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.