent), Denver (22 percent), Eagle (22 percent), Pitkin (30 percent) and Summit (23 percent).

6. A number of cities and communities are taking important actions even if it is not reflected yet in higher statewide recycling rates:

  • The City of Pueblo opened its first drop-off recycling center.
  • Vail Honeywagon opened the first commercial compost facility in Eagle County.
  • Yampa Valley Sustainability Council expanded their annual drop-off program for hard-to-recycle materials.
  • Alamosa, Rio Grande, Larimer and Weld counties are all participating in a plastic baling twine recycling program.

What’s the magic behind a successful recycling program? According to the report, leading Colorado cities have two things in common: they provide curbside residential recycling automatically alongside trash collection so residents don’t have to call and ask for it; and they offer curbside pick-up or convenient drop-off programs for yard debris, such as leaves and branches.

“We already know what it takes to do better,” said Eco-Cycle’s Bailey. “We just need a coordinated state effort to really jumpstart our progress.”

The two groups called on all Colorado cities and counties to track their trash and recycling rates moving forward so each community can develop a strategy for diverting waste away from landfills. They also called for the expansion of curbside recycling programs, particularly along the Front Range, to make recycling more convenient for residents and businesses, and for curbside and drop-off programs for yard debris.

“Living in a green state and having such a trashy diversion rate is not just embarrassing, it has big environmental consequences,” said Katz. “Making new things with recycled materials wastes less energy and produces less pollution. If we double Colorado’s recycling rate, it would have the equivalent impact on climate change of taking about 450,000 cars off the road.”

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 15th, 2018.

Program Director – C&D Focus

Download a PDF of this job description

Job Summary

This is a 12-month employment agreement beginning January 1, 2019. The Program Director, under the direction of the Executive Director, is a key person in Recycle Colorado’s work in the construction and demolition (C&D) industry. Recycle Colorado has two focus areas in C&D: the C&D subject-matter council and the Colorado Contractor’s Challenge. Through its C&D Council, Recycle Colorado brings together all major stakeholders in the C&D industry to work on tangible, actionable and measurable projects that advance the recycling of C&D material. The current project will identify end markets for C&D materials through research, surveys, data collection and collaboration with partners and stakeholders. The Colorado Contractor’s Challenge is a one-year contest for general contractors statewide that was created by a group of large general contractors in Colorado to promote recycling and sustainable practices. Recycle Colorado has full oversight of the program and is responsible for the full implementation from start to finish.

The Program Director is involved in all aspects of both focus areas including: program design and implementation, research, data collection, reporting and relationship management. The ideal candidate will be able to work independently to meet specific program goals/objectives, develop and execute specific program plans, communicate program performance results and provide specific program feedback to Recycle Colorado stakeholders. The position requires the Program Director to have a reliable and insured vehicle as some travel is required. Travel is estimated to be 10-20% of the position with mileage reimbursement. All travel is by car within the state boundaries of Colorado.

Core responsibilities include:

  • Collect, aggregate and report data
  • Create data collection forms and reports
  • Conduct extensive research
  • Conduct interviews both in person and via phone
  • Design and conduct surveys
  • Draft and present program reports
  • Build the specific program components for the Colorado Contractor’s Challenge (CCC)
  • Conduct outreach and recruit contractors to participate in the CCC
  • Onboard all participants in the CCC
  • Conduct recycling trainings for program participants
  • Communicate professionally with all stakeholders, partners and program participants
  • Maintain weekly or as needed contact with all key program participants to facilitate operational execution of the program; trouble-shoot and resolve issues as they arise
  • Assist in developing marketing plans and materials
  • Attend promotional events and required meetings
  • Participate in and lead conference calls
  • Travel regionally up to 20% to deliver trainings, conduct site visits, attend meetings and manage program components


  • Minimum of 2 years of experience in program management or coordination
  • Experience in community and outreach programs
  • Ability to quickly assess situations and strategically respond to participant needs
  • Experience designing and implementing marketing and promotions for programs
  • Knowledge and experience with community based marketing
  • Knowledge and experience working community events and presenting to community groups
  • Must be detail oriented and proficient at multi-tasking
  • Highly proficient in Microsoft Suite (PowerPoint, Word, Excel)
  • Ability to present and interpret analytical reports
  • Ability to communicate both internally and externally on a professional level is key

Education & Experience

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent demonstrable experience
  • Experience working in the multiple sectors (private, non-profit, government) is preferred
  • Experience working in recycling and/or construction is a plus

Salary & Benefits

This is a 12-month employment contract
Base salary range is $40,000 – $45,000 depending on experience
One week of paid vacation (time off accrues monthly) and 11 paid holidays
$200 per month health insurance reimbursement


Recycle Colorado is the leading independent, non-profit organization in Colorado actively working to advance infrastructure, end markets and state and local policies so that Colorado’s waste stream is recycled, composted or diverted to reuse or remanufacturing. We do this by working on tangible, actionable and measurable projects that advance infrastructure, end markets and policies that support circular economy solutions for materials and result in landfill diversion. The organization has over 350 members statewide from private, non-profit and government sectors.

To Apply

Please submit a current resume and letter of interest via email to laurie@cafr.org.

Deadline for resume submissions is Friday, November 16, at 5PM Mountain Time.


If you have questions regarding this posting, please submit your questions to Laurie Johnson, Executive Director, at laurie@cafr.org

Recycle Colorado is an equal opportunity employer committed to providing equal employment opportunity for all people regardless of race, color, religion, gender or sexual orientation, age, marital status, national origin, citizenship status, disability, veteran status or other personal characteristics.

This entry was posted on Friday, November 2nd, 2018.

Recycle Colorado recognized as Outstanding Recycling Organization

The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) honored their recycling awards recipients at the 2018 Resource Recycling Conference in St. Louis last week.  The awards program honors outstanding individuals, programs and organizations around the country, both for their achievements and to serve as a model and a resource for NRC members.

NRC’s Awards Committee Chair Lisa Skumatz noted that “The winners embodied best practices, and we were very pleased that winners came from across the country to accept their awards, so attendees had the chance to learn first-hand how these programs work so well.”

Recycle Colorado was presented with the Outstanding Recycling Organization award. Over the last few years, Recycle Colorado (formerly Colorado Association for Recycling) faced many of the same challenges other recycling organizations were facing:  mergers that reduced membership, programs suffering from lower market prices.  Rather than suffer a slow decline, Recycle Colorado shook things up. A new executive director, Laurie Johnson, helped update its vision, mission and operations plan and adopted a mantra of undertaking only activities that were tangible, actionable and measurable with a focus on developing infrastructure, end markets and policy.  Member services are no longer the focus. Recycle Colorado revised the traditional membership model and conference session design and in one year increased membership 50%, significantly exceeding sponsorship and revenue goals.   According to the NRC press release, “This RO has ideas that can be learned from!”

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 1st, 2018.

Sustainability Coordinator

Are you a creative, resourceful, and committed sustainability professional? Do you thrive when developing green programs to their fullest potential? If this sounds like you, then you are invited to apply.

Lafayette is located in Boulder County, Colorado, and has developed into a bustling 28,000 person community from its humble mining roots. A short drive to both Boulder & Denver, and situated in the picturesque Front Range, Lafayette has convenient access to world-class skiing, mountain biking, hiking & camping. Our active, walk able community has over 20 miles of trails in 9 square miles.

As the Sustainability Coordinator, you are responsible for all sustainability initiatives. You will also be responsible for designing and managing the City’s programs. This is an excellent opportunity to create a program from its inception.

More information: https://www.governmentjobs.com/careers/lafayette/jobs/2244909/sustainability-coordinator

This entry was posted on Tuesday, October 30th, 2018.

Candidates support financial incentives for new recycling businesses and local end markets

View all of the candidates’ responses
View the survey transcript

Recycle Colorado, a statewide nonprofit whose members include more than 300 businesses, local governments and nonprofits, today released the findings of its first-ever candidate survey. The survey found that many candidates running for statewide office support policies and incentives to attract recycling entrepreneurs and businesses, help create local jobs and establish Colorado as a regional recycling hub.

The survey comes less than two weeks before the elections, with the recycling industry still adjusting after China, the biggest importer by far of U.S. recyclables, began rejecting all but the cleanest materials last January.

Recycle Colorado’s four-question survey was sent to all 191 Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Libertarians, Unity Party and unaffiliated candidates who are running for Governor, Lieutenant Governor or the General Assembly this year. Of the 53 candidates who responded, 75 percent favored state-level action to develop new markets for recycled materials in Colorado and to help more communities recycle.

Candidates were asked what they would do to develop more local markets for the state’s recycled materials to ensure that recycling’s benefits, new jobs and sustainable economic development, are also enjoyed in Colorado. “Incentives to bring new businesses and entrepreneurs to Colorado to turn our trash into valuable new products,” was a top choice for a majority of respondents. Specific incentives included:

  • Tools and research (e.g., studies of available materials for recycling, outreach materials, trainings, available financial resources, networking) on recycling markets for businesses (75 percent support)
  • More grants and reduced rate loans for end-market businesses (70 percent support)
  • Property tax exemptions and other tax breaks for end-market businesses (62 percent support)
  • One-on-one assistance to end-market businesses (58 percent support)

What the Candidates Had To Say

U.S. Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Jared Polis (D) affirmed his support for increasing recycling as a means to bring additional jobs into Colorado.

“Our movement toward a more renewable future should include the streamlining of our state’s recycling policies to improve our rate of recycling across the state. My administration will work with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, along with communities across our state, to find the best ways to incentivize recycling in every city. The state should do more to help create a market for recycling in every Colorado community. Doing this will open the door to strong public-private partnerships, where recycling businesses will move into communities everywhere to pick-up and process the community’s recycling.”

His opponents, Walker Stapleton (R), Bill Hammons (U), and Scott Helker (L) did not answer the survey.

State Representative Chris Hansen (D, HD 6) advocated for adding a full-time employee at the state’s Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) dedicated to attracting new recycling businesses to Colorado to make use of recycled materials currently being landfilled at a heavy price to local communities. Representative Hansen is running un-opposed.

“Wherever it’s possible, Colorado must be a leader on this issue,” stated House Majority Leader K.C. Becker (D, HD 13). “I support taking whatever steps necessary to make it easier for Coloradans in every corner of our state to recycle.” Her opponent, Kevin Sipple (R) did not respond to the survey.

According to a recent report by Eco-Cycle and COPIRG only 15 cities in Colorado automatically provide curbside recycling to residents along with trash carts without requiring them to subscribe to a special service. Curbside recycling is not even available in 25 counties and four counties have neither recycling drop-off sites nor curbside collection.

State Representative Lois Landgraf (R-HD 21) suggested creating incentives for individuals to recycle.

Landgraf’s opponent, Liz Rosenbaum (D) wants to provide assistance to local communities and haulers to purchase recycling containers.

State Representative Dylan Roberts (D-HD 26) advocates for more funding for recycling from the state general fund.

Robert’s opponent, Nicki Mills (R) suggests providing incentives for recycling businesses through bonds, public agency funds, public-private joint funding and state agency grants and loans.

Both Republicans and Democrats showed support for increasing funding for recycling across the state. View all of the candidates’ responses here and the survey transcript here.

Laurie Johnson, executive director of Recycle Colorado (formerly the Colorado Association for Recycling), agrees that one of the biggest challenges is a shortage of funding for local communities. Currently the state spends $3.5 million annually in Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) Grants to help boost recycling, yet the state receives between $8 million and $14 million in requests each year. In comparison, other states, such as Michigan, are considering dedicating up to $15 million per year on similar recycling projects.

Why Colorado is So Far Behind

Despite its environmental credentials, Colorado remains one of the most wasteful states in the nation, burying tons of recyclable materials–glass, aluminum, cardboard, paper and some plastics–in landfills every year. The value of those materials? An estimated $265 million.

Johnson said she views the elections as a bipartisan way to educate candidates about the critical role recycling plays in a healthy, sustainable economy. Johnson stated that Recycle Colorado’s policy agenda is to get the state to invest significantly more. The agenda aims specifically at assisting local communities to build recycling infrastructure as well as to support “end-market” businesses that manufacture new products using materials generated locally.

“Recycling is a powerful economic driver, but a lot of decision-makers don’t see its full potential yet,” Johnson said. “Not only does recycling create nine or ten times as many jobs per ton of waste as landfilling, it also relieves local governments and communities of the high costs of cleaning up leaking landfills and polluted air and water,” she added.

Currently glass can be recycled and remanufactured in Colorado along with some metals, but cardboard, paper, other metals, and most plastics are shipped to out-of-state markets.

“We have a great opportunity to make Colorado the recycling hub for the Rocky Mountain region,” explained Randy Moorman, Recycle Colorado’s Vice President and Policy Chair. “With the upheaval in the global recycling market, Colorado could capitalize on the need for an alternative to China and other countries for recycled materials by attracting end market users and entrepreneurs to the state.”

Recycle Colorado’s Johnson said she was pleased with the overall survey results and appreciated the candidates’ detailed understanding of recycling challenges and opportunities.

“We are excited to work with the new governor and the General Assembly. Now is the time for us as a state to transform Colorado into a leader in recycling, composting, and remanufacturing in keeping with our reputation as a green state.  We have a great opportunity to make Colorado an economic recycling hub for the Rocky Mountain Region. The next four years are crucial to setting economic policy and investments in Colorado’s recycling markets so that we can grow our state’s overall economy and create jobs.”

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 24th, 2018.

The more we get aluminum in the bin, the more we all win!

Recycling is important. Not only does it give materials new life, but it helps our communities and the planet. Clean, well-sorted material such as aluminum, plastic bottles, cardboard, and paper is still recyclable even though markets for some recycled materials were upended in 2017 when China, as part of an anti-pollution crackdown, announced it would stop importing most used plastic and paper. Read more about the current state of the recycling industry.

Aluminum is infinitely recyclable – it can be made into new products again and again.

What can be recycled?
Aluminum beverage cans, pet food cans, aerosol cans and foil. Check your local guidelines, but generally cans should be recycled intact (with tabs on and not crushed).

How to recycle it
Look for curbside, school, work, or public space recycling bins, or bring aluminum to local recycling drop-off or buy-back centers.

Share the word
Recycle Colorado invites you to download and share this infographic. The more we get aluminum in the bin, the more we all win!


Download image
Download image for social media

Aluminum Recycling Facts

  • Aluminum cans have an average of 68% recycled content.
  • A can’s journey from the recycling bin back to store shelves takes less than 60 days.
  • Virtually all of the aluminum used in cars, buildings, airplanes and similar industrial products includes recycled material.
  • Americans landfill enough landfill to rebuild the entire commercial airline fleet every three months.
  • More than 75 percent of the aluminum ever made is still in use today because it can be recycled over and over again.
  • Recycling aluminum:
    • Creates jobs
    • Saves energy
    • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions
    • Keeps valuable aluminum out of landfills
    •  Increases the efficiency of aluminum production
  • When aluminum is recycled, it is crushed and cut into chips that are fed into a furnace to remove paint and coatings. The chips are then melted and formed into blocks. The aluminum blocks are rolled into sheets which are sent to manufacturers to make new cans. One of these blocks contains enough aluminum to make 1.3 million new cans. The aluminum industry relies on the collection of used beverage containers and other fabricated aluminum to meet the demand for new aluminum products.

More Information
Video “The Most Sustainable Package”: https://vimeo.com/173072696
The Aluminum Association: https://www.aluminum.org/advocacy/top-issues/aluminum-recycling

This entry was posted on Monday, October 22nd, 2018.

RREO Mini-Grants for Equipment, Supplies and Information and Outreach Materials

The Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) Grant Program exists to fund projects that lead to new opportunities to divert waste from the landfill and create jobs. As funding opportunities for infrastructure development through the RREO Grant Program have grown more complex over time, the intent of this solicitation is to offer “mini-grants” through a simplified application process for small-scale projects that meet the goals of the grant Program. Proposals will be accepted from applicants who have a need for equipment, supplies, and/or informational and outreach materials that will be used to support a new or existing recycling, organics, reuse, or waste reduction program.

A total of $475,000 is available for this funding opportunity. The maximum amount of funds an applicant can request is $25,000. The minimum amount that can be requested is $5,000. It is anticipated that awardees will have approval to make purchases per their project budget on February 1, 2019. Grantees must spend their full grant award by June 30, 2019.

1. Public and government agencies
2. Universities and schools
3. For-profit businesses
4. Nonprofit organizations

Please visit the department’s website for more information about this Request for Applications and to access the RREO Application Portal: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/recycling-grants

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE November 9, 2018, 3:00 PM, MST

This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 10th, 2018.

CAFR changes name to Recycle Colorado

The Colorado Association for Recycling is proud to announce that we are changing our name to Recycle Colorado. The transition to the new name will take place through the end of the year as we work to update our online and offline presence in the state.

The organization adopted a new vision and mission in 2017. With a new focus and strategy in place, the Board of Directors wanted a name that “would be much clearer and would resonate with people who didn’t already know who we are or what we do,” said Board President Megan Lane.

“We want our name to reflect what we are doing across Colorado, which is showing how recycling is a critical piece in closing the loop in circular economies. We also want people to know that it takes everyone in the state to get this done, not just those in the recycling industry. We have members from all sectors: private, public, non-profit, non-recycling businesses and private citizens,” said Executive Director Laurie Johnson.

Along with a new name, the organization revealed a new logo and will launch a new website January 1. Contact information for staff will remain the same until further notice.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 27th, 2018.

Meet the candidates for the Board of Directors

The Nominating Committee for the Colorado Association for Recycling is responsible for compiling a list of potential candidates to serve on the Board of Directors. Names that are added to this list come from Board members, staff and members of the organization, as well as a call for nominations to all members that was released in July. The committee ranks each candidate based on qualifications, sector represented, geographic location and ability to contribute the necessary time to be a productive board member. The following slate of candidates was approved by the Board of Directors, and the candidates attended the Annual Meeting September 11 to be introduced to the membership. The candidates are presented again below for your consideration.


In October, eligible CAFR members will elect five (5) candidates to serve on the Board of Directors for a three-year term (2019-2021). Questions about the slate of candidates or the vetting process can be directed to Nominating Committee members Juri Freeman or Mark Hoblitzell.

We encourage all eligible CAFR members to VOTE; this is your chance to ensure that your organization and region are well represented. The Nominating Committee is confident that the candidates have the necessary skills, time and inclination to serve on the Board of Directors. Each candidate has signed the CAFR Board Letter of Commitment, acknowledging their desire and ability to serve.



Meet the Candidates

Alicia ArchibaldAlicia Archibald
Bestway Disposal
Colorado Springs

Alicia Archibald, Transfer Station General Manager at Bestway Disposal, helps businesses and individuals identify the most effective and affordable means to manage their waste to landfill by providing training to employees and individuals about purchasing, recycling and compost options. She also provides outreach to schools and various community organizations (as requested), as well as tours at Bestway’s MRF (material recovery facility). She has worked on zero-waste efforts and community building in the Colorado Springs area for 20 years and has worked at Bestway for the past seven years.

Alicia brings a wealth of experience to the Colorado Association For Recycling. She has served on the Board of Directors in the past and has been active in the organization for well over 10 years. Her areas of expertise include electronics recycling, single-stream collection and separation strategies, and years of campaigning for stronger landfill diversion policies throughout the southern Colorado region.

When not digging through trash, Alicia is a skilled musician – singer/guitarist and enjoys getting her hands dirty with her side job of teaching the value of plants as they relate to indoor air quality. She does this by teaching how to create fun terrariums with herbs, succulents and a variety of other plants as “The Plant Lady.”

