Recycle Colorado, Denver, has coordinated a six-month collection pilot project designed to increase collection of glass bottles in downtown Denver. The project provides 96-gallon recycling carts to participating businesses and arranges for glass collection services through May 2019. Businesses can participate for free.
Recycle Colorado says end markets within the state can use the collected glass, unlike other recyclables that may have to be shipped out of state. In this closed loop system, postconsumer glass