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:
- Expand CDPHE’s mission and authority to include enforcement and funding of diversion and sustainable materials management.
- Assign timelines and priorities.
- Commit to market development and assistance programs.
- Measure and evaluate actions based on climate change impacts.
- Set stronger resource recovery goals.
- Integrate materials management into state economic development programs.
- Quantify funding gaps, identify key funding sources, and set goals.
- Prioritize additional compost facilities.
- Expand compost markets.
- 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.