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Tim DaileyTim Dailey
Waste-Not Recycling

Tim Dailey has served on the Board of Directors for CAFR for three years and served on the Executive Committee for two of those, as both secretary and vice president. He was on the search and hiring committee for both Executive Director hires during his tenure. His work experience includes 18 years in plastic manufacturing and recycling, with a focus on extruding, injection molding and materials management. His plastic processing expertise includes high-density polyethylene (HDPE), polypropylene (PP), Polystyrene (PS), PVC and LDPE. Tim attended school at the University of Colorado. His hobbies include camping, traveling and coaching youth baseball.

“Working with this organization, and seeing it take the positive turns it has after the hiring of Laurie Johnson, has been extremely rewarding. I believe there is more work to be done and look forward to continuing to serve this membership and community.”

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Jonathan GreenspanJonathan Greenspan
C.A.N. Citizen Action Network

Jonathan Greenspan “Greeny” is a strategic leader with a proven record of solid waste and recycling. He has been leading effective cross-functional business teams, driving change initiatives and implementing waste and recycling strategies. Jonathan is a proficient problem solver with the analytical skills to evaluate risks and business strategies. He has a deep understanding of environmental issues, resource recovery, landfill diversion, zero waste and the value of ecotourism. His strengths include developing cost-effective programs that align with business goals and implementing sustainable cultural and organizational change through creating partnerships and buy in.

Greeny lives and works in Telluride Co and very much understands rural and resort waste streams and how they affect the communities. He is a member of the Telluride ecology commission and was the chair of the Green Team of the Mtn Village. Recently he is part of a team that formed C.A.N (citizen action network) that implements the communities zero waste goals. He is a member of the U.S. Composting council and is zero waste certified. He has been an elected official and government employee, ran a non profit related to resource recovery and is a business person. Recently, C.A.N. got the two towns to pass a single use plastics ban (The
Final Straw) in the two towns which are the first towns in Colorado to do so. With a name like Greeny he has to be dedicated.

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Charles KamenidesCharles Kamenides
City of Longmont

Charles Kamenides is the Waste Services Manager for the City of Longmont Public Works and Natural Resources Department. In this role, Charles is responsible for the City-operated refuse collections service, the City’s Waste Diversion Center, outreach and education, program development and overall program management. Charles is a member of the Solid Waste Association of North America, Colorado Association for Recycling and currently chairs the Boulder County Resource Conservation Advisory Board, a 21-member group of municipal, private haulers and non-profit stakeholders who advise the Board of County Commissioners on major waste diversion policies and strategies in Boulder County.

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Caroline MitchellCaroline Mitchell
City of Fort Collins
Fort Collins

I am a Colorado native who grew up in Fort Collins and I have a BA in Biology. I’ve worked for the City of Fort Collins for the past seven years and worked for non-profit recycling organizations for eight years prior.

My work includes developing policy projects to significantly expand recycling in Fort Collins, working directly with the multi-family and business sectors to start and improve programs, conducting lots of education and outreach, as well as being in charge of the waste and recycling data for Fort Collins. In previous positions, my work included coordinating a community’s migration to single-stream recycling, volunteer coordination and zero-waste event planning.

I have been on the CAFR board for the past three years, during which I supported the organization in selecting our Executive Directors, updating the vision / mission / values, strategic plan and soon the updated name of the organization. With the move to more specified board roles, I have served as the Communications Director in 2018, working with the amazing staff to create our quarterly newsletters.

The past three years have been a turbulent and exciting time in the organization’s history, and I’ve been grateful to be part of shaping CAFR’s future. We are on a wonderful path and I look forward to supporting our continued growth in the coming three years.

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Brandy MoeBrandy Moe
Momentum Recycling

As the Sourcing Manager for Momentum Recycling, Brandy works with companies of all sizes to find recycling solutions for their glass waste. She has worked in a variety of fields in her career including alternative fuels development and environmental compliance for energy companies, and she was responsible for voluntarily setting up recycling programs at almost all of them. Brandy was a licensed social worker earlier in her career, working in early childhood education and women’s issues. She earned a Master of Applied Science in Environmental Policy and Management from the University of Denver as well as a Bachelor of Science in Social Work from the University of North Dakota.

Brandy enjoys volunteering her time in her community and recently received the Keep Denver Beautiful Award for Outstanding Community Service. She became a Denver Master Composter in 2010 and has been the Ruby Hill Community Garden leader for the past six years. Brandy has held a leadership role within the Ruby Hill Neighborhood Association for several years and has served on numerous neighborhood committees. Currently she is involved in several CAFR working groups including the Glass Recycling Pilot Project, the Ordinance Action Group, the Material Exchange Platform Project and the End Market Action Group. Brandy will bring the same passion, dedication and positive attitude that she approaches her career and volunteer work with to the CAFR Board of Directors.

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David MoravekDavid Moravek
Microchip Technology
Colorado Springs

David Moravek is the facilities and security manager for Microchip Technology in Colorado Springs, a 700,000 square foot facility. David leads his site’s sustainability team and is a member of the steering committee of the ISO 140001 management group. He joined CAFR three years ago and has been working as an Honorary Board Member for the past year. David is on the Membership Committee for CAFR and has been a key member on the Colorado Springs Council, working on the cardboard working group and meeting with city officials and key business leaders in the community. He brings a big-business prospective to the Board and to the membership. David’s goal is to drive more membership to the organization to help CAFR become more influential in the recycling community. David has been protecting Colorado as an active forest firefighter and been the fire chief for the El Paso County Wildland Fire Crew. In his 25 years of firefighting he has worked all the major fires in Colorado including the Hayman Fire, Waldo Canyon Fire, Black Forest Fire and the Highway 117 Fire. He is now committed to protecting the State of Colorado through the efforts of CAFR.

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Neil NobleNeil Noble
Republic Services
Commerce City

I am a soil scientist by education and have worked in the green industry for 40 years. My specialty is green waste composting and developing sustainability plans for golf courses, resorts and sports complexes around the world. My involvement with CAFR began just this year when I stepped in as an interim member of the board for a former colleague. I have particularly enjoyed working with the glass recycling pilot program where we are seeking the best methods to increase glass capture for input into the unique closed glass recycling loop here in Colorado.

In my current role I am a recycling and disposal executive for Republic Services serving Colorado’s large manufacturers. I work closely with environmental health and safety managers to meet or exceed their corporate sustainability and diversion program goals. Many of these EHS managers are seeking to keep abreast of the most current recycling opportunities in Colorado, and I am encouraging them to participate in CAFR at both the member and sponsor levels.

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Lisa SkumatzLisa Skumatz
Skumatz Economic Research Associates

Lisa Skumatz, an economist, heads the Colorado-based research and consulting firm SERA. She has worn many hats in the solid-waste industry – working for non-profits and city solid-waste utilities and as an elected official. Lisa has worked nationally in solid waste for 38 years and in Colorado for 18 years. Lisa analyzes solid waste program/policy performance to identify costs, effectiveness and best practices for cities, counties, states, haulers and recycling businesses. She has been deeply involved in analyzing programs across Colorado, including the State’s latest Integrated Plan, State Market Development report, local comprehensive plans, local hauler RFP processes, PAYT, organics/food programs, drop-offs, metrics, etc. for urban and rural clients across Colorado. Her work (and publications) provides quantitative results to help cities make more informed program/policy decisions.

Lisa cares deeply about the progress of recycling in the State of Colorado and brings national expertise/experience combined with local context/knowledge to help CAFR move recycling forward. During Lisa’s CAFR Board tenure, she has been secretary, treasurer, organized the Annual Meeting, fundraiser, chaired the webinar committee and has provided advice on legislative and committee work based on knowledge of what has been implemented and worked in other cities/states. These last two – training webinars and practical strategies/lessons learned working on program & data committees – are where she hopes to focus on if elected.

Lisa is proud to have won lifetime achievement awards from CAFR, NRC, National SWANA and JSW&T and served on NRC and RM-SWANA Boards.

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This entry was posted on Monday, September 24th, 2018.

Recycling: The real answers

Recycling markets were upended in 2017 when China, as part of an anti-pollution crackdown, announced it would stop importing most used plastic and paper. One reason for the crackdown: too many imported recyclables were contaminated, sometimes with hazardous substances like lead and mercury. The decision sent prices of scrap plastic and recovered paper tumbling, creating a crisis for municipalities that had relied such sales to subsidize curbside recycling. In the U.S., the average price of used corrugated cardboard fell 36 percent. It hasn’t been easy to find other takers for used plastic, since lower oil prices have made virgin plastic cheaper than recycled plastic. While other nations like India and Vietnam have been importing more recyclables, they don’t come close to handling the amount China once did. And few industrial nations have enough capacity to recycle all the material on their own. Some communities are running out of room to store the mounting stockpiles and have stopped collecting plasticpaper products or glass. Some places in Australia and Canada have sent existing piles to landfills or burned them. At the same time, under pressure from consumers, several well-known companies have pledged to use more recycled and biodegradable goods. In 2018 companies including Coca-ColaUnilever and Walmart said they’ll aim to use packaging that is 100 percent reusable, recyclable or compostable by 2025.

Impacts in Colorado

Colorado regulations require material recovery facilities (MRFs) to meet a 75% minimum material-turnover rate. Waivers from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) would be needed to change that or stockpile material. The agency has touted an existing infrastructure grant program as one way its helping to respond.

Market challenges were a primary topic at the Colorado Association for Recycling’s Summit for Recycling conference in June, where multiple working groups were formed to outline specific solutions over the next year. Rep. Jared Polis, the Democratic nominee for governor, also spoke about how the state needs to modernize its recycling infrastructure.

Side Effects

  • Denver’s local MRF operator, Waste Management, slowed processing speeds to the point that it was operating at 60% capacity to help with quality control, according to an Aspen Public Radio series. (March 2018)
  • Alpine Recycling Vice President Brent Hildebrand said China’s import shutdown in May temporarily forced material into new markets such as South Korea and Mexico, as reported by CGTNThe Colorado Springs Independent reports that mixed paper has piled up as efforts continue to cultivate new long-term markets. (June-July 2018)
  • Boulder County’s MRF, operated by Eco-Cycle, became an increasingly popular option for others to send their material to. The facility’s newer plastic sorting equipment, and longstanding relationships with domestic buyers, meant it can get more value for its bales than many others according to Colorado Public Radio.The Daily Camera reports that an additional 2,500 tons have come through in recent months as a result. (July 2018)
  • The Durango Telegraph begins a two-part series on market effects in the area. Friedman Recycling says it now uses alternate markets in countries such as Vietnam, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea, Mexico and Brazil. The company is also currently sitting on mixed plastic. While no policy changes are planned at this time, the piece hints they could be coming. (July 2018)

Changes and Solutions

  • Durango officials voted to approve a new $2.69 monthly surcharge for residential recycling, effective in July. The city would have otherwise faced a $180,000 budget shortfall after Friedman Recycling raised prices by $25 per ton, according to The Durango Herald. (May 2018)
  • The Larimer County Recycling Center, which serves cities such as Fort Collins and Loveland, essentially stopped recycling plastics #3, 6, 7 due to a lack of markets, according to the Coloradoan. (May 2018)

The Message

Clean material absolutely has a market.

  • CAFR’s Northern Colorado Council is putting a consumer campaign together to educate users about contamination and what can still be recycled.

End markets are our best bet for keeping material out of landfills.

  • Right now a CAFR work group is working on a materials platform, which is intended to identify materials available in Colorado to recycle and who can use that material in a process.
  • CDPHE’s  and Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity grant program is working with RRS to development a business incubator to create end markets in Colorado.

Reproduced from the presentation “Recycling: The real answers” at CAFR’s 2018 Annual Meeting September 11 in Lafayette.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 21st, 2018.

Colorado NextCycle

Colorado NextCycle is an incentivized business incubator designed to improve the end markets for recovered commodities and organic materials in Colorado. The phased program helps cross-sector teams to make connections across the state, find partners, understand industry and economic data, and drive toward shovel-ready projects.

Colorado NextCycle is looking for cross sector teams that bring a variety of knowledge, perspective, and creativity to the
development of innovative business ideas around domestic recycling end markets, including:

  • Manufacturers
  • Secondary Material Processors
  • Compost Operators
  • Venture Capitalists/Incubators
  • Universities
  • And Other Creative Thinkers

For more information, please email nextcycle@recycle.com or call our project staff, Juri Freeman and Beth Coddington, at 303-953-2461.

Initial Letters of Intent for consideration of acceptance to Colorado NextCycle will be due in December 2018.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 20th, 2018.

Recycling Cart Grant

Looking to upgrade your recycling program to bring recycling carts to every household? If so, need some money? Or a consult on how to talk to residents about recycling?

The Recycling Partnership released the 2018 Cart Grant application. You can find it here.


  • Funding for carts available: $7 per cart (up to $500,000), plus $1 per household for outreach (up to $50,000).
  • Communities with 4,000+ households are eligible.
  • Funding comes with technical assistance from Partnership staff and tailored educational materials for your community to keep after grant process.
  • If you’ve already filled out the prior online application, no need to start over – just send it on in! We’ll get it, and you’ll be considered, either way.

Contact Rob Taylor with questions or for more information.

This entry was posted on Sunday, September 16th, 2018.

Environmental Research and Education Foundation

The Environmental Research & Education Foundation (EREF) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and is one of the largest sources of funding for solid waste research in North America. The EREF Board of Directors has identified a high priority research topic in the area of residential recycling and has issued a request for pre-proposals on the topic to support the long-term needs and strategic direction of the solid waste field.

Pre-proposal topics must relate to sustainable solid waste management practices and pertain to the following topic areas:

Submissions of scientific research pre-proposals related to residential recycling are invited in the following areas:

  • Human Behavior
  • Collection and Program Performance/Effectiveness
  • Definitions, Policies and Regulations
  • Reducing and Managing Contamination
  • Technological Innovation & Processing Optimization
  • Enhancing Material Recyclability
  • Development of End Markets
  • Recycling Value in terms of Economics and Sustainability
  • Life-Cycle Assessment

Previously awarded grants have ranged from $15,000 to over $500,000 with the average grant amount in recent years being $160,000. Typical project durations are about 2 years.

Pre-proposals will be accepted online starting 15 calendar days prior to the deadline and up to the close of business (5:00 p.m. eastern time) on December 3, 2018.

More information: https://erefdn.org/recycling-rfp/

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 15th, 2018.

Public Space Recycling Bin Grant

Coca-Cola/Keep America Beautiful Public Space Recycling Bin Grant supports recycling in communities by providing bins to expand recycling opportunities in public spaces.

The grant program awards actual recycling bins to schools, government agencies, colleges and other community organizations on a competitive basis.

Applications for 2018 grants are due December 20, 2018.

Grants are offered to KAB affiliates, government and public agencies, non-profit organizations, tribal governments, religious organizations, colleges & universities, k-12 schools and other community groups.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 14th, 2018.

Solidwaste Management Grant Program

What does this program do? This program helps reduce or eliminate pollution of water resources through funding for organizations that provide technical assistance or training to improve the planning and management of solid waste sites.

What is an eligible area? Rural areas and towns with 10,000 or fewer people–check eligible addresses.

Special consideration may be given for projects serving:

  • an area with fewer than 5,500 or fewer than 2,500 people;
  • regional, multi-state or national areas; or
  • lower-income populations.

What may the funds be used for?

  • Evaluate current landfill conditions to identify threats to water resources
  • Provide technical assistance or training to enhance the operation and maintenance of active landfills
  • Provide technical assistance or training to help communities reduce the amount of solid waste coming into a landfill
  • Provide technical assistance or training to prepare for closure and future use of a landfill site

Deadline for application: December 31, 2018

More information

This entry was posted on Friday, September 14th, 2018.

SBDC Advanced

SBDC ADVANCED is a new business development program administered by the Colorado SBDC Network. It is an economic gardening program, focused on helping our Colorado companies to grow by providing custom-fit market research and corporate-level tools that might otherwise be out of reach for small to mid-sized businesses. These businesses can then use this data to make informed strategic growth decisions.

The SBDC ADVANCED program is open to Colorado businesses at three levels: Gold, Silver, and Copper (see details below). Deliverables provided may include specialized reports in market research, geographic information systems (GIS), financial analysis, marketing and search engine optimization (SEO). The SBDC ADVANCED program taps into corporate-level tools, experienced consultants and their strategic plans.


Applications accepted year-round.

This entry was posted on Thursday, September 13th, 2018.

Update: Summit action groups take on tangible projects to address recycling challenges

The 2018 Summit for Recycling, June 3-5, coordinated twelve round tables that each focused on a specific aspect of recycling. CAFR uses round tables as a method to convene stakeholders on regional and topical issues for the purpose of advancing infrastructure, end markets and state and local policies in waste reduction, recovery and diversion.

Round tables are the first step in establishing action groups that take on tangible, actionable and measurable projects over the course of a 12-month period.

Status updates of from the twelve Summit round table action groups are below. View notes from the round tables


Organics Diversion Without Markets Equals What?

Form a Colorado composting stakeholder group that involves cities, counties, producers and manufacturer from across the state to make requirements on how to keep contaminants out of product and education and outreach for acceptable products.

STATUS: Currently identifying all major stakeholders within Colorado.  Next meeting is 9/24 in Denver.

E-Waste Five Years Later – We Know the Symptoms, Now Let’s Solve the Real Problem

There was an interest in this group to focus on two things:

  • Publishing statewide recycling events, maps of drop off sites, post a list of certified recyclers and what certifications they hold on CAFR’s website
  • Creating an education marketing kit that would be available for everyone to use and would provide consistent information.

STATUS:  The action group decided the first step was to assess the amount of actual illegal dumping that occurs across the state.  The group is drafting a survey to be distributed statewide as the first step in collecting the necessary data.

What Is the Best Way to Collect Our Stuff?

The action group from this round table will look at what it would take to build a case for a state bill for licensing haulers, administered by CDPHE, for the purpose of community safety as well as data collection. The CAFR group will meet with the new Colorado chapter of NWRA (National Waste & Recycling Association), CCI (Colorado Counties Inc.) and CML (Colorado Municipal League) to determine the viability of a bill.

STATUS: A meeting is schedule to discuss the potential for a statewide hauler licensing bill and the group will collaborate with CCI and CML on how that might impact cities and counties.

Cleantech Recycling Solutions

An action group was not organized as a result of this round table. A few members did decide to arrange a one-time meeting during the summer to bring together CAFR, OEDIT, CDPHE and other stakeholders together to share knowledge and make connections.

STATUS: The group will meet with the staff of OEDIT to discuss the needs for advance manufacturing end markets for recyclable materials in Colorado.

End-Market Business Development

Create a Colorado commodities road map similar to the Story of Stuff including:

  • Prioritize main commodities (ALUM, OCC, HDPE, PETE)
  • Develop campaign and education about relevance to local economy
  • Identifies barriers between production and end markets
  • Speak to businesses about needs/wants/haves to develop policy

STATUS: The group decided to assess the raw materials and manufactures that are present in Colorado as a function of the new Materials Synergy Exchange being developed by CAFR. The group will start work on collecting information and collaborating with other organizations in mid-October.

Closed-Loop Solutions for C&D

The action group from this round table will take steps to establish an ongoing CAFR C&D Council. The first action items for the council will be to see if they can promote the Colorado Contractors Challenge as a way to promote C&D diversion, assist in any way with CDPHE’s C&D research and work on listing materials for a C&D category on CAFR’s upcoming materials exchange platform.

STATUS:  The C&D Council launched in August.  The first task is to prioritize C&D materials by economic value and identify end markets for the top five materials that currently do not have end-market options in Colorado.  The group will also help GE Johnson Construction Company launch the Colorado Contractor’s Challenge to increase recycling on C&D projects.

Collecting Data to Effectively Measure Waste Diversion and Reduction

The action group for this round table will look at creating data standards for Colorado and potentially developing a toolkit that addresses where to start collecting data.

