By Will Costello
Loveland leads the state in residential recycling, according to a new study from the Colorado Public Interest Research Group and Eco-Cycle, a nonprofit recycler.
Mayor Pro Tem Don Overcash said during a Zoom webinar with CoPIRG and Eco-Cycle on Monday that the city’s staff allowed it to excel.
“Part of it is education,” Overcash added. “What is and is not recyclable so that we can avoid contamination, that’s always a challenge.”
In 2020, Loveland led the state in residential recycling and composting with a rate of 58%, compared with Boulder, 53%; Longmont, 41%, and Telluride, 36%.
The state lags behind others in recycling. According to the Eco-Cycle/ CoPIRG report, Colorado is in the bottom 20 states in recycling. In 2020, Colorado’s statewide recycling and composting rate was just 15%, which is less than half the national recycling and composting rate of 32%.
“While the state as a whole is failing to make significant progress to increase recycling and composting, some leading Colorado communities are recovering more than 50% of their discarded materials,” the report said, “demonstrating that recycling and composting can be successful solutions for Colorado to reduce climate emissions, create green jobs, and conserve natural resources.”
“Loveland’s program has always focused on getting recyclable materials into the circular economy by making it easy for our residents to do so,” said city of Loveland solid waste manager Tyler Bandemer in a statement.
“Residents have eagerly adopted our recycling programs because of the accessibility, ease of use, and cost — from curbside recycling, Pay-as-You-Throw program and volume-based pricing, to our Recycling Center that accepts over 25 items and sees more than 120,000 customers per year,” Bandemer stated.