STATUS:  The first meeting of the action group is scheduled for 9/27.

Opportunities for Change at the State Level

The action item with the most votes was to develop compost market messaging and policy for compost buy-back. The other three action items will also be reviewed by the CAFR Policy Committee for consideration: electronic product stewardship, business personal property tax exemption for recyclers, data collection and OEDIT resources.

STATUS:  This group is working with the CAFR Policy Committee on their action items.

Moving the Needle at the Local Level

This round table produced three different proposed action groups. There are enough participants for one group to develop a toolkit for building codes and another to work on webinars to explain ordinances. Action groups coming out of this session will report to the CAFR Policy Committee. The Policy Committee will assign a liaison from the committee to participate in the local policy action group(s). Please sign-up if you would like to be on one of these action groups.

STATUS:  The groups are developing a toolkit for building codes and organizing webinars to explain how to pass ordinances to advance recycling.

Closed-Loop Solutions for Plastics

Form a work group to research the viability of alternative processing solutions. Begin by looking at Priyanka’s Renewlogy technology based in Utah. Also look at alternative collection programs starting with the Orange Bag program.

STATUS: The action group is going to Salt Lake City on 10/3 to see the Renewlogy technology.  There is a round table to discuss the Hefty Energy Bag program on 10/8 in Denver.

Landfills: Tipping the Scales to Divert More Waste

The action group will identify which landfills are doing education campaigns. Based on the diversion rate from the landfills doing education campaigns, the group will then request information on what is working to make their campaign successful. An information packet will be put together to provide recommendations for landfills not currently doing education campaigns.

STATUS:  The group is beginning the survey development process.

Financing End-Market Solutions

Create a funding resource page and toolkit to share on the CAFR website and, if time permits, research what would be needed to pursue a bill to grant a temporary reprieve to paying commercial personal property taxes for new/small end-market businesses (working with CAFR Policy Committee).

STATUS: The action group requested the Policy Committee to look into a business personal property tax exemption for recycling businesses.


This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 12th, 2018.

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Grants

The ALT Fuels Colorado program is managed in partnership with the Colorado Energy Office (CEO), Regional Air Quality Council (RAQC), Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Colorado Department of Local Affairs (DOLA). This program provides funding for alternative fueling infrastructure and alternative fuel vehicles. CEO will administer infrastructure grants and RAQC will administer vehicle grants.

Alternative Fuel Vehicle Grants

Eligible Fleets: Public, non-profict and private fleets that are domicilied in or near and predominately operate in Colorado’s ozone nonattainment areas and carbon monoxide maintenance areas. These include Adamss, Arapahoe, Broomfield, Boulder, Denver, Douglas, Jefferson, parts of Larimer, parts of Weld, parts of El Paso and parts of Teller Counties.

Applications accepted three times a year.

More information

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 11th, 2018.

Great American Can Roundup School Challenge

The Great American Can Roundup is an annual aluminum beverage can recycling initiative from the Can Manufacturer’s Institute (CMI). The Challenge is for your group to collect and recycle the most cans per person during a set time period. Then log and report your recycling amounts to CMI. And CMI awards prize money to the winner of each Challenge!

The School Recycling Challenge is open to all K-12 public and private schools located in the United States and the District of Columbia. To compete schools must register at www.canroundup.com.

This entry was posted on Monday, September 10th, 2018.

Recycling Rebates Program

The intent of this rebate program is to assist free public recycling drop-off sites by offsetting a portion of the transportation costs incurred by shipping recyclables to market or to a processing center. For more information, please visit the CDPHE website

Please direct questions via email to cdphe.ppp2@state.co.us or to 303-691-4955.

RREO Rebate Program: Funds Distributed by County, FY2009-2015

Click image to enlarge

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 23rd, 2018.

What the year looks like so far for CAFR

From the Executive Director

Here we are, more than half way through 2018! I would like to take this opportunity to update you on what the year looks like so far. Last year we drafted a new strategic plan, which included revamping our vision, our mission and the value proposition for CAFR, along with an operations plan that outlines key performance indicators to measure how we are doing. We want you to know all the progress being made, so here is a list of achievements so far for each of six focus areas – and we still have more than four months to go!


Six focus areas Performance area achievements
Establish regional and subject-matter councils


Launched the Cannabis Council in April

Launched the Northern Colorado Council in July

Working to launch a Western Slope council by year-end


Increase our number of members and amount of member engagement


Grown from 217 members at the beginning of 2017 to 301 as of July – a 39% increase in members

Received pro bono web development to build a materials exchange platform

Surpassed partner level membership goal for the year in July


Achieve recommended priorities for the policy committee


Policy committee white paper complete

Working on gubernatorial candidate packets

Helped defeat bill to abolish Paint Care Stewardship Act


Host round tables Hosted glass and e-waste round tables

Hosted 12 round tables at the Summit for Recycling

Current work groups for glass collection and a cardboard disposal ban in Colorado Springs


Be the leading agency on infrastructure and end-market projects


Glass collection pilot set to launch in September

Plastics group working to research new technology for plastics #3-#7.


Achieve event goals with the Summit for Recycling and Annual Meeting


Surpassed sponsorship goals for the Summit

Surpassed attendee goals for the Summit

If you would like to hear details about work underway and what we have planned for the remainder of the year, please join us at the 2018 Annual Meeting on September 11th at Acreage restaurant in Lafayette. I look forward to seeing you there!

Laurie Johnson
CAFR Executive Director

This entry was posted on Monday, August 6th, 2018.

Rebates available for operators of free public recycling drop-off sites


The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment requests applications from entities wishing to claim a rebate from the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) Fund. More information about the rebate program, as well as the rebate application, can be found on the CDPHE website (https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/recycling-rebates).

The total dollar amount for the rebate period covering July 1, 2017 through June 30, 2018 is $500,000.

Please direct questions via email to cdphe.ppp2@state.co.us or to 303-691-4955.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 2nd, 2018.

Colorado recyclers highlight efforts to create local uses for recyclable products

In 2016 China imported 45 million tons of scrap metal, waste paper and plastic, together worth more than $18 billion. But that trend is changing. In February 2017 Chinese customs officials announced “National Sword,” an initiative aimed at reducing illegal shipments of industrial and electronic waste. Most recently China announced that imports of recyclables – those that are not outright banned by a separate restriction – will need to meet increased quality standards. The potential upheaval in global markets presents an opportunity for the U.S. and Colorado recyclers to improve their materials quality and to create local markets that will boost our local economies.

This year’s annual meeting of the Colorado Association for Recycling at Acreage Ciderhouse and Eatery in Lafayette focuses on these current issues by highlighting CAFR’s work to create local markets in Colorado.

The event September 11 from 12:00 PM to 4:30 PM, will begin with a networking meeting to discuss the operations and accomplishments of CAFR, registration required. At 3:00 PM the doors open to the public for “Recycling: The Real Answers” a presentation to unravel the confusion about what to recycle and what happens to recyclables after they go in the cart, along with other presentations about recycling activities happening around the state. Live music begins at 4:30 PM. Cider is on tap throughout the event.

Register for the 2018 Annual Meeting or learn more

The Colorado Association for Recycling’s annual meeting brings together more than 100 of the state’s recycling professionals, waste processors, manufacturers, government agencies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, consultants, and individuals learn about the many aspects of waste diversion and sustainable materials management. The 2018 Annual Meeting is sponsored by MillerCoors, Momentum Recycling, Rehrig Pacific Company and other organizations.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 25th, 2018.

CDPHE solicits views on construction and demolition waste in Colorado

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (“CDPHE”) is conducting a survey (link below) to evaluate stakeholder views on construction and demolition waste in Colorado.

The CDPHE seeks to conduct a state-wide study or publish additional information on the construction and demolition waste stream. To ensure state resources are used to produce valuable information, results from this survey will help define what kind of information is produced. Your responses to this survey are crucial and greatly appreciated.

This survey will close on Sunday, August 19th. Results will be communicated via email shortly after. If this survey was forwarded to you by another stakeholder, or if you feel you’re not a stakeholder, please email the contact below so the mailing list can be appropriately updated.

CDPHE Construction and demolition debris survey

Emily Wilson, MSES Environmental Protection Specialist
Materials Management Unit
303.692.3343 | emily.wilson@state.co.us

This entry was posted on Monday, July 23rd, 2018.

2017 Colorado recycling totals now available

2017 Colorado recycling totals now available

Click on the above image to download the PDF or access the document through CDPHE: https://environmentalrecords.colorado.gov/HPRMWebDrawerHM/RecordView/411895

Wolf Kray
Environmental Protection Specialist
Materials Management Unit
P 303-692-3337 | 4300 Cherry Creek Drive South, Denver, CO 80246
wolfgang.kray@state.co.us | www.colorado.gov/cdphe

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 26th, 2018.

News story covers CAFR’s Summit for Recycling

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 19th, 2018.

Gubernatorial candidates share vision for improving Colorado’s recycling rate

On Tuesday, June 5, at the Colorado Association for Recycling’s Summit for Recycling in Snowmass, Congressman Jared Polis (D) and representatives for former State Treasurer Cary Kennedy (D) and Lt. Governor Donna Lynne (D) discussed how they (or their candidate), if elected governor, would improve recycling. All candidates on the June 26th primary, including Republicans and Democrats, were invited to participate.

Polis, Kennedy and Lynne all want to work to make Colorado a leader in Recycling

Colorado currently only recycles and composts 12 percent of its waste compared to the national average of 34 percent. We are one of the most wasteful states in the country, producing more than 35 million pounds of trash every day (enough to fill one garbage truck every minute of every day).

Polis said, “We can do better.  I’ll make sure we catch up and surpass other states.”

State Senator Mike Merrifield representing Kennedy said, “Colorado should and could become a leader in recycling. We’re missing out on an opportunity.”

Former gubernatorial candidate Eric Underwood spoke on behalf of Lynne and said, “Donna wants to keep Colorado beautiful for generations to come. She has plans to support bag fees and conservation and recycling efforts in communities around the state.”

Candidates offered different approaches to increasing recycling in Colorado

Congressman Polis committed to working with the Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) to develop end markets. This is an important first step. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), the state is burying $265 million worth of recyclable material like aluminum, cardboard, paper and plastics in our landfills annually. That’s material that could be sold here in Colorado for a profit, instead of paying to have it landfilled. Across the country, recycling creates nine time more jobs per ton of waste than landfilling. Polis stated, “I want to make sure the state’s goal of recycling 45 percent of our waste by 2036 is a floor, not a ceiling.” He supports creating economic incentives over mandates to get the job done in a way that’s good for business and the environment. Polis stated he would make it a priority to provide matching funds for a western slope recycling facility. He stressed the need to develop statewide infrastructure to increase capacity. He would also create a senior level recycling coordinator position within his administration. He would build a task force to identify best practices to increase curbside recycling and determine funding and infrastructure and work with the legislature to get state matching funds.

Merrifield said Kennedy agrees with Polis on getting OEDIT to focus on building the recycling economy and suggested using grants and assistance to local communities. He went on to say that while the state has set concrete waste diversion goals, we don’t have statewide recycling legislation to reach those goals. He said as governor, Kennedy will build a coalition to meet these goals.  She would collaborate with stakeholders across the state and look to state agencies for leadership in making recycling and waste management a priority. She wants to use unique local solutions and create a statewide recycling strategy that makes recycling and composting easier for communities across the state.

Underwood stated that Lynne wants to work with the state legislature and communities to provide resources. She is interested in looking for ways the state government can support local businesses, like buying hemp paper made in state instead of traditional paper from out of state. She would like to do a review of where all the waste is in state government and start with procurement practices at the state.

Candidates make connection between waste and climate

The candidates also made the important link between waste and climate. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 42 percent of our greenhouse gases comes from our stuff, from the extraction of resources to make our stuff, to the manufacturing process, transportation and finally disposal of the products we use every day. Recycling reduces greenhouse gases by saving energy and composting eliminates the manufacturing of methane, a potent greenhouse gas in landfills.

The candidates were asked how the Governor’s office could help or be instrumental in expanding the use of compost as a soil amendment to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, which has been shown to be effective in research in California. Polis presented a specific plan, arguing that carbon pricing, charging emitters for the amount of carbon dioxide they produce, is the best tool to foster the use of carbon sequestration by creating a market value for carbon.  The representatives for Kennedy and Lynne thought they would be supportive of using compost for carbon sequestration.  ”We must recognize climate impacts. Recycling needs to be at the forefront of the climate discussion,” added Merrifield for Kennedy.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 12th, 2018.

The China Crisis – Whose Crisis is It?

From The National Recycling Coalition:

It is ours.  Recycled materials and trash should look very different from each other, but for years they have been converging in the U.S.  China has not been the creator of today’s crisis in the industry – U.S. mills have been complaining for years – but China’s recent embargo of U.S. recycling imports is shining a mirror on our recycling industry and providing a clear signal that we can no longer pretend diversion of waste into a recycling bin is recycling.

MRFs (Material Recovery Facilities) can produce quality materials out of both single stream and dual stream inputs, but not when 20+% of the input “recyclable” stream, in some cases, are not recyclables.  The plants are not built to handle those specs, and slower, cleaner processing has not historically been rewarded with higher market prices.  Now fast, dirty recycling is being punished with no markets.  Rightly so.  Clean material is a resource; dirty is not.  Clean recyclables have been the minority for years.

The good news and bad news is that customer enthusiasm for recycling is strong.  The public wants to recycle, but they express that enthusiasm by recycling materials that are not eligible.  A combination of “wishful recycling” and insufficient enforcement of quality is proving very damaging to the industry – abysmal and volatile markets, a dirty product that is not a reliable “commodity”, closed plants, and programs that are hurting economically.

The National Recycling Coalition, along with other major industry associations, is working aggressively in a new nationwide collaborative, to develop strategies to resolve some of these fundamental industry and market issues.

In the meantime, the National Recycling Coalition notes that it is important to remind your residential customers now that they should ONLY recycle the items on their LOCAL recyclables list. This is important for U.S. users of recycled materials, and the current China embargo makes this an opportune time for this reminder.  When in Doubt – throw it in the trash!

We cannot continue to act and behave as if business as usual will offer a solution to today’s issues. We must fundamentally shift how we speak to the public, how we collect and process our recyclables, and what our end markets accept and utilize to truly recycle.  The NRC is working through collaboratives, its series of Market Development Workshops, and Quarterly Market Calls to take steps to turn recycling into an industry with a quality product, but we all need to work together to meet the challenge.  It seems about time – or so the world is telling us.


If you would like more information about this topic, or NRC’s Series of Recycling Markets Development Workshops, or NRC’s Quarterly Market Calls, please call Marjorie Griek at 720/745-0966 or email marjie@nrcrecycles.org.  

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2018.

Congratulations to this year’s outstanding recyclers

The Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR) announces the recipients of the 2018 Recycling Awards. Winners were nominated by their industry peers in recognition of their contributions to or promotion of recycling and waste reduction.

The honorees:

  • Outstanding Business Recycling/Diversion Program
  • Outstanding Business Recycling/Diversion Program
    Let Em Have It Salon
  • Outstanding Government or Nonprofit Recycling/Diversion Program
    Eco-Cycle’s Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM)
  • Outstanding Outreach
    Eco-Cycle and CoPIRG
  • Outstanding Elected Official
    Dan Greenberg, Town of Lyons
  • Cara Russell Rising Star
    Jessica Lally, City and County of Denver
  • Mereth Meade Volunteer of the Year
    Laurie Batchelder Adams, LBA Associates
  • Recycler of the Year
    Melissa Kirr, Walking Mountains Science Center
  • Lifetime Achievement
    Anita Comer, Waste-Not Recycling

Read more about their accomplishments

This year’s awards highlight individuals who go out of their way to implement recycling in their communities, organizations that draw attention to Colorado’s need to improve recycling, and the unlimited dedication of volunteers to increase recycling and waste diversion.

The awards will be presented at the annual Recycling Awards Gala, Monday evening, June 4, at the Westin Snowmass Resort in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The Recycling Awards Gala is part of the Summit for Recycling conference, hosted by CAFR. The Summit for Recycling is designed to support recycling professionals with tools, resources, and information that will guide them in their efforts to advance recycling. The conference schedule is complete with workshops, panel discussions, exhibit hall, site tours, silent auction, and networking opportunities.

This entry was posted on Monday, May 7th, 2018.

HB18-1350 Machine Tool Sales Tax Exemption For Scrap Metal


View the Official Bill


05/04/2018 Senate Third Reading Passed – No Amendments




Purchases of machinery or machine tools to be used in Colorado directly and predominantly in manufacturing tangible personal property are currently exempt from state sales and use tax. Manufacturing is currently defined to include the processing of recovered materials. The bill expands the definition of recovered materials to include materials that have been derived from scrap metal or end-of-life-cycle metals for remanufacturing, reuse, or recycling into new metal stock that meets applicable standards for metal commodities sales.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

This entry was posted on Friday, May 4th, 2018.

SB18-187 Marijuana Waste Recycling


View the Official Bill


04/26/2018 Governor Signed




The bill gives the state licensing authority rule-making authority to address conditions under which a medical or retail marijuana licensee is authorized to transfer marijuana fibrous waste to a person for the purpose of producing only industrial fiber products.
(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 11th, 2018.

Colorado Springs Council leads the way with new regional focus for CAFR

In 2017 the Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR) underwent a transformative strategic planning process that resulted in a new vision and mission. CAFR is working towards becoming a truly state-wide organization that is mission driven to advance infrastructure, end markets and policy in waste reduction, recovery and diversion. Every community in Colorado has specific dynamics and needs. Realizing this, CAFR is developing regional councils to work on local issues across Colorado. In August of 2017, CAFR chose Colorado Springs as the first new regionally focused council.

To coordinate the effort, the new CAFR Colorado Springs Council selected Alicia Archibald from Bestway Recycling to act as council president. The selection of Archibald reflects the diverse nature of the council, which is comprised of civic leaders, environmental advocates and business representatives. “We believe recycling can benefit everyone in the community when recycling programs and initiatives are developed with input from a diverse set of perspectives,” said Archibald. Brandy Dietz, general manager for Colorado Industrial Recycling, was selected as vice president of the council. Dietz noted that several of the council members represent businesses that often compete for customers. “I think it shows the spirit of Colorado Springs.  Between the lines we may slug it out for customers, but our business leaders are always willing to work collaboratively when it comes to making the community better.”  Andy O’Riley, also with Colorado Industrial Recycling, serves as the council secretary and has been instrumental in securing media channels and generating attention to promote the work of the council.

All CAFR councils take on tangible, actionable and measurable projects that can be accomplished in 12 months. A work group is formed from the council membership and the members work on an ongoing basis on the project. The Colorado Springs Council decided to take on cardboard diversion by proposing an ordinance that would ban the commercial disposal of old corrugated cardboard (OCC). The council’s goal is to get the ordinance passed by the end of 2018.

Interested in leading a group in your area? Contact Laurie Johnson, CAFR executive director, at laurie@cafr.org.

This entry was posted on Friday, March 30th, 2018.

Recycling advocates defeat effort to repeal paint recycling program

Architectural Paint Stewardship Act survives repeal effort

To most observers, the Architectural Paint Stewardship Act is an example of a governmental initiative done right. The Act created a paint take-back program that incentivizes the responsible recycling of household hazardous waste, saves taxpayer money and provides low-cost, recycled paint to low-income families in Colorado. The program provides the win-win-win outcome that is often so elusive in today’s politics. Despite the benefits, the program was recently targeted for repeal. However, thanks to the advocacy of the program’s proponents, that repeal effort failed in the Colorado Senate.

The Paint Stewardship Program was originally proposed by the Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR) and was officially ratified by the Colorado Legislature in 2014. The program instituted a fee on the sale of new paint to help fund the costs associated with the ethical recycling of latex paint, a hazardous waste that can result in dire environmental and public health impacts when not properly managed. At the time it was proposed, the model for the program had already been proven successful in other states. PaintCare, a nonprofit organization, was chosen to oversee the program under the supervision of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. PaintCare currently works with 157 year-round drop-off sites and eight paint recyclers throughout the state.

“The paint stewardship model simply makes sense,” said CAFR Policy Vice President and Policy Committee Chair Randy Moorman. “It asks consumers to take responsibility for the full lifecycle of the paint they purchase, instead of just shifting that responsibility and cost to the taxpayer. If we are to have a state that utilizes our resources to the fullest, we need to tie our purchasing to the impacts of waste and support what is ultimately sustainable.”

By most measures, the Paint Stewardship Program has exceeded expectations. In just two years, the program collected 1.6 million gallons of paint. It also vastly expanded access to paint recycling in the state. Currently, 93 percent of Coloradans live within 15 miles of an authorized drop-off site. Furthermore, by assigning the financial burden of the program to the paint manufacturers and consumers, the program saves city and county governments the expense of recycling or disposing of this hazardous material. It is estimated that this saves the taxpayer approximately $6.8 million per year. The paint collected through the program provides a supply of discounted paint for economically disadvantaged property owners. Many of the participating paint recyclers have also donated significant amounts of recycled paint to nonprofits and local governments.

Despite these positive impacts, Senator Kevin Lundberg and Representative Kim Ransom recently proposed Senate Bill 18-045 to categorically disband the program. The justification given for the repeal centered on concern that the model negatively impacts the sale of new paint.

Moorman disagrees with this contention. “There is no evidence that the program has reduced paint sales. Colorado is one of eight states that have implemented the model. None of these states have experienced lower sales. In fact, overall paint sales have increased between two to three percent annually,” said Moorman. “We need smart government; we need policy proposals and decision making based upon data and evidence. In this case, the evidence clearly shows the overwhelming impacts of the program have been positive for Colorado. Let’s not mess with a good thing.”

In response to SB18-045, a coalition of program advocates came out against the repeal measure. Along with CAFR and PaintCare, Colorado Counties Incorporated, the Colorado Municipal League, Colorado Association of Public Health Officials and Conservation Colorado all spoke out to defeat the bill. In the end, the bill was successfully killed.

Waste diversion in Colorado currently lags far below the national average. “We need to look for ways to promote recycling and resource conservation, not sabotage our current efforts,” said CAFR Executive Director Laurie Johnson. “Thankfully, we had a number of organizations willing to speak out in defense of the Paint Stewardship Program. In the end I’m thankful our elected officials recognized its value to our state.”

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 1st, 2018.

HB18-1133 Marijuana Processor Registration


View the Official Bill


02/23/2018 House Committee on Agriculture, Livestock, & Natural Resources Postpone Indefinitely




The bill creates a registration in both the medical marijuana and retail marijuana codes for a fibrous waste recycling facility. A fibrous waste recycling facility takes marijuana waste and makes it int
o industrial products like rope, paper, and building material. The state licensing authority shall issue the registration to an applicant if the applicant demonstrates that its processes render the fibrous waste unusable as medical or retail marijuana.

This entry was posted on Saturday, February 24th, 2018.

SB18-045 Repeal Architectural Paint Stewardship Act


View the Official Bill


02/21/2018 Senate Second Reading Lost with Amendments – Committee




The bill repeals the “Architectural Paint Stewardship Act”, which act requires architectural paint producers to create paint stewardship programs for the recycling of architectural paint and to fund the paint stewardship programs by charging assessments on retailers and distributors, who are then required to add the amount of the assessments to the purchase price of containers of architectural paint sold in Colorado.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 21st, 2018.

Calling all college students! Apply for a conference scholarship to meet in Snowmass this summer

Are you planning to be a professional recycler in tomorrow’s workforce pursuing a college degree today?

The Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR) seeks candidates for its Future Leaders Program. This conference scholarship program provides funds for college students to attend the CAFR Summit for Recycling conference, June 3-5, 2018, in Snowmass Village, Colorado. The theme for the 29th annual professional conference is “Who needs China’s markets? Creating Solutions in Colorado.”

The conference agenda includes educational sessions, a variety of subject-matter experts, a business partner showcase, site tours, recycling awards, silent auction, and fun networking events. The Summit offers an excellent setting to network with private business, government, nonprofit and university representatives and learn about career opportunities in the recycling, materials management and sustainability fields. Registration, lodging, meals and a $50 travel stipend to attend the three-day conference will be awarded. Applicants must currently be attending a two- or four-year college or university in Colorado. Community college, undergraduate and graduate students may apply.

To Apply
Eligible students may visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/futureleaderprogram2018 to fill out the online application. Candidates studying environmental sciences, sustainability, biology, engineering, marketing or business programs, and related fields, are highly sought after. Responses are due no later than Friday, April 20, 2017, by 4:00 p.m. All applications will be reviewed by a panel of collegiate and industry representatives. Winners will be announced May 11, 2018.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 19th, 2018.

Letter from the CAFR president: Exciting new direction for CAFR in 2018

Dear CAFR Members,

On behalf of the board of directors we would like to say that 2018 is shaping up to be one of the most exciting years in CAFR’s history. After a four-month-long strategic planning process in 2017, we have identified ambitious goals and concrete actions CAFR can take to reach them. If you haven’t reviewed CAFR’s new strategic plan or our 2018 operating plan, I encourage you to do so. While a lot within our organizational structure is changing, I invite all of you to learn about the new exciting opportunities to get involved in the organization.

CAFR’s new mission is to build a statewide presence and establish CAFR as the go-to agency for advancing infrastructure, end markets and policies in waste reduction, recovery and diversion. All the actions CAFR undertakes in 2018 will be mission-driven. As our executive director likes to say, everything we do will be “tangible, actionable and measurable.” We hope this new strategy will not only help us progress recycling across the state but also increase the value you find in your membership. Here are a few ways you can get involved in CAFR’s renewed mission and get the most from your membership in 2018:

2018 Summit for Recycling: “Who needs China’s markets? Creating solutions in Colorado”

CAFR recognizes the challenges and opportunities China’s increased quality standards will pose to Colorado’s recycling industry. Through focused round-table sessions, 2018 Summit for Recycling attendees will be actively involved in creating solutions and end-markets to boost Colorado’s circular economy. We will explore advancements in infrastructure, end-market development and policies in waste reduction, recovery and diversion. Join hundreds of industry, government, business and non-profit organizations to tackle head-on many of the challenges facing the state of recycling at this year’s Summit, June 3-5. Super early-bird registration rates expire March 9.

Join a Regional Council or Subject-Matter Council

Regional and subject-matter councils provide an avenue for members to work together to increase recycling in a region or sector. These councils provide an avenue to ensure CAFR represents the entire state. This can include local policy, infrastructure and access to materials end markets. In 2017, CAFR launched the Colorado Springs Council and re-launched the Colorado Composting Council. CAFR is kicking off 2018 with the launch of the Western Slope Council. Stay tuned and get involved! CAFR is committed to launching at least two new regional councils in 2018!

Keep an Eye Open for Action-Oriented Events & Projects

In order to lead projects and develop material collection or processing infrastructure and end markets, CAFR will continue to host round tables, from which come action groups that work on one specific task for 12 months. We hope round tables, task forces and webinars will organize and drive new ideas and best practices in Colorado by connecting members with each other. If you are interested in helping CAFR develop these round tables and other events, reach out to us!

As members of CAFR, we all have the exciting and tremendous opportunity to the economic and environmental vitality of our state. We ask you to join us as we strive to achieve the goals outlined in our strategic plan. Any members with questions regarding this new chapter in our organization are invited to contact me or any board member directly to learn more.

Megan Lane
CAFR President

This entry was posted on Wednesday, February 7th, 2018.

HB18-1054 Affordable Housing Plastic Shopping Bag Tax


View the Official Bill


01/31/2018 House Committee on Local Government Postpone Indefinitely




Contingent on prior voter approval, if a store that meets certain criteria provides any plastic shopping bags to a customer, then the store is required to collect a tax of 25 cents from the customer. The tax is the same regardless of the number of bags provided as part of a transaction, but does not apply if the customer is enrolled in the federal supplemental nutrition assistance program. The store is required to remit the tax revenue to the department of revenue (department) after keeping 1% of
the taxes to cover the store’s collection and remittance expenses. The department may require a store to make returns and payments electronically.

To comply with the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR), a ballot issue about the plastic shopping bag tax is referred to the voters at the November 2018 election. If the voters reject the tax, then the entire article containing the tax is repealed. If the voters approve the tax, then the tax will be imposed beginning January 1, 2019.

The tax revenue is deposited in the general fund via the old age pension fund. Then, an amount equal to the department’s administrative expenses is transferred to the newly created plastic shopping bag tax
administration cash fund and the remainder of the tax revenue is deposited in the housing development grant fund. The division of housing in the department of local affairs is required to use the money in the housing development grant fund for the existing purposes of the fund, which is to improve, preserve, or expand the supply of affordable housing in Colorado.

This entry was posted on Thursday, February 1st, 2018.

CAFR announces keynote speaker for the 2018 Summit for Recycling

Daniel J. Domonoske, executive vice president of Potential Industries, Inc., will be the keynote speaker at the 29th annual Summit for Recycling conference. Dan will address this year’s theme, “Who needs China’s markets? Creating solutions in Colorado,” by explaining the real impact of what’s going on in China and describing what Colorado needs to do to adjust and to attract end markets.

The conference will be hosted at the Westin Snowmass Resort in Snowmass Village, Colo., June 3-5. The Summit for Recycling is a dynamic conference and exhibition that brings together the state’s recycling professionals and individuals dedicated to the principles of recycling, waste prevention and composting.

The potential upheaval in global recycling markets presented by China’s “National Sword” program is an opportunity for the U.S. and Colorado recyclers to improve their material quality and to create local markets that will boost our local economies. Through plenary sessions and focused round-table sessions, conference attendees will be actively explore advancements in infrastructure, end-market development, and policies in waste reduction, recovery, and diversion.

Dan Domonoske has more than 30 years of experience in recycling. Dan lived in China for a year, was part of a joint venture that owned and operated a newsprint and tissue mill in China and has travelled to China extensively in the last 20 years. With Potential Industries, Dan has been in the business of closing the loop through all aspects of recycling including sorting-processing at their regional Material Recovery Facility (MRF), municipal operating and marketing contracts, trans-loading, exporting, transfer station and traditional recycling. Dan has a BS in Economics, a Masters in International Business Management and a PhD in Environmental Policy. As a skier and former CO resident, Dan is no stranger to Colorado or to the Snowmass area.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 26th, 2018.

CAFR opposes SB18-45, the Repeal Architectural Paint Stewardship Act

The Colorado Association for Recycling published two fact sheets to support opposition to SB18-45, the Repeal Architectural Paint Stewardship Act. Repealing the act would eliminate a beneficial paint recycling program that saves taxpayer money and protects the environment.

In 2014 the state legislature passed the Architectural Paint Stewardship Act that added a fee for recycling paint to the cost of paint. The fee ranges from $0.35/pint to $1.60/five gallons. The fee is used by PaintCare, a non-profit organization set up by paint manufacturers, to create free paint recycling sites across the state. This greatly reduced the costs to local governments who were previously using taxpayer money to fund programs. The cost of properly disposing of and recycling the paint is now placed on the consumer, rather than the taxpayer.

Repealing the Architectural Paint Stewardship Act, SB-45 would cost cities and counties more money by eliminating the current funding mechanism for recycling paint, potentially more than $6.8 million per year.

The Architectural Paint Stewardship Act is a Colorado success story! The law promotes the recycling of paint, a household hazardous waste. Today, the program collects and recycles 60,000 gallons of paint per month and has collected 1.6 million gallons since its start in 2015. The law makes recycling paint easy for consumers. PaintCare has established 157 year-round drop-off sites. More than 93% of Colorado residents have a drop-off site within 15 miles. PaintCare is now focusing on expanding its drop-off sites to more rural and under-served areas.

Read the SB18-45 Fact Sheet (PDF) and SB18-45 Financial Impact (PDF) for more information.


This entry was posted on Thursday, January 25th, 2018.

Sector representatives are CAFR members’ link to the Policy Committee

CAFR members with questions about the Policy Committee or current legislation can contact their respective Policy Committee sector representative.

Sector Representative List and Contact Information (PDF)

Front Range:

  • Randy Moorman (non-profit, Boulder County)
  • Laurie Batchelder Adams (consultant, rural)
  • Gary Grewal (non-recycle business, Denver)
  • Bryce Iasaacson (hauler, Boulder County)
  • Jim Noon (processor, Denver)
  • Charlotte Pitt (local government, Denver)
  • Honore Depew (local government, Fort Collins)


  • Sarah Jones (non-profit, Routt County)
  • Alyssa Reindel (hauler, Pitkin and Garfield counties)

Eastern Colorado:

  • Reva Phillips (non-profit, southeast)

Western Colorado:

  • Kris Holstrom (local government, San Miguel County)
  • Barrett Jensen (local government, landfill, Mesa County)

Southern Colorado:

  • Christy Patterson (local government, hauler, Custer County)


  • David Fridland (compost product business)

This entry was posted on Friday, January 19th, 2018.

Rebranding Name Decriptions

Circular Colorado or Closed Loop Colorado – To expand beyond just recycling and align with the organization’s vision and mission of becoming a true national leader in waste reduction, recovery and diversion. The name strives to encompass the broad focus outlined in the C.A.F.R. strategic plan and support efforts to “close the loop” and build circular economies in Colorado by focusing on the development of local infrastructure, end-markets and policy.

Recycle Colorado – This name strives for simplicity. This name hopes that the average person will instantaneously recognize the word recycling and associate the term recycling with all forms of waste diversion, reduction and processing as recycling. This name also recognizes the history of C.A.F.R. and helps maintain a connection with the roots of the organization. Depending on how this name is used it can serve as a call to action and engagement for members and potential members.

Re:Cycle Colorado – Pronounced “recycle Colorado” this name strives for simplicity and a connection to the organization’s roots and history with recycling. Re: meaning “regarding” the cycle refers to closing the waste loop and shows that the circular economy is a priority for the organization through a play on words. It can also be used to brand different round tables/working groups (Re:Glass, Re:E-Waste, Re:Cannabis, etc).

Zero Waste Colorado – This name is a clear and concise statement of the ultimate goals of the organization’s efforts. It is inclusive of efforts beyond recycling and can incorporate aspects of a closed loop or circular economy. Much like Recycle Colorado it is welcoming of members across all markets and interests and unites members in a larger common cause.

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 7th, 2018.

In the News: Colorado Springs chosen for pilot recycling program

From The Gazette – December 10, 2017:

Colorado’s recycling rates lag far behind the national average and even further behind states with a progressive environmental agenda, a report shows.

“Colorado likes to say it’s a green, environmentally conscious state, but it’s pretty dirty when it comes to waste,” said Laurie Johnson, executive director of the nonprofit Colorado Association for Recycling.

Only 12 percent of waste produced in the state is recycled, compared with the national average of 34 percent, says the report by Eco-Cycle and the Colorado Public Interest Research Group.

Read the complete article

This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 12th, 2017.

Thank you Colorado Gives Day donors

Our sincere thanks to the individuals who contributed to the Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR) for Colorado Gives Day. We are continually humbled and inspired by everyone’s generosity.

Where Do You Recycle?
When making a commitment to recycle, actions speak louder than words, and it’s important to know not only what you can recycle, but where you can recycle. Do you recycle at home? At work or school? On the go? CAFR helps recycling programs and businesses get started and grow across Colorado. Our members come from 65 cities and more than 30 Colorado counties, increasing the likelihood that you can recycle where you walk, hike, live, work and visit.

CAFR is the only statewide recycling coalition specifically working to transform Colorado into a national leader in waste reduction, recovery, and diversion. Your contributions will help us advance infrastructure, end markets, and state and local policies in 2018.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 6th, 2017.

Green Up Our Schools

Green Up Our Schools is a grant program that supports elementary school waste reduction & recycling programs.

Schools accepted into the program receive $2,000 over 3 years, personalized assistance achieving their goals, and support from our partners and local member schools.


This entry was posted on Tuesday, December 5th, 2017.

Support recycling across our state this Colorado Gives Day

Support Recycling on Colorado Gives Day

The Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR) is the only statewide recycling organization specifically working to advance and improve recycling opportunities in our beautiful state.

In honor of Colorado Gives Day, consider a monetary gift to CAFR. You don’t have to wait for December 5, donate today.

WHERE Do You Recycle?

When making a commitment to recycle, actions speak louder than words, and it’s important to know not only what you can recycle, but where you can recycle. Do you recycle at home? At work or school? On the go?

CAFR helps recycling programs and businesses get started and grow across Colorado. Our members come from 65 cities and more than 30 Colorado counties, increasing the likelihood that you can recycle where you walk, hike, live, work and visit.

Our recent successes:

  • Coordinated the annual recycling poster contest for K-12 students that resulted this year in the video “Where Do You Recycle?
  • Helped pass the law to divert electronic waste from Colorado landfills.
  • Led the effort to establish statewide rebates and grants for recycling projects.
  • Spearheaded the legislation that allows all Colorado residents access to paint recycling.

The benefits of reducing, reusing and recycling materials in Colorado are many … land protection, job creation, growth in the local economy, cleaner communities and more. Please donate to CAFR today, and help sustain and expand opportunities for programs that support recycling in 2018.

Where can you support recycling? Here and now. You don’t have to wait until December 5, donate now.

This entry was posted on Monday, November 27th, 2017.

Election Results: CAFR Board of Directors

Congratulations to the following candidates who were elected to the CAFR Board of Directors for a three-year term. Re-elected to the Board were Brandy Dietz of Colorado Industrial Recycling and Megan Lane with the City and County of Denver. New to the Board are Mark Diggins of MillerCoors – Rocky Mountain Bottle Company, Mark Hoblitzell with the Town of Vail and Barrett Jensen with Mesa County Solid Waste.

Brandy Dietz
Colorado Industrial Recycling
Colorado Springs, CO
Mark Diggins
MillerCoors – Rocky Mountain Bottle Company
Golden, CO
Mark Hoblitzell
Town of Vail
Vail, CO
Barrett Jensen
Mesa County Solid Waste
Grand Junction, CO
Megan Lane
City and County of Denver
Denver, CO

They will join current board members Chris Berry of Republic Services, Tim Dailey of Waste-Not Recycling, Juri Freeman of RRS, Clifford Henry of Yuma County Sanitary Landfill, Eric Heyboer with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Beth Lenz of Upper Arkansas Recycling, Caroline Mitchell with the City of Fort Collins, Randy Moorman of Eco-Cycle, Lisa Skumatz of Skumatz Economic Research Associates and Jerry Williams with Denver International Airport.

The first Board meeting for the 2018 Board of Directors, including newly elected Board members, will be in January. CAFR Board of Directors meetings are open to the public; members are encouraged to participate.

Read more information about the election process and more about the elected candidates. Thank you to all of the candidates who ran for election.

If you have any questions about this year’s election process, please contact Nominating Committee Chair Beth Lenz or CAFR Executive Director Laurie Johnson at 720-839-9531.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 21st, 2017.

Colorado Chapter hosts Compost Operations Training Course

It turns out composters love to come to Colorado in the fall! From October 30 to November 3, the Composting Council Research and Education Foundation conducted one of its five-day Compost Operations Training Courses in Fort Collins, hosted by the Colorado Composting Council and Colorado State University. “We’ve been doing these classes three or four times a year since 2010, and this was the fastest sell-out we’ve ever had,” exclaimed Cary Oshins, CCREF director of education and lead organizer of the courses. “We had 35 people attend, coming from 20 different states. And that might also be a record!”

“We were fortunate to have the strong support of A1 Organics,” he continued. “They not only sponsored the class, sent two of their employees and hosted a stop on the field trip, but four of their officers participated as instructors or panelists, helping the class understand composting equipment (Kent Pendley), the benefits of compost (Bob Yost), how to market compost (Andy Roth), and facility operations (Kent and Travis Bahnsen).”

The course covers basic principles, site management, environmental protection, and product quality, among other topics relevant to operating a modern compost facility. The attendees came from diverse backgrounds, including those handling yard debris, food scraps, biosolids and manures, from a few 1,000 tons per year to hundreds of tons per day. Information on the course, and upcoming classes, can be found at http://compostfoundation.org/Education/COTC.

The CCREF thanks the national sponsors, Komptech, Reotemp and Soil Control Lab, plus the local sponsors, Ecoverse and A1Organics. The CCREF has a new policy that half the local sponsorship money gets returned to the state chapter of the USCC, so this class will result in $2,000 income to the COCC.

We fully expect to be back in Colorado in two or three years, so if you missed this one we hope to see you next time!

This entry was posted on Monday, November 20th, 2017.

New report compares recycling rates across Colorado

Colorado may have a green reputation, but when it comes to trash, the truth is that our state is one of the most wasteful in the nation. Colorado recycles only 12% of its waste, much less than the national average of 34%.

With new statewide goals in place to increase recycling, Eco-Cycle and CoPIRG took a look at recycling rates in cities and counties across the state and published the first-ever The State of Recycling in Colorado report. The report finds only 18 Front Range cities track their recycling data while nearly half of counties have measured their diversion. The City of Loveland came out on top with the best residential recycling rate at 61%.

The report also recommends five action steps to help Colorado improve recycling and meet the new statewide recycling goals. These include collecting data in every community, expanding curbside recycling for all Front Range residents, investing in more composting infrastructure and programs, establishing financial incentives such as volume-based pricing, and expanding recycling to businesses and apartments.

See how your community stacks up and read the report at www.ecocycle.org/zerowastecolorado.

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 16th, 2017.

Watch and share CAFR’s new recycling video

November 15, America Recycles Day

Where Do You Recycle?

Help promote America Recycles Day, November 15. Share CAFR’s new video that recognizes the winners of CAFR’s poster contest. Use the video on your website or Facebook pages, share with your local TV stations and more. Show your pride in being a member of CAFR and celebrate America Recycles Day.


America Recycles Day (ARD) has been the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States since 1997. Every year on and around Nov. 15, thousands of local event organizers mobilize throughout their community to educate millions of people about recycling within their communities.

Plan your own ARD event by taking advantage of the tools and resources available to make event planning easy and successful. Once planned, register your event here – this allows your event to become part of the national network of America Recycles Day events!

Additionally, you can encourage your networks to take the #BeRecycled Pledge, which is a promise to actively choose to live a recycled lifestyle by committing to “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” in all aspects of daily life. This includes:

  • Recycling at home, work/school and on-the-go;
  • Buying products made with recycled content; and
  • Educating and encouraging friends, family and neighbors to take the #BeRecycled Pledge.

Learn more about America Recycles Day.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 13th, 2017.

Register for Recycle-Bowl and America Recycles Day! 

The 2017-2018 school year is off and running … and the time has come to register for Recycle-Bowl, Keep America Beautiful’s K-12 recycling competition. Registration is open until Friday, Oct. 13.

Participation in Recycle-Bowl is a great way for students and community members to receive experiential education about recycling. We have educational resources, in addition to fact sheets to help make recycling fun and interesting. If your local school isn’t involved, encourage them to participate by sharing these “5 Simple Steps to Compete in Recycle-Bowl.”

New this year! Recycle-Bowl is partnering with PepsiCo, a Presenting Sponsor, to offer participants the opportunity to concurrently sign up for PepsiCo’s Recycle Rally program.

Keep America Beautiful’s America Recycles Day, which takes place on (and in the weeks leading into) Nov. 15, is a nationally recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling. With less than two months to go, we’d love to see what you’re planning for this year’s ARD! Be sure to tag us (Facebook and Twitter) and use #BeRecycled! Don’t forget to register your America Recycles Day event — or Pledge to Recycle — so you can officially be considered a part of the national celebration.

This entry was posted on Friday, September 22nd, 2017.

CDPHE accepting applications for Pollution Prevention Advisory Board Assistance Committee

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is currently seeking applicants who have experience working in Colorado’s recycling, composting, and/or reuse industries to fill a vacant seat on the Pollution Prevention Advisory Board Assistance Committee. This committee is tasked with oversight of the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) Fund, advising the department on the administration of this Fund’s grant and rebate programs.

Due to the committee’s membership requirements as prescribed in statute, the seat that is available can be filled only by an individual who is employed by or has the ability to represent a for-profit business or nonprofit organization, and is registered to vote with the Republican Party, or as an unaffiliated voter. (The committee has reached the maximum number of Democratic Party members allowable by statute).The selected applicant will serve out the remaining term of the seat being filled through August 1, 2021. Selected applicants will have the option to re-apply as an incumbent for up to three consecutive four-year terms. All committee members are appointed by the Executive Director of the department through a competitive selection process.

Note that being a member of this committee does not preclude your business or organization from applying for future grant or rebate opportunities through the RREO program.

Applications are due on or before October 6, 2017. For details, contact Eric Heyboer, RREO Program Administrator, at 303-691-4955 or via email at cdphe.ppp2@state.co.us.

Help shape the future of the RREO Program and apply today!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 20th, 2017.

Register now for CAFR’s 2017 Annual Meeting

2017 Annual Meeting
October 4, 2017
9:00 AM to 2:30 PM
Great Wolf Lodge
9494 Federal Drive
Colorado Springs, CO 80921

Register Now

This annual event is a networking meeting for CAFR members and people interested in recycling. Learn about what’s going on in recycling in Colorado and the recent activities and accomplishments of CAFR.

Agenda and registration information

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 13th, 2017.

Crush It Crusade Grant

Does your community or local organization need help kick starting a recycling program? Get on it and apply for a Crush it Crusade recycling grant today through the CAN’d Aid Foundation.  This grant program provides ZeroHero recycling tents, training on sustainable waste management and enough funds to get your recycling program rolling.

Learn more at candaid.org/crush-crusade-overview

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 23rd, 2017.

CAFR Board of Directors supports newly established statewide diversion and recycling goals

After approval by the Board of Directors, CAFR President Juri Freeman sent a letter to the Colorado Solid and Hazardous Waste Commission Monday, August 14, in support of the  adoption of diversion and recycling goals as well as tracking progress toward achieving the adopted goals in the state of Colorado.

In the letter Freeman said, “Setting goals and tracking achievement is a best management practice in waste diversion. We support setting different goals for different parts of our state that have different challenges. Since CDPHE does not currently have robust data to accurately determine diversion rates, we recognize it is a challenge to set these goals. We therefore feel it is important that CDPHE work to collect more robust data and re-evaluate these goals on a yearly basis to ensure that the goals are realistically and economically achievable in all parts of the state. Additionally, we would like to see a viable plan presented to meet these goals.

“CAFR would like to encourage CDPHE to provide support, whether through technical guidance, additional grant dollars, or other options, to Colorado communities for both achieving goals as well as tracking data. We would also recommend that CDPHE continue their robust stakeholder process as the state looks towards implementation of the Integrated Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan.”

The Colorado Solid and Hazardous Waste Commission approved statewide waste diversion goals on August 15, aiming to increase the amount of waste diverted from landfills by recycling and composting over the next 20 years.

In 2016, Colorado’s waste diversion rate was only 19 percent — well below the national average of 35 percent. When scrap metal recycling is excluded, Colorado’s waste diversion rate falls to 12 percent. The new goals challenge Colorado to meet the national average for waste diversion by 2026 and to match the current diversion rate of the best-performing states—around 45 percent—by 2036.

The Integrated Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan, completed by industry experts in 2016, estimated the value of recyclable material being landfilled annually in Colorado at nearly $267 million.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 15th, 2017.

Learn what it takes to run a successful composting facility during the Compost Operations Training Course, October 30-November 3

The Composting Council Research and Education Foundation (CCREF), working with experts from programs across the country, is offering a week-long course focusing on the knowledge and skills you need to do just that. Whether you’re just getting started or been at it for a while, this is the class for you. You’ll not only hear lectures from top experts, you’ll get to practice what you learn through indoor and outdoor activities. You’ll also visit local facilities and see how the theory gets put into practice.

Learn more

Register now

This entry was posted on Tuesday, August 8th, 2017.

Be a member of the Policy Committee, represent your sector under the new committee structure

Hello CAFR members!

As Chair of the CAFR Policy Committee and member of the Board of Directors, I’d like you to consider a great opportunity. We have restructured the Policy Committee and are asking members to consider becoming a member of the committee with a term that runs from August 2017 – December 2018. We are looking for 12 to 13 members from different sectors of our CAFR membership who will take on different tasks during the year collaborating with other members of the committee. During each call we will report on our different tasks.

The commitment level of a committee member includes:

  • Actively participating in the monthly Policy calls.
  • Participating in a meeting at the CAFR Summit for Recycling; an annual policy planning retreat and lobby day at the capitol.
  • Communicating with other members of his or her sector (i.e. haulers, local government, non-profits) on policy developments and to gather feedback.

We had a great Policy Committee Retreat on July 19 where we approved trying the
new structure (PDF) and started creating policy goals for the coming one to three years. The proposed policy priorities were:

  1. Educating state gubernatorial and legislative candidates, local elected officials and industry stakeholders through a white paper on our positions on state and local diversion, meetings, and a survey of candidates;
  2. Working to secure funding for statewide landfill compliance and data collection;
  3. Influencing the implementation of the state’s Integrated Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan;
  4. Supporting state and local market development.

The Policy Committee has been a very active committee and an important part of CAFR’s work. If you like engaging with other CAFR members on a regular basis, discussing policies to move our state forward in recycling, composting and sustainable materials management, than this committee is for you!

If you are interested in participating as a Policy Committee member, please contact me, Randy Moorman at randy@ecocycle.org by Monday, August 14, 2017. In your communication, please tell us about your interest in serving on the Policy Committee. To achieve a balanced representation of the different sectors, there is the possibility that not everyone who wants to serve will be able to for the August 2017-December 2018 time period. All CAFR members are always welcome to join the committee’s monthly calls and stakeholder meetings (as described in the attached document).

I look forward to hearing from you!

Randy Moorman
Director of Community Campaigns
Eco-Cycle, Inc. | Boulder, CO USA
T: 303.444.6634 ext. 131

This entry was posted on Monday, August 7th, 2017.

Recycling rebates available for free public recycling drop-off sites

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment requests applications from entities wishing to claim a rebate from the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) Fund. More information about the rebate program, as well as the rebate application, can be found on the CDPHE website.

Applications are due Thursday, August 31, at 3:00 PM.

The total dollar amount for the rebate period covering July 1, 2016 through June 30, 2017 is $350,000.

Please direct questions or comments via email to cdphe.ppp2@state.co.us or by telephone to 303-692-3641 or 303-691-4955.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, August 2nd, 2017.

Requiem for a digester

From Boulder Weekly – June 15, 2017:

By Christi Turner

Billions of microbes, and a $100 million waste-to-energy project, quietly dying

Bob Yost stands beside windrows of finished compost, one of the by-products of the Heartland anaerobic digester facility. The large domed digestion tanks stand in the background.

Neat rows of tanks, each with a capacity of 1.7 million gallons, tower above the plains. Three lagoons border the site to the west and north. Pipes of various sizes interconnect the tanks, along with the intake facility, unseen underground pipes, a tapered smaller tank, compressors and other mechanisms, creating a single organism. An unassuming rectangular building, small beside the tanks, houses the control room that oversees the entire site. To the far northern end is one last pipe, which connects to an interstate gas pipeline.

We’re in LaSalle, 60 miles northeast of Boulder in Weld County, the heart of the state’s oil and gas production. But this isn’t another oil and gas site: it’s an anaerobic digester. With its six “bioreactor” tanks, the facility is capable of turning vast amounts of agricultural and food waste into biomethane, a win for both waste diversion and renewable energy. It’s the only facility of its kind in Colorado, and the largest in North America.

Read the complete article

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 22nd, 2017.

Is policy important to you and your organization? CAFR members are invited to attend the Policy Committee Retreat July 19

The last year saw some big opportunities for recycling policy at the state level but also underscored the challenges and level of effort needed by CAFR to propose state-wide legislation. On Wednesday, July 19, CAFR will host our annual Policy Retreat. The retreat is an important event for the organization as it helps to set the tone for the year’s policy activities. This year’s event is especially meaningful because the input gathered during the meeting will feed directly into CAFR’s 2018–2020 Strategic Plan. Some of the questions we will be looking to address at the retreat include:

  • What are CAFR’s policy objectives and activities for the near- and mid-term period?
  • What can CAFR and the Policy Committee do to directly assist in the increase of waste reduction and diversion statewide especially for the 2018 election year which will hold critical opportunities in the legislature and Governor’s Office?
  • What is the long-term role for CAFR in supporting recycling-related policy in Colorado?

For the last three years CAFR has had a long-term contract with a professional lobbyist. The lobbyist contract expires in June 2017. The Board has opted to not enter into a new contract for the remainder of the year. The decision was based on two main criteria: 1) We felt it was prudent to wait until our policy retreat and strategic planning activities were complete. The strategic plan will chart our future policy activities including how to approach a new lobbyist agreement. 2) The organization is working to minimize expenses while we focus on membership growth and value. Waiting to enter into a new contract will save the organization more than $10,000 in 2017.

The policy retreat is open to all CAFR members and our soon-to-be-formed Strategic Planning Committee will also be asking for input from all members. If policy is important to you and your organization, please try to attend the retreat and help shape the future of CAFR. If you can’t make the retreat, talk to a board member or the executive director at the Summit, call or email the board, or participate in the strategic planning discussion. Your input is necessary to make sure the organization best represents you!

Policy Retreat:

  • Date: Wednesday July 19, 2017
  • Time: 9 AM – 2 PM
  • Location: Denver metro location TBA

For more information or to sign up for the retreat, contact any of the Policy Committee co-chairs: Laurie Batchelder Adams (laurie@lbaassoc.com), Randy Moorman (Randy@ecocycle.org) or Jessie Burley (jessie@highcountryconservation.org).

This entry was posted on Tuesday, June 20th, 2017.

National Recycling Coalition supports federal expansion of America’s recycling infrastructure

June 16, 2017  by Bob Gedert, President, National Recycling Coalition and the NRC Board of Directors – on behalf of the NRC members

In the President’s proposed fiscal 2018 budget, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) annual budget allocation is proposed to be cut by one third. This cut would result in the elimination of over 50 programs and 3,200 jobs. Two of the programs proposed to be eliminated include the Sustainable Materials Management program and the Waste Reduction Model. Eliminating these programs will likely reduce critical support of the American recycling industry and negatively impact the American economy.

According to a recent statement from Ron Gonen of Closed Loop Partners, “These EPA programs analyze the way we consume, use and reuse materials and solid waste, providing tools and guidelines for industry, private companies and elected officials. The materials management and waste reduction programs guide investments into recycling facilities that sort and process material, and manufacturing infrastructure that utilizes these materials to make new products here at home – creating jobs in the process.”

It is disappointing to see proposed federal disinvestment in the recycling industry considering the jobs and opportunities recycling bring to our country, and the fact that the recycling industry is as large as the automobile industry. Infrastructure expansion into the recycling industry will bring new living wage jobs along with opportunities for the advent of new technologies in renewable energy and help businesses save money by being more efficient and reducing wasting.

One potential silver lining of the President’s budget proposal is new funding to support infrastructure redevelopment. Recently, the President toured the country announcing new transportation infrastructure funding for the airline industry, for the inland waterway transportation network, for dams and levee reconstruction, and for the federal highway system. The announcements throughout the “Infrastructure Week” outlined a series of proactive funding approaches aimed at revitalizing America’s decaying infrastructure.

The National Recycling Coalition (NRC) strongly supports efforts to invest and improve our country’s aging infrastructure. The recycling industry particularly needs a 21st-century transportation system to efficiently transport raw materials and feedstocks to manufacturers throughout the nation and the globe, including increased capacity and investment in all modes of transportation, covering rail, surface, and waterways. All infrastructure projects could generate far more jobs from the reuse and recycling of buildings and roads and the use of recycled and recyclable materials wherever economically and technologically possible (e.g., use of rubberized asphalt in road construction and use of rebar from ferrous scrap).

NRC also believes that investing in American recycling infrastructure would provide an excellent return on investment and leveraging of federal funds. Support of American recycling infrastructure would enable America to bring home recycling jobs from overseas, and dramatically expand the three-quarters of a million jobs and tens of billions of dollars already occurring in economic activity. Instead of shipping nearly half of all recovered recyclables to overseas markets, a refreshed recycling infrastructure will support new American end markets, manufacturers, and businesses creating closed loop material streams and lower transportation costs.

Today’s rapidly evolving waste stream requires an upgraded recycling infrastructure from collection to processing to manufacturing. Recycling industry experts note that the “evolving ton” reflects the light-weighting of plastic containers (PET), a significant reduction in newsprint (ONP) in the consumer stream, and a significant uptick in old corrugated containers (OCC) known as the “Amazon Effect” due to internet sales to home delivery. Single-stream material recovery facilities (MRFs) that service residential communities were not designed for these consumer shifts and are in need of redesign and expanded capacity. End-users and remanufactures also need to reflect these consumer shifts. The “evolving ton” creates pressure points throughout the value chain from consumer product redesign and sales all the way through the recycling system, requiring a full upscaling of the American recycling infrastructure.

The National Recycling Coalition urges citizens to contact your local Congressional Representative as the Federal Budget is debated and revised this summer, asking for support of the USEPA budget, as well as new infrastructure support for the American recycling system.

Investing in America’s recycling infrastructure is an investment in American jobs, in the American economy, and in reducing costs for businesses that will provide an excellent return for the investment of federal funds.

The National Recycling Coalition is a non-profit organization that is focused on the promotion and enhancement of recycling in the United States. We are 23-affiliated recycling organizations strong, and have a network of more than 6,000 members that extends across waste reduction, reuse, recycling, and composting. The organization works to maintain a prosperous and productive recycling system that is committed to the conservation of natural resources, as well as accelerate sustainable approaches to the management of discarded materials.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 19th, 2017.

Student artwork answers the question “Where do you recycle?”

Student Winners of Statewide Recycling Poster Contest Announced

Winners of the Colorado Association for Recycling’s 11th annual recycling poster contest were announced today. The contest allowed students to showcase their artistic talent as well as their commitment to recycling. See the list of winners and their artwork.

This year’s grand-prize winner, Alivia Eikenberg from from Timber Trail Elementary in Castle Rock, chose to draw examples of all the places she could recycle: at home, at the beach, at school, at her friend’s house, at church, and even at the Eiffel Tower. “The judges liked the bright colors and clear examples in her artwork,” said Laurie Johnson, CAFR executive director.

There are many reasons to recycle, like saving resources, reducing pollution and creating a better planet. No matter where you recycle, putting materials in the recycling bin is just the first in a series of steps that generates a host of financial, environmental, and social returns. Some of these benefits happen locally as well as globally.

More than 20 schools participated in the contest. Each school selected its best artwork and submitted it to the statewide competition. Ten winners were selected from more than 150 entries. The posters were grouped into five grade categories, and a first- and second-place winner were awarded in each category.

This year’s winners came from Aurora, Castle Rock, Greenwood Village, Pueblo West, Rifle, Breckenridge, and Boulder. See the list of winners and their artwork.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 9th, 2017.

Congratulations to the 2017 Recycling Award recipients


The Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR) announces the recipients of the 2017 Recycling Awards. Winners were nominated by their industry peers in recognition of their contributions to or promotion of recycling and waste reduction.

The honorees:

  • Outstanding Business Recycling/Diversion Program
    Arapahoe Basin
  • Outstanding Government or Nonprofit Recycling/Diversion Program
    Four Corners Recycling Initiative
  • Outstanding Media Coverage
    Kevin Fixler, Summit Daily News
  • Outstanding Elected Official
    Jolon Clark, City and County of Denver
  • Cara Russell Rising Star
    Megan Lane, City and County of Denver
  • Mereth Meade Volunteer of the Year
    Russ Callas, resident of Boulder
  • Recycler of the Year
    Dani Orth, Alliance for Sustainable Colorado
  • Recycler of the Year
    Nick Beni, Spark Fun Electronics
  • Lifetime Achievement
    Susie Gordon, City of Fort Collins

This year’s awards highlight individuals who go out of their way to implement recycling in their offices and warehouses, media coverage that helped save a community’s access to recycling, and the unlimited dedication of volunteers to increase recycling and waste diversion. The Outstanding Government or Nonprofit Recycling Award is presented to the Four Corners Recycling Initiative (FCRI) for sustaining a recycling system for Montezuma County and the surrounding region since 2007. FCRI operates without tax payer funds and serves as a model of fiscal responsibility, raising all of the money necessary to operate through fundraisers, partnerships, grants, cost-share agreements, rebates, commodity sales and donations.

The awards will be presented at the annual Recycling Awards Gala, Monday evening, June 5, at the Rio Grande Restaurant in Fort Collins, Colorado. Tickets are $55 and are available online at www.cafr.org/summit.

The Recycling Awards Gala is part of the Summit for Recycling conference, hosted by CAFR. The Summit for Recycling is designed to support recycling professionals with tools, resources, and information that will guide them in their efforts to advance recycling. The conference schedule is complete with workshops, panel discussions, exhibit hall, site tours, silent auction, and networking opportunities.

CAFR is committed to supporting, educating and guiding individuals and leaders in business, education, nonprofits and government to take action that turns ever greater amounts of waste into marketable resources.  Questions? Read more about the awards or contact Executive Director Laurie Johnson.

This entry was posted on Friday, May 5th, 2017.

Get to know Fort Collins with some pre-Summit activities! Golf, hike, bike and more

The Summit for Recycling kicks off Sunday, June 4, in Fort Collins. The 2017 Summit seeks to provide tools for the business sector to increase waste diversion and implement sustainable materials management and explore ways our community leaders and local recycling organizations can engage the business sector on this issue. This year’s focus, “Recycling — Make it your business,” fosters Colorado communities’ zero-waste businesses – small, medium and large.

Conference attendees are invited to take part in these extracurricular activities, all guided by locals! To sign up for any of these activities, contact Sarah Meline at smeline@fcgov.com*Please include your cellphone number & email.

*Exclusive* Sustainability Tour of New Belgium Brewery
What: Tour of New Belgium Brewery with focus on Sustainability
When: 2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., Sunday, June 4th
Where: New Belgium Brewery, 500 Linden Street, Fort Collins
Important Info: ***A limited number of participants allowed*** must register before May 31 with Sarah Meline at smeline@fcgov.com.

No trip to the Craft Brewing Capitol of Colorado is complete without stopping by one of our breweries. New Belgium is not only one of Fort Collin’s most famous breweries, but has committed to the idea of brewing sustainability. Get to know New Belgium a bit better  during this visit and (of course) enjoy beer samples at the end of the tour. Learn more about New Belgium at http://www.newbelgium.com/brewery/fort-collins.

Golf Scramble
What: Golf
When: 11:00 a.m., Sunday, June 4th (meet at the course)
Where: City Park 9 Golf Course, 411 South Bryan Avenue, Fort Collins
Cost: $22 walking (easy course to walk), $32 to ride in cart

Get out on the green at the City Park 9 Golf Course! This historic 9 hole course is located next to the iconic City Park, and features mature trees and tight fairways. Easily walk the course, or cruise in a golf cart. Learn more about the course at  http://www.fcgov.com/golf/city-parknine.php.

Hike the Foothills
What: Moderate level difficulty hike in the foothills
When: 10:00 a.m., Sunday, June 4th
Where: Meet at Marriott Hotel – will carpool from there
Cost: A little bit of sweat!

The foothills west of Fort Collins boast incredible vistas, craggy rock formations, and delightful pinon-pine forests. Guided by a Fort Collins CAFR member, this moderate level hike requires some sweat and hard work – but will pay off with an unforgettable view. *More information on specific hike to follow.

Bike the Foothills
What: Moderate level difficulty mountain bike ride in the foothills
When: 11:00 a.m., Sunday, June 4th
Where: 7-mile Blue Sky Trail, Blue Sky Trailhead Parking, 4780 W County Rd. 38 E
Important Info: ***Bring your own bike*** Mountain bikes will not be provided.

Along with awesome hikes, the foothills west of Fort Collins are home to some epic mountain bike trails! Bring your own mountain bike and join one of our organizers (a local mountain bike fiend) on the trails directly west of the city. It’s a fantastic way to get out and get riding while enjoying the incredible scenery of the foothills. This 7-mile trail ride flows well and links up to a variety of other trails, so you can easily extend your ride. Learn more about the trail at https://www.mtbproject.com/trail/342104/blue-sky.

Cruise FoCo
What: Easy level difficulty ride on city’s bike paths
When: 11:00 a.m., Sunday, June 4th
Where: Meet at Marriot Hotel (for group ride)
Important Info: Up to 10 bicycles will be available to use for FREE! Bike locks will be provided; however, please bring your own bike helmet if possible (limited number of helmets available to borrow).

Our bike paths can’t be beat! The flat, easily ridable, and scenic network of bike paths in Fort Collins help make it a Platinum Rated Bike Friendly City. Join a local on an easy group ride starting from the Marriot Hotel to learn more about the town and see some of the sights – or explore on your own time. Many argue that our city is best explored on two wheels.

To sign up for any of these activities, contact Sarah Meline at
smeline@fcgov.com. *Please include your cellphone number & email.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017.

May 9 Front Range Business Round Table postponed until July

The Colorado Association for Recycling is inviting businesses into the recycling conversation in Colorado. Almost every business in Colorado is involved in some way in recycling and materials management. Businesses use materials to make products and deliver services and all of these materials have a life cycle. How can businesses best manage materials not only for the benefit of the environment but also for the benefit of the bottom line? CAFR business councils will tackle material end-of-life issues by bringing together the business community to share ideas, solve problems and be the voice for businesses in the recycling and sustainability community in Colorado.

The business councils will bring all sizes and sectors of business together. In the council setting each sector will focus on materials that are the most relevant to that sector. However, the council will come together as a group at the beginning and end of each meeting for the purpose of crossover information and revealing potential synergies amongst sectors to solve for materials issues.

CAFR kicked off the first of two geographical business councils in April 2017 with the Colorado Springs Business Round Table. The second round table for Front Range businesses, originally scheduled for May 9, is postponed until July. The councils are not limited to members from those geographical areas. These two areas will simply be our first two host locations.

Businesses are invited to participate in the round table for the purpose of shaping the scope and direction of the business councils.

  • Front Range Business Round Table: Tuesday, May 9 POSTPONED until July

The councils are open to current CAFR business partners but will also welcome guests to participate for the purpose of exploring the opportunity of becoming a CAFR partner.

For more information, please contact: Laurie Johnson, CAFR executive director, at Laurie@cafr.org

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 2nd, 2017.

HB17-1275 Increase Solid Waste Diversion


View the Official Bill


05/01/2017 Senate Committee on State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Postpone Indefinitely



The bill directs the department of public health and environment and the Colorado office of economic development to assist in increasing waste diversion in Colorado by establishing diversion goals, requiring data collection and reporting by counties and landfills, and providing technical assistance to counties and landfills regarding the data collection and reporting. (Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

This entry was posted on Monday, May 1st, 2017.

CAFR reinvents committees – Find the one that’s right for you

The best way to get the most out of your CAFR membership is to join a committee! CAFR has reinvented its committees and tailored each one to different member interests. Take a look at our revised committee list and join now. It’s a great way to get involved, meet fellow members and have fun!

Annual Meeting
The Annual Meeting Committee organizes the Annual Meeting that happens each year in October.
Learn more

✔ This is a good committee for members who haven’t done event planning but want to learn or grow their skills. Sign up

Nominating Committee (ad-hoc)
The Nominating Committee is an Annual Meeting Committee ad-hoc committee that works a few months out of the year to coordinate the board of directors nominations and elections.
Learn more

✔ This is a good committee for members who Want to be involved in the selection process for the board. Sign up

The Development Committee works to establish and grow relationships with all partner-level members, business partners and individual sponsors and donors.
Learn more

✔ This is a good committee for members who have not raised money before but would like to learn how with the help of a mentor!
Sign up

The Finance Committee meets bi-monthly to review CAFR financials and investments.
Learn more

✔ This is a good committee for members who are interested in working with experienced members to learn about non-profit finance. Sign up

Membership and Education
The Membership and Education Committee works to provide learning events, networking and fun for our members. Learn more

✔ This is a good committee for members who enjoy connecting people and building relationships or are educators at heart and want to organize learning opportunities.
Sign up

Poster Contest and Future Leader Program Committee
(ad hoc)

These projects are part of the Membership and Education Committee.
Learn more

✔ This committe is good for members who want to engage Colorado students.
Sign up

The Policy Committee fills mulitple roles for CAFR. The committee tracks and promotes items of importance to the recycling community, educates legislators and decision makers and works with other organizations to ensure that the voice of recycling is heard in Colorado.
Learn more

✔ This is a good committee for members who don’t have experience with policy but want to learn or want to understand how policy affects their business.
Sign up

Summit for Recycling
The Summit for Recycling Committee is in charge of organizing this signature event for CAFR. Learn more

✔ This is a good committee for members who want to be part of a very active group and who want to contribute to the Summit and/or get experience in event planning.
Sign up

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 20th, 2017.

Who’s your recycling hero? Nominate them for an award. Deadline for nominations extended to April 7

Nomination Deadline: 3:00pm, April 7, 2017
Download a Nomination Form (PDF)

Each year, the Colorado Association for Recycling seeks nominations for our annual Recycling Awards. These prestigious awards recognize business, government, nonprofit and individuals for their excellence in recycling. The 2017 awards will be presented at the 28th annual CAFR Summit for Recycling conference in Fort Collins, Colorado, June 4-6, 2017.

Recycling Award Categories:

  • Media Coverage
  • Outreach
  • Business Recycling
  • Government or Nonprofit Recycling
  • Elected Official
  • Volunteer of the Year
  • Rising Star
  • Recycler of the Year
  • Lifetime Achievement

Who would you like to see recognized? Submit a nomination.

The Recycling Awards are part of the Summit for Recycling conference, organized by CAFR. The Summit is designed to support recycling professionals with tools, resources, and information that will help them in their efforts to advance recycling.

The Summit is Sponsored By



Boulder County Resource Conservation Division

C.U. Recycling
Colorado State University Facilities Management

This entry was posted on Friday, March 31st, 2017.

Waste diversion bill introduced in House

Last week, the CAFR Board of Directors voted in favor of moving forward with the Increase Solid Waste Diversion bill. CAFR worked with a stakeholder group, and with our contracted lobbyist worked to integrate the majority of comments from the stakeholders into the bill. Link to bill: HB17-1275 Increase Solid Waste Diversion

The bill directs the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and the Colorado Office of Economic Development to assist in increasing waste diversion in Colorado by establishing diversion goals, requiring data collection and reporting by counties and landfills, and providing technical assistance to counties and landfills regarding the data collection and reporting.

Rep. Faith Winter and Rep. Kevin Priola sponsored the bill, which was introduced to the Transportation and Energy Committee and is scheduled for a hearing March 29th. CAFR members are encouraged to contact their represenatives, watch for emails outlining how to do that easily.

Questions? Contact Policy Committee Co-Chairs Jessie Burley (jessie@highcountryconservation.org), Randy Moorman (randy@ecocycle.org) or Laurie Batchelder Adams (laurie@lbaassoc.com) or CAFR Executive Director Laurie Johnson (laurie@cafr.org).

CAFR tracks the most recent activities of the Colorado General Assembly related to the solid waste industry and CAFR’s members. If you are interested in more closely tracking the status of on-going legislation in Colorado, you can monitor CAFR’s Legislative Update page, sign up for the Legislative Update RSS feed or visit the Colorado General Assembly website.

This entry was posted on Thursday, March 23rd, 2017.

Calling all college students! CAFR seeks candidates for its conference scholarship program

Are you planning to be a professional recycler in tomorrow’s workforce … pursuing a college degree today?

The Colorado Association for Recycling seeks candidates for its Future Leaders Program (FLP). This conference scholarship program provides funds for college students to attend the Colorado Association for Recycling’s Summit for Recycling conference, June 4-6, 2017, in Fort Collins, Colorado. The theme for the 28th annual professional conference is “Recycling – Make it your business.”

The conference agenda includes educational sessions, a variety of presenters, exhibit hall, site tours, recycling awards, silent auction, and fun networking events. The Summit offers an excellent setting to network with private business, government, nonprofit and university representatives and learn about career opportunities in the recycling, materials management and sustainability fields. Registration, lodging, meals, and a travel stipend to attend the 3-day conference will be awarded. Applicants must be currently attending a 2- or 4-year college or university in Colorado. Community college, undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to apply.

To Apply
Eligible students may visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/futureleaderprogram to fill out the online application. Candidates studying environmental sciences, sustainability, biology, engineering, marketing or business programs, and related fields, are highly sought after. Responses are due no later than Friday, April 14, 2017, by 4:00 p.m. All applications will be reviewed by a panel of collegiate and industry representatives. Winners will be announced May 5, 2017.

This entry was posted on Monday, February 20th, 2017.

CAFR announces its 11th annual Recycling Poster Contest

The Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR) announces its 11th annual Recycling Poster Contest. The contest is open to all K-12 students and youth organization members in Colorado. Deadline for entry is April 24, 2017.

The contest showcases students’ artistic talent and commitment to the environment. One grand-prize winner receives a $100 gift card. Winning artwork will be used in Colorado’s 2017 America Recycles Day video and be seen throughout the state. Plus, each school with winning entries will receive a free one-year teacher membership to RAFT Colorado.

Download the rules.

Entries will be judged by a panel of industry representatives. Winners will be announced during the first two weeks of May. View previous winning artwork.

This entry was posted on Friday, February 10th, 2017.

Funding available for waste diversion and waste minimization projects



Building Opportunities to Maximize Waste Diversion and Create Jobs in Colorado

The purpose of this Request for Applications (RFA) is to fund implementation projects that lead to new opportunities to increase waste diversion as well as create jobs. Projects may focus on recycling, composting, waste minimization, anaerobic digestion, repurposing, or reuse for a wide variety of materials. Proposals should meet one or more of the following objectives (in no particular order of priority):

  • Establishing or improving programs or methods that divert materials from landfills, which may include material recycling or reuse for various materials or products, and composting;
  • Leveraging regional partnerships to maximize economies of scale;
  • Developing best practices in recycling, composting, waste minimization and diversion, reuse, and repurposing;
  • Implementing proven diversion methods through Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT), market incentives, contracting, municipal ordinances, or other mechanisms;
  • Improving market research and collecting data to identify opportunities for increased waste diversion;
  • Providing data on quantities of recyclables in order to set goals, track progress, and support new or expanded market development;
  • Providing detailed economic information on the impacts of recycling and material reuse in Colorado;
  • Educating and informing the general public about waste diversion.

A total of $1.8 million is available to fund multiple projects.

Information regarding this funding opportunity, the schedule, and the grant application can all be found on the CDPHE website.

Though optional, grant applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the pre-application conference. This is each applicant’s opportunity to receive feedback directly from the selection committee on proposal ideas and to resolve any questions an applicant may have about the Request for Applications document. The pre-application conference is scheduled to start at 1:00 PM on Wednesday, February 8, 2017 at the department’s main campus in Denver. Teleconferencing will be available. RSVP is required. Please reference the Request for Applications document for more details regarding the pre-application conference.


Please direct questions via email to cdphe.ppp2@state.co.us. Questions will not be answered over the phone. Deadlines for submitting written inquiries are listed in the schedule of activities.

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 21st, 2017.

Calling all Colorado colleges and universities for RecycleMania 2017

The 2017 RecycleMania Tournament is right around the corner, and CAFR encourages all colleges and universities in Colorado to get involved! Throughout February and March of 2017, campuses across the country will be rallying students and staff to step up their recycling game and reduce waste as part of this friendly competition. Registration closes February 3, so register now!

Join other colleges, including Colorado State University, Johnson & Wales University – Denver and Western State Colorado University, who have all already signed up for the 2017 competition. Visit www.recyclemania.org to get full details, including competition dates, and to sign-up for a series of orientation webinars to help campus coordinators get ready for the start of the competition. While they’re at it, coordinators can also add their school to list of schools signed-up for 2017. Local government and organizations are encouraged to pass the word onto local colleges that aren’t yet on the participation list.

This entry was posted on Friday, January 20th, 2017.

SB17-047 Additional Incentives Beneficial Use Waste Tires


View the Official Bill


01/11/2017 Introduced In Senate – Assigned to Agriculture, Natural Resources, & Energy



Under current law:

  • A generator of a waste tire pays a per tire fee, which the solid and hazardous waste commission can reduce by rule below its statutory level of $1.50. The fee is distributed as follows: 30% to the waste tire administration, enforcement, and cleanup fund; 65% to the end users fund; and 5% to the waste tire market development fund;
  • To be eligible for a rebate from the end users fund for the use of whole waste tires, an end user must use the waste tire to generate energy or fuel; and
  • Effective January 1, 2018, the waste tire fee is reduced to 55 cents, the end users fund and the waste tire market development fund will be repealed, and all of the money from the waste tire fee will be credited to the waste tire administration, enforcement, and cleanup fund.

Section 1 of the bill includes within the definition of an ‘end user’ a person who uses a whole waste tire, when baled with other waste tires, for an agricultural purpose.
Section 2 changes the amount of the waste tire fee and its allocation to the 3 funds as follows:

  • Until December 31, 2021, the fee cannot exceed $1.50;
  • From January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022, the fee cannot exceed $1.25;
  • On and after January 1, 2023, the fee cannot exceed $1;
  • The state treasurer will distribute the fees as follows:
  • Until December 31, 2021, 30% to the waste tire administration, enforcement, and cleanup fund; 65% to the end users fund; and 5% to the waste tire market development fund;
  • Effective January 1, 2022 , through December 31, 2022, 36% to the waste tire administration, enforcement, and cleanup fund; 55% to the end users fund; and 9% to the waste tire market development fund;
  • Effective January 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023, 30% to the waste tire administration, enforcement, and cleanup fund; 65% to the end users fund; and 5% to the waste tire market development fund; and
  • On and after January 1, 2024, 45% to the waste tire administration, enforcement, and cleanup fund; and 55% to the waste tire market development fund.

Section 3 extends the repeal date of the end users fund to January 1, 2024.
Section 4 eliminates the January 1, 2018, repeal of the waste tire market development fund and modifies the grant and loan program financed by the fund to specify that:

  • The commission must, by rule, allocate a minimum percentage of the fund’s revenue to the grant and loan program; and
  • If the recipient of a loan complies with the terms of the loan during an initial period, the loan converts to a grant.

(Note: This summary applies to this bill as introduced.)

This entry was posted on Monday, January 16th, 2017.

State establishes permanent medication take-back locations

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has established a permanent household medication take-back program, adding more than 42 drop-off locations in two dozen counties across the state.

In partnership with the Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention, the health department developed the program in response to the increased need for safe disposal of prescription medications. The average American household has four pounds of medications, including both prescription and over-the-counter medications drugs. At the same time, teen abuse of prescription medications is on the rise. Research shows almost 38 percent of teens who abuse prescription drugs obtain them from their parents’ medicine cabinet.

While safely disposing of medications helps reduce drug abuse, it also ensures they are not flushed down the toilet or thrown away, which can harm water quality and the environment.

“Prescription medication misuse and overdose numbers continue to climb, especially among youth. One simple thing we can all do to help is to dispose of our medications responsibly,” said Department Director and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Larry Wolk. “And it has the added benefit of protecting our water and environment.”

By the end of this year, the health department hopes to have at least one
drop off location in every Colorado county.

Needles, marijuana products and chemotherapy medication will not be accepted. The drop boxes are for household medications only. Health care facility waste will not be allowed.

To find a drop box location, go to takemedsback.org. Additional drop-off locations are still needed, so any pharmacy, law enforcement agency, medical clinic or hospital interested in participating should call 303-692-2903.

This entry was posted on Monday, January 9th, 2017.

CAFR kicks off 2017 by welcoming a new executive director

The Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR) announces the selection of Laurie Johnson as its new executive director. Johnson will fill the full-time position effective January 3, 2017.

Johnson brings more than 15 years of experience in recycling, sustainability and community services to CAFR. For the past three years, Johnson worked as vice president of client services for Recyclebank. At the start of her career Johnson worked for 10 years as operations executive director with the YMCA of Los Angeles, bringing together stakeholders to improve communities and build strong kids and strong families. Johnson has been involved in recycling, organics and sustainability across the U.S. She is currently a board member with the State of Texas Alliance for Recycling (STAR) and has participated in trade organizations representing California, Arizona, Florida and the Southeast.

Johnson graduated from California State University Northridge with a Bachelor’s degree in Urban Affairs and will complete her MBA in Sustainability with Antioch University in April 2017. When not advocating for recycling and sustainability, you’ll find Johnson enjoying Colorado’s outdoor adventures and Denver’s downtown venues.

Juri Freeman, CAFR’s president, said, “The entire board is extremely excited to have Laurie join our organization. She brings a wealth of experience and industry knowledge, and we are eagerly looking forward to seeing what 2017 has in store for the CAFR.” Johnson was selected after a regional search and selection process and received wide support from the CAFR board.

Johnson is available at laurie@cafr.org and will maintain an office at The Alliance Center in Denver. The CAFR board of directors also recognizes Amy Randell, CAFR’s interim executive director, and thanks her for her dedication to the organization. After successfully guiding CAFR over the last several months, Randell will be returning to her role as executive assistant starting January 3. Members will have opportunities to meet CAFR’s new executive director during CAFR’s Lobby Day, February 8, and at the 2017 Summit for Recycling conference, scheduled for June 4 through 6 in Fort Collins, among other events.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 3rd, 2017.

Call for Proposals: 2017 Summit for Recycling Conference – Deadline extended!

Summit for Recycling
June 4-6, 2017
Fort Collins Marriott
350 East Horsetooth Road
Fort Collins, Colorado

Download the Call for Proposals as a PDF

Submit Your Proposal

Please distribute widely to colleagues and contacts!

Deadline for Proposals – Extended: Friday, December 16, 2016

Theme: “Recycling – Make it your business”

Fostering Colorado communities’ zero-waste businesses – small, medium and large

The commercial sector can be an untapped market for increasing waste diversion. Businesses need to know recycling and composting save money by reducing a company’s trash bill and provide an opportunity to create a positive image in the community that attracts new customers and brings in more revenue. What steps can businesses that are already recycling take to further increase their sustainability goals? The 2017 Summit for Recycling seeks to educate the business sector about the benefits of waste diversion and sustainable materials management and explore ways our community leaders and local recycling organizations can engage the business sector on this issue. Attendees will learn how to incorporate recycling into sustainability plans, how to educate members of their business community on the benefits of recycling and why they should recycle.

Submit your most creative ideas!

CAFR invites you to submit a proposal that will offer original content and an interactive experience for our attendees. Along with networking opportunities and a rich exhibit hall experience, we want the 2017 Summit for Recycling program to speak not only to the business community but also to the haulers, MRF operators, recyclers and the local governments and nonprofits that drive participation in waste diversion programs.

Session Models

We will give preferential consideration to proposals that break away from traditional slide presentations. We are looking for creative session formats that will involve the attendees in debate, discussion and dialogue – interactive, proactive or just plain active! Having attendees leave the Summit with concrete and tangible tools to improve their programs or processes is a high priority.

Some format ideas you might consider:

  • Pro/con debate about a particular program
  • Panel discussion about a new idea for a cutting edge technology or system
  • Case studies and first-hand “testimonials” that illustrate how diverse approaches were used for achieving a goal with discussion about which approaches worked best and why
  • Hands-on workshop that introduces entrepreneurs to sustainability
  • Examples of a program that DIDN’T work followed by roundtable discussions of how it might be made to work
  • Ways to develop networks or support systems for particular sectors of the business community

Potential Topics

Proposals should be non-commercial in nature and appeal to a diverse and discriminating audience that has strong technical experience. Proposals must relate to the overarching theme or to these suggested topics:

  1. Business-centric practices: What do businesses need to know to effectively implement sustainable materials management practices, including recycling, in their organizations? What steps can businesses that are already recycling take to further increase waste diversion? Attendees should come away with greater understanding about the economic and environmental benefits of waste reduction, recycling and composting and the steps to implement a new or enhanced program. What resources are available to businesses to further increase their sustainability goals? How do businesses build a sustainable business culture that is attractive to new employees and customers? How can communities and the state provide business support that helps them be more sustainable?
  2. Food waste: An estimated 35% of the material sent to landfill is organic waste. Landfilling of both pre- and postconsumer food waste remains a major source of greenhouse-gas emissions and potential pollution. With new national campaigns and growing public awareness of wasted food and hunger, the time is right for exploring opportunities for innovation and policy developments that address the issue. Attendees should come away with a broadened perspective and knowledge about the tools and educational materials that are available, including different options for food waste such as human consumption, animal feed and compost. The important role of the institutional food industry and restaurant industry to reduce waste and manage organic waste streams should be explored in depth and successful leadership models should be reviewed. Such a discussion should include green procurement, including compostable disposables, green packaging and other products that reduce food waste.
  3. Sustainable materials management: As principles of sustainable materials management (SMM) gain traction around the world with large corporations how do we transfer this new body of knowledge to Colorado’s business community? Where have successful practices been established that turn SMM concepts into Standard Operating Procedures that could be adopted by attendees? Recycling is a main “plank” in the SMM platform and attendees can start or improve their programs at the same time as they look ahead for what it takes for SMM to become embedded in the business environment.
  4. Climate impacts: Products made from organic material such as compost, compost tea, and biochar can create an important carbon “sink” when applied to soil and have great potential for use in Colorado. Attendees should learn the relationship of compost and other organic product programs to state and local climate action plans and have a greater degree of comfort in understanding how these complex biological processes work in relation to their programs, businesses and communities. How does the management of agricultural, forested and range land and the use of organic products affect climate change? Could we move forward state-wide or regionally toward a carbon credit program that pays land managers to apply organic products? Additionally, attendees would benefit from knowing what has happened in the last 12 months that is making materials management a bigger part of the climate change discussion. What have locals done to push materials management as part of their climate change mitigation/prevention strategy?
  5. Other timely and relevant topics that may be of interest to attendees include examples of successful regional planning, how to improve worker safety, strategies for recycling business development such as economic incubators and job training programs and how to create or enhance end-markets for recycled materials.

Submit Your Proposal

To submit your proposal, go to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/summit2017proposals.

Those whose proposals are selected and who wish to attend the Summit (other than for their own session) receive a 50% discount on one-day or full registration rates (does not apply to any super early-bird or early-bird rates). Audio/Visual Requirements: Presenters will be responsible for submitting any presentation materials one week prior to the Summit (May 26, 2017). Submitters will be notified whether their proposal has been accepted no later than January 16, 2017.

If you have questions regarding the submission of your proposal, contact Amy Randell at amy@cafr.org or 970-372-5615. For more information on the 2017 Summit, please visit www.CAFR.org. We look forward to seeing you at the 28th Annual Summit for Recycling in Fort Collins, Colorado, June 4-6, 2017!

This entry was posted on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016.

Celebrate the formation of the Colorado Composting Council December 9 at Westminster Brewing Co.

The Colorado Composting Council is now an official chapter of the U.S. Composting Council — Let’s celebrate!

Friday, December 9
3:00 PM to 5:00 PM

Westminster Brewing Co.
7655 W 108th Ave #600
Broomfield, CO 80021

Anyone invested or interested in composting in Colorado is invited.
RSVP to amy@cafr.org by December 7

The Colorado Compost Council (formerly the Rocky Mountain Organics Council) promotes sustainable utilization of organic resources. Not a member? Time to join up! Benefits include:

  • Certificate of membership
  • E-news, periodic updates of news affecting the organics recycling industry
  • Full voting privileges on issues and recommendations
  • Compost directory listing
  • Organized opportunities to network with purchasers, specifiers, service providers, manufacturers and regulatory personnel and other composters in Colorado and the U.S.
  • Direct access to industry specific research data.
  • Direct access to refined marketing tools and programs.
  • Certification programs for products and operators.
  • Legislative advocacy support related to the organics producers, products and services industry.

Meeting agenda

  • Welcome & Introductions
  • Tap a keg ☺
  • Overview of Changes – RMOC → COCC
    • Brief history of the process – The egg has finally hatched!
    • Reasons/benefits for elevating the RMOC
    • Current membership overview
    • Financial report
  • New Structure – What’s it mean for you – Q&A
  • Current Issues/Goals
    • CDOT connection
    • Municipal Compost Requirement Promotion
    • New Compost Regulations
    • Brief overview and impact
    • Persistent Herbicides Issue Status
    • National Organics Program Status
    • Marketing Compost – using current resources
  • Future Opportunities
    • Compost Operations Management (USCC administered) Certification Program
    • You Tube videos
    • CAFR Summit
  • Membership reconnect and drive
  • Adjourn and continue social networking

This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 29th, 2016.

Tell the Governor to support the Colorado Climate Plan

Tell Governor Hickenlooper recycling is a priority solution to reduce carbon pollution

The Hickenlooper Administration is considering an Executive Order directed at actions to further implement the Colorado Climate Plan (PDF). The climate plan has been criticized for omitting any discussion of the significant upside potential of recycling for combating climate change. We need to speak up – especially businesses that are significant employers – about the environmental and economic benefits of recycling. (Read more in “Climate Plan: When will recycling get its due?” by Roger Freeman)

Send a Message to the Governor

Contact Governor Hickenlooper. Use the following points in your message:

  • I encourage you to continue your leadership on climate action and implement the executive order related to the Colorado Climate Plan.
  • Recycling, composting and waste reduction strategies are some of the fastest, most cost-effective climate actions we can take today. Our industry is ready to take action.
  • More than 40% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions come from how we produce, consume and dispose of our stuff and our food.
  • Colorado lags behind when it comes to recycling, recovering only 12% of our waste compared to 34% nationwide. By growing the recycling industry in our state, we can help reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and create green jobs that improve local economies—a win-win!

Fact Sheets
Recycling: An Economic Opportunity (PDF)
Recycling and Climate Change (PDF)

Annmarie Jensen, Jensen Public Affairs – 720-999-4765

Jessie Burley, CAFR Policy Committee Chair – jessie@

This entry was posted on Friday, November 4th, 2016.

Share CAFR’s new video and celebrate America Recycles Day

Celebrate the “Top 10 Reasons to Recycle” this November 15, America Recycles Day

Share CAFR’s new video recognizing the winners of CAFR’s art contest. Use it on your website or Facebook pages, share with your local TV stations and more. Show your pride in being a member of CAFR and help celebrate the top 10 reasons to recycle.

Show us how you celebrate ARD

The Education and Outreach Committee asks all CAFR members to send us pictures and a short synopsis (20 words) of what you did for America Recycles Day. We’ll share the information on CAFr’s website and social media channels. Send your photos and information to Susan Finzel-Aldred at aldred@pueblocounty.us before November 18.

America Recycles Day (ARD) has been the only nationally-recognized day dedicated to promoting and celebrating recycling in the United States since 1997. Every year on and around Nov. 15, thousands of local event organizers mobilize throughout their community to educate millions of people about recycling within their communities.

Plan your own ARD event by taking advantage of the tools and resources available to make event planning easy and successful. Once planned, register your event here – this allows your event to become part of the national network of America Recycles Day events!

Additionally, you can encourage your networks to take the #BeRecycled Pledge, which is a promise to actively choose to live a recycled lifestyle by committing to “Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.” in all aspects of daily life. This includes:

  • Recycling at home, work/school and on-the-go;
  • Buying products made with recycled content; and
  • Educating and encouraging friends, family and neighbors to take the #BeRecycled Pledge.

Learn more about America Recycles Day.

This entry was posted on Thursday, November 3rd, 2016.

Colorado Association for Recycling seeks full-time executive director

We’re seeking an inspirational, passionate and highly-mission-driven leader who possesses emotional intelligence and the ability to cultivate meaningful relationships with members and key stakeholders. The ideal candidate will also have:

  • An undergraduate degree with an advanced degree highly preferred.
  • Significant leadership experience, ideally of five or more years and in a membership association or other nonprofit organization. Demonstrated experience developing and cultivating strong stakeholder (i.e., member) relationships and fundraising, through sponsorships and grants, will distinguish the most attractive candidates.
  • Prior experience in the recycling or solid waste (or similar environmental/resource conservation field) while very attractive, is not required.
  • Demonstrated fiscal management skills including developing and managing an operating budget.
  • A proactive leader; intellectually curious; regularly investigates and brings new ideas to the organization, especially with regard to operational best practices and staff leadership; skilled in critical and creative thinking to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to issues.

The Executive Director reports directly to the Board President and takes direction from the Board of Directors for all activities and actions. The Executive Director will supervise the Executive Assistant and work very closely with externally contracted service providers (i.e., external accountant, lobbyist and Summit Program Coordinator). The Executive Director will administer an operating budget of $185,000. This is an exempt and full-time position.

CAFR is based in downtown Denver and offers considerable flexibility. The Association is comprised of approximately 225 members from across the State of Colorado and takes pride in offering a wide variety of services to its members and to the State, including: an Annual Summit for Recycling Conference, education and outreach, policy and advocacy and networking opportunities to name a few.

Detailed Position Specifications are available by clicking the link below: https://www.eflassociates.com/Portals/2/Position%20Specs/

If you’re interested and would like additional information – or if you have a great individual to refer – please contact Lauren McElderry, of EFL Associates, at lmcelderry@eflassociates.com or 720.200.7021.

This entry was posted on Monday, October 17th, 2016.

Colorado compost community forms state Composting Council Chapter

Rocky Mt. Organics Council, Colorado Association for Recycling Partner with USCC

The State of Colorado has formed a regional chapter to promote the compost manufacturing industry under the umbrella of the US Composting Council, the group announced today.

The Colorado Composting Council (COCC) is now an official USCC chapter, grown from the Rocky Mountain Organics Council of the Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR).

“We believe this move will give us a stronger voice within the State of Colorado to affect matters related to organics recycling and create new value for our membership,” said Dan Matsch, president of the COCC.  “We look forward to working with the USCC and other state chapters to maximize the many new opportunities for the compost industry to support resource conservation and environmental sustainability.”

The group currently has about 30 active members and will work to promote the industry and educate state regulators, local officials and the public about the importance of the compost manufacturing industry to local waste management programs, jobs and business development and use of compost in commercial and residential landscaping, for stormwater management, erosion control and green infrastructure needs and its beneficial impact on carbon sequestration. Members of the COCC will work with USCC to take positions on regulations and legislation that affect the industry and the market for compost in the state.

“The USCC—and the compost industry– is strongest in states like Colorado where there is an organized group from the industry,” said Frank Franciosi, executive director of the USCC. “We support chapters because they can directly touch the members we work to serve.”

Colorado becomes the fifth regional chapter of the USCC, which is growing due to the increased diversion efforts of communities who are removing food scraps along with the traditional yard trimmings and other organics from disposal. The demand side of the industry is expanding with the growing recognition of the beneficial uses of compost.

California, Minnesota, Virginia and North Carolina all have USCC chapters, and an organizational committee is working in Maryland-Delaware.

Members of the Colorado Composting Council’s board include: Matsch, of Eco-Cycle, Bob Yost of A1 Organics, Bryce Isaacson of Western Disposal Services, and Sarah Martinez of Eco Products.

For information about the Colorado Chapter, contact Dan Matsch at 303-444-6634. For more information on how to start a State Chapter contact Linda Norris-Waldt at 301.897.2715 x 2.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, September 28th, 2016.

CAFR comments on the state’s solid waste and materials management plan

The​ ​Integrated Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan commissioned by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) is designed to guide the development of waste disposal, collection and diversion options for various geographic regions​ in the state ​for the next 20 years. The plan includes a list of recommendations to encourage and​ ​stimulate a shift in Colorado from solid waste disposal to sustainable materials management. The Plan is intended​​ to provide guidance to local communities for improvement in waste management and waste diversion operations.​

As representatives of Colorado’s statewide recycling industry and local governments, the Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR) applauds CDPHE’s decision to divide the state into four regions that reflect the diverse needs, gaps, barriers and opportunities in each region.

Increasing the amount of valuable materials diverted for recycling will foster the vibrant, sustainable economy that all Coloradans want. With CDPHE’s leadership, Colorado can reduce materials going to the landfill and reap the benefits of successful recycling programs, which create jobs, boost local economies, save valuable resources, reduce pollution that impacts climate change and protect our environment.

After carefully considering all aspects of the proposed recycling plan, CAFR developed several recommendations for improvement, strongly supporting the evolution of CDPHE’s role from a focus on regulation and compliance to one of leadership and technical assistance. The recommendations include:

  1. Expand CDPHE’s mission and authority to include enforcement and funding of diversion and sustainable materials management.
  2. Assign timelines and priorities.
  3. Commit to market development and assistance programs.
  4. Measure and evaluate actions based on climate change impacts.
  5. Set stronger resource recovery goals.
  6. Integrate materials management into state economic development programs.
  7. Quantify funding gaps, identify key funding sources, and set goals.
  8. Prioritize additional compost facilities.
  9. Expand compost markets.
  10. Develop plan for additional construction and demolition (C&D) materials diversion.

For the complete list of recommendations with more detailed information, read the official letter to CDPHE.

CAFR is a membership organization that assists individuals, businesses and nonprofits in turning waste products into marketable resources in Colorado.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, September 13th, 2016.

CAFR seeks part-time contractor specializing in conference program coordination

Request for Proposals:
Conference Program Coordination Services

CAFR seeks to hire a part-time contractor specializing in conference program coordination services for the 2017 Summit for Recycling. The contractor’s work would commence in October 2016 and conclude no more than three weeks after the 2017 Summit. The contractor is expected to attend the Summit, June 4–6, 2017, in Fort Collins, Colorado.

The contractor will ensure that:

  • Logistical details relating to speakers and moderators are managed well and
  • Goals are clearly laid out and all timelines are met.

The Summit for Recycling has grown over the past two decades from a small event (less than 50 people) to a large regional event attracting more than 250 people, with a robust vendor show, multiple workshops and breakout sessions, reception, awards gala, and add-on training.

Proposals are due by 4:00pm MDT, Friday, September 30.

Download the complete request for proposals

This entry was posted on Monday, August 29th, 2016.

New tax exemption for recyclers. Learn how your business could qualify

If you’re a recycler or remanufacturer, this could benefit you!

In 2016, after two years of negotiations and coalition building, the Colorado Association for Recycling introduced a successful bill to treat machinery and equipment used in the recycling and reprocessing of waste products the same as those used in the traditional manufacturing process. SB16-124 clarifies that the state sales and use tax exemption should also apply to modern remanufacturing practices.

Download the Tax Exemption Fact Sheet (PDF)

How to Claim an Exemption

There are two avenues available to recyclers registered with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to obtain the sales and use tax exemption:

Option 1At the time of purchase
Recyclers can present a completed form DR 1191 at the time of purchase. The entity making the exempt purchase must make copies and provide one to the vendor, one to the Department of Revenue, and keep one for its records

Option 2Claim for refund
If the exemption is not granted at the time of purchase, recyclers can claim the exemption by completing and submitting form DR 0137V for refund on sales tax paid. Entities typically request a refund for tax paid in error for manufacturing equipment and machinery. With
any claim for refund, the entity must provide receipts for the transactions for which it is requesting the refund. Statute of limitations: Statute of limitations for requesting a
refund for sales tax is three years from the date of purchase.

To expedite processing, entities claiming the exemption at the time of purchase or as claim for refund, should include the name of the facility as identified on the list of registered recyclers maintained by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

Manufacturing Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Recyclers

  • Eligible entities are listed as a registered recycler through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.
  • Present form DR 1191 at time of purchase or submit form DR 0137B for claim for refund.
  • Statute of limitations for requesting a refund is three years from the date of purchase.

More Information
Colorado Department of Revenue
Taxation Division
303-238-SERV (7378)
Customer Service Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 22nd, 2016.

Call for Abstracts: CAFR Annual Meeting “Lightning Round” – Deadline September 9

Submit your abstract for a 3- to 5-minute “Lightning Round” update at the 2017 CAFR Annual Meeting Wednesday, October 19, at the American Mountaineering Center in Golden. The “Lightning Round” gives you a chance to share your innovative ideas, program, and successes with more than 100 of your colleagues!

Abstracts are due September 9, and you’ll know by September 23 whether you’ll be speaking. Let’s hear from all those excellent programs out there!

Click here to submit your abstract

Questions? Contact
Janice Oldemeyer, Annual Meeting Co-Chair.

This entry was posted on Thursday, August 18th, 2016.

Funding available for regional studies to optimize waste diversion



The intent of this solicitation is to incentivize regional planning initiatives that focus on examining how existing waste diversion activities can be better coordinated in a defined region so as to maximize waste diversion in the future. Key project activities will include conducting one or more waste audits to establish a baseline, identifying key stakeholders and convening stakeholder meetings, and identifying existing and future infrastructure needs and potential policy changes. The findings from each of these activities will be presented in a final report. A total of $250,000 is available to fund at least five regional studies with project budgets capped at $50,000 each.

Information regarding this funding opportunity, the schedule, and the grant application can all be found on the CDPHE website.



Please direct questions via email to cdphe.ppp2@state.co.us. Questions will not be answered over the phone.

This entry was posted on Friday, August 5th, 2016.

Recycling rebate applications for free public recycling drop-offs due August 31


The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment requests applications from entities wishing to claim a rebate from the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) Fund. The intent of this rebate program is to assist free public recycling drop-off sites by offsetting a portion of the transportation costs incurred by shipping recyclables to market or to a processing center. More information about the rebate program, as well as the rebate application, can be found on the CDPHE website.

The total dollar amount for the rebate period covering July 1, 2015 through June 30, 2016 is $381,150. Note that rebates will be calculated using 12 months of data, a significant change to previous rebate cycles that were limited to six months.

Please direct questions or comments via email to cdphe.ppp2@state.co.us or to 303-691-4955.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 1st, 2016.

CAFR comments on ways to incorporate recycling into the Colorado Climate Plan

At the 2016 Summit for Recycling in Grand Junction, Taryn Finnessey, climate change risk management specialist at the Colorado Department of Natural Resources, led a public engagement session on the Colorado Climate Plan. Based on the results of that session and through the work of CAFR’s Policy Committee, CAFR recently submitted a prioritized list of strategies to the department for incorporating recycling into the implementation of the plan.

Priority strategies:

  1. Emphasize sustainable materials management (recycling, composting, reuse, product stewardship, green purchasing) as a key tool to address climate change and reduce greenhouse gases at the state level.
  2. Coordinate with CDPHE to implement the Integrated Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan currently under development and connect the plan to the state Climate Plan.
  3. Dedicate staff at the state level to work on initiating and enhancing recycling, waste reduction and waste diversion in all state-owned and state-operated buildings and agencies (in support of #4 below), developing markets for sustainable materials management, implementing a state materials management plan and providing technical assistance to local communities.
  4. Lead by example in state government by strengthening and enforcing the Green Purchasing Order, by recycling and composting in all state agency facilities and by expanding state agency efforts to reduce food waste. Ensure these activities are acknowledged and supported by the state’s Greening Government Leadership Council. Share these efforts with local government partners.
  5. Seek avenues for state funding that support innovation in the waste sector, provide expanded waste diversion infrastructure to both rural and urban communities and provide incentives for markets for recycled material (e.g., tax breaks for citing a facility to make corrugated cardboard into new paper). Ensure waste recovery programs are eligible for funding sources focused on greenhouse gas reduction. 
  6. Implement policies that reduce organics (yard and food waste) in the landfill (a source of methane, a potent greenhouse gas). Prioritize policies that keep organic materials out of the landfill over mitigation programs such as landfill gas recovery systems.
  7. Include consumption emissions (the total emissions for a product, including its production and consumption) in future greenhouse gas inventories. Consumption emissions are reduced when products are recycled or re-used. Without the inclusion of consumption emissions in inventories, the full benefits of recycling and re-use are not included.
  8. Invest in materials management education and infrastructure in schools.
  9. Support market development of compost use, including CDOT purchasing.
  10. Quantify and include the greenhouse gas savings from waste reduction, recycling and composting in any plan updates or annual reports to highlight work already in progress.

For more information about CAFR’s work with the Colorado Climate Plan, contact Jessie Burley, Policy Committee chairperson, at at 970-668-5703 or jessie@highcountryconservation.org.

This entry was posted on Thursday, July 28th, 2016.

Willing to host a tour of your recycling program or facility? Let us help

Gain support from your local representatives

Summer and fall are great times to showcase your facility’s or program’s progress and success.

Inviting elected officials and policymakers to tour your facility or program and to learn more about the work you do is an effective method to forge strong relationships and educate opinion leaders.

Let Us Help

If you’re willing to host a tour, we can help connect you with your local leaders and candidates. Contact Annmarie Jensen, Jensen Public Affairs, at 720-999-4765 or aj@jensenpublicaffairs.com.

How-to Guide

How To Host A Tour (PDF)

Ready to start planning? CAFR’s step-by-step guide for hosting a successful tour has been designed for general use and offers suggestions and considerations for customizing your tour. The guide was adapted from Jensen Public Affairs and updated by the CAFR Policy Committee in May of 2016 as a benefit for CAFR members.

Ready to host a tour?
Contact Annmarie Jensen at aj@jensenpublicaffairs.com or 720-999-4765.

If you host a tour
Please let us know. Send a note to amy@cafr.org.

Questions about CAFR’s Policy Committee?
Contact Jessie Burley, CAFR Policy Committee Chair, at 970-668-5703 or jessie@highcountryconservation.org

This entry was posted on Tuesday, July 26th, 2016.

CDPHE accepting comments on the Integrated Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan through September 6

The​ ​Integrated Solid Waste and Materials Management Plan will guide the development of waste disposal, collection and diversion options for various geographic regions​ in the state ​for the next 20 years.

The Plan includes goals and action items at both the state and local levels to improve waste management and to improve waste diversion through recycling, composting and other materials management methods. The Plan also includes a list of recommendations and steps to encourage and​ ​stimulate a shift in Colorado from solid waste disposal to sustainable materials management.

In addition, the Plan is intended​​ to provide guidance to local communities for improvement in waste management and waste diversion operations.​ ​The department is confident that the cost analysis​ ​information within the Plan will be particularly beneficial for local governments that are struggling​ ​with the financial aspects of solid waste disposal and landfill operations. The Plan provides strategies​ ​and recommendations for local governments to use in their decision-making.

The department welcomes your comments on the Plan. A public comment period will continue through September 6, 2016. Any comments received will be considered as we implement the Plan over the coming years. You may submit your comments using the link below or by contacting the department’s Solid Waste Program directly.

Submit Comments

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 20th, 2016.

We’re taking time for a happy hour. Please join us July 21 at The Alliance Center

In Memory of Cara Russell

Thursday, July 21

4:00 PM – 6:00 PM

The Alliance Center
1536 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202

CAFR members are invited to The Alliance Center for a happy hour — two hours, actually. We’re taking some time to be with friends and the non-profit community and be reminded of everything we have to be thankful for. Please join us.

Questions? Contact Amy at amy@cafr.org/970-372-5615.

In Memory of Cara Russell
With The Alliance Center Community
~ Beer, wine and snacks will be available ~

This entry was posted on Monday, July 18th, 2016.

Getting back to work

The recent death of Cara Russell was a shock to us all. Her time here was way too short and we will truly miss her. Everyone is invited to her memorial service July 23, 2 PM, at Arvada United Methodist Church. A reception will follow. For those of you wishing to make a donation, you can contribute to the Cara Russell Memorial Fund. If you are struggling with the recent tragedy, a list of resources available for counseling and support are provided below.

Cara was just beginning to inspire and energize us with her enthusiasm for learning the recycling industry and steady dedication to getting work done. With those thoughts in mind, it’s time for us to start getting back to work. Committee and council meetings resumed this week, and you’ll be receiving emails soon asking for input on Colorado Product Stewardship Council activities, asking for ideas for possible webinar topics and providing information on how to host a tour of your facility — and why now is a good time to do it.

If you’re looking for additional ways to be more involved, there are several current opportunities:

  • Volunteers are needed for the Poster Contest Committee. We’re taking the winning posters and an adorable video from one of the winners and we’re making a video for America Recycles Day. Join the committee and add your creativity to the design process.
  • Miss the Summit already and want to help plan the next big CAFR event? Join the Annual Meeting Committee and help select lightning round abstracts and develop other aspects of the event. This year we’re returning to the American Mountaineering Center in Golden on October 19.
  • Interested in guiding the organization? Board of Directors elections are coming up and candidates are needed.

To get involved with any CAFR activities, contact Amy at amy@cafr.org/970-372-5615.

The Board of Directors will meet next week on July 21 at The Alliance Center in Denver and will discuss plans to hire a an interim executive director and eventually begin the search for a new full-time executive director. CAFR members are invited a happy hour from 4 PM to 6 PM following the meeting. It will be a nice opportunity talk with friends and be reminded of everything we have to be thankful for. Look for more details soon.

In the mean time, we’ll keep Cara in our thoughts and extend our love and prayers to her family. During the past couple of weeks especially, I have been extremely grateful for the care and support of CAFR members and the thoughtful and considerate action of the Board of Directors. We are all fortunate to be part of this community.


Amy Randell
CAFR Executive Assistant


Resources available for counseling and support:

Denver Police Department – Crisis Intervention Response Unit
Clinician Kristin O’Gowan (cell: 720-227-5692)

The Denver Police Department’s Crisis Intervention Response Unit was part of the initial response to the Alliance Center following Cara’s death. Kristin has been involved with providing support services to individuals affected by this tragic situation and remains available to members of CAFR.

Denver Police Department – Victim Assistance Unit (720-913-6035)
The Victim Assistance Unit was part of the initial response and ongoing support related to Cara’s death. In addition to being part of the Denver Police Department we are also a part of the Denver Victim Services Network (www.victimservicesnetwork.org) which supports a “No Wrong Door” mission and philosophy with respect to those affected by crime. We can assist in providing additional resources and support to those directly and indirectly affected by Cara’s death.

Rocky Mountain Crisis Partners (RMCP)
This free, statewide, 24/7, year-round, community-based system of crisis intervention services offers skilled, hope-filled care to individuals and families in crisis. If you’re struggling with a mental or emotional problem, getting into trouble with drugs or alcohol, having family or relationship problems, or problems at work or school, call 844.493.TALK (8255).

The Center for Trauma & Resilience
Provides an immediate response to a client’s call for help. All services are confidential and provided by counselors and supervised student interns. 24-Hour Hotline: Emotional support and emergency assistance – 303-894-8000. Click hereto be taken to the frequently asked questions page.

Mental Health Center of Denver – Wellshire Behavioral Services
Wellshire Behavioral Services provides mental health therapy and psychiatric medications for children and adults. Call today at 303-504-6565 to find out if Wellshire Behavioral Services is appropriate for your needs.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 13th, 2016.

Memorial Service for Cara Russell July 23

Family, friends and the non-profit community are invited to Cara Russell’s memorial service Saturday, July 23, at 2:00 PM.

Cara Russell Memorial Service
July 23, 2:00 PM
Reception to follow
Arvada United Methodist Church
6750 Carr St.
Arvada CO 80004

Cara Russell Memorial Fund
Donations can be made to the Cara Russell Memorial Fund. Monies will be given to the Ark Valley Humane Society once all hospital/financial responsibilities have been paid for.

This entry was posted on Monday, July 11th, 2016.

Cara Russell Memorial Fund

Donations can be made to the Cara Russell Memorial Fund. Monies will be given to the Ark Valley Humane Society once all hospital/financial responsibilities have been paid for.



This entry was posted on Friday, July 1st, 2016.

Vigil for Cara Russell – Join us tonight at The Alliance Center

Please join CAFR board members, staff and volunteers and The Alliance Center community this evening for a vigil for Cara Russell and her family.


Vigil for Cara Russell
June 30 – 5:00 PM
The Alliance Center
1536 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202


We will miss Cara. Our love and prayers are with her family.

If you are unable to attend the event this evening but still want to share your thoughts and feelings about Cara, please contact Megan Lane (lane.megan.r@gmail.com/303-717-3957) who will be saying a few words at the event.

The Alliance Center, through Denver’s Crisis Center, is in touch with Cara’s family and we will share additional information when it is available on how they would best like to honor Cara’s memory. For more information about the recent tragedy, read CAFR’s Letter from the President.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 30th, 2016.

Letter from the CAFR President

Dear CAFR Members,

It is with heavy heart that I am informing you of the death of our Executive Director, Cara Russell. Although Cara had only been with the organization a short while, her enthusiasm, professionalism, and positive demeanor had quickly won her a number of fans within the organization, including myself.

Cara was the victim of a domestic violence attack that occurred yesterday at the CAFR office in the Alliance Center on 15th and Wynkoop. No other CAFR employees or members were present during the time of the attack and the suspect committed suicide. For more information on what happened, you can read an article here: http://www.denverpost.com/2016/06/29/wynkoop-denver-shooting-victim-dies/

All CAFR activities will be put on a temporary hold for the next week to allow our Board and staff time to remember Cara and meditate on the connections we all have to each other in this world. Despite the terrible violence of this event, there is much to be thankful for and I will personally be doing my best to continually appreciate what I have and to let my family and friends know I love them.

The Executive Committee will meet late next week to discuss what needs to be done in the near term to keep the organization moving forward, including what we will do to help honor and support Cara’s family. As we learn more in the next few days about any funds or charities to support Cara’s memory, we will share them with you.

The full Board of Director’s will meet in late July at our already scheduled board meeting to come up with a plan for CAFR in the coming months. A horrible as this event has been, it will not prevent CAFR from following through with our vision to be the catalyst, leader, voice of recycling, and ongoing resource for the growth and sustainability of the recycling community in Colorado.

In sorrow,
Juri Freeman,
CAFR President


This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 29th, 2016.

2016 Summit for Recycling navigates the new era of materials management

(Grand Junction) – Managing recyclable waste has become more than collecting, diverting and repurposing of materials. The fact that recycling rates in Colorado remain lower than in many other states only forces us to reexamine the source of our materials and discover more environmentally sustainable solutions. The 2016 Summit for Recycling at the DoubleTree Hotel in Grand Junction, June 12-14, will focus on better understanding current material management systems and identifying innovative opportunities to decrease the amount of materials entering the waste stream.

This year’s keynote speaker, Bob Gedert, Director of the City of Austin Solid Waste Services Department, co-authored the Austin Resource Recovery Master Plan, which outlines the implementation roadmap of Austin’s approach toward zero waste. Gedert has 40 years of experience in recycling and solid waste operations. He led the City of Fresno from a 29 percent recycling diversion rate in 2003 to a 75 percent recycling diversion rate in 2008 by expanding the recycling and composting services. While the chief of recycling for the State of Indiana, Gedert wrote many state statutes supporting recycling. Gedert is nationally recognized amongst his peers in the National Recycling Coalition for his work maximizing cost efficiencies in trash collection systems through the implementation of zero waste programming. Gedert will speak at 8:00 a.m. on Monday, June 13.

The Colorado Association for Recycling’s annual Summit for Recycling brings together more than 200 of Colorado’s recycling professionals. Waste processors, manufacturers, government agencies, non-profit organizations, academic institutions, trade associations, consultants and individuals will attend to learn how limited resources, new technologies and human behavior are reshaping the recycling industry. The Summit is a dynamic conference and exhibition complete with educational sessions, panel discussions, a variety of presenters, two-day exhibit hall, site tours, recycling awards, silent auction, and networking events.

The 2016 Summit for Recycling is sponsored by Ball Corporation, Waste Management, Larimer County, Momentum Recycling, PaintCare, Pollution Prevention Advisory Board, Republic Services, Waste Connections of Colorado, Waste-Not Recycling, Western Disposal Services, CAFR Board of Directors, City of Loveland, Colorado Industrial Recycling, Electronic Recyclers International, I.T. Refresh, Power Screening, A1 Organics, Boulder County Resource Conservation Division, Eco-Cycle, EcoProducts, Gallegos Sanitation, Iron and Metals, Resource Recycling Systems, Alpine Bank, City and County of Denver/Denver Recycles, Gracestone, Inc., Mesa County Solid Waste, Pitkin County Solid Waste Center, 4 Rivers Equipment, Discover Goodwill of Southern and Western Colorado and High Country Conservation Center.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 13th, 2016.

Governor signs bill to help boost recycling in Colorado

(DENVER, CO) – The Machine Tools Sales Tax Exempt Recovered Materials bill (SB16-124) was signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper yesterday. The bill extends the tax exemptions on machinery and equipment enjoyed for decades by traditional manufacturers in Colorado to also include machinery and equipment used in the sustainable manufacturing practices of reprocessing, remanufacturing and reuse of recycled materials.

The tax exemption secured by this bill will spur investment by recycling processors and remanufacturers, bolster local businesses and support a robust and reliable source of local materials and supplies for recycled materials processors and manufacturers in the state. Ultimately, the tax exemption will help grow the state’s recycled materials processing and manufacturing industries, provide Colorado with additional economic benefits that are currently being lost to other states and boost the diversion of valuable recyclable materials from disposal in Colorado’s landfills.

The bill was sponsored by Sen. Kevin Grantham and Rep. Kevin Priola. The signing comes just days before the annual Summit for Recycling hosted by the Colorado Association for Recycling, which will be held in Grand Junction June 12 through 14.

The recycling and remanufacturing industry helps to preserve and create new jobs in Colorado and is an important part of our state’s economy. A 2014 study found that recycling, reuse and remanufacturing sectors sustain more than 85,000 jobs in the state – more than 5,000 of them in rural Colorado.

This entry was posted on Thursday, June 9th, 2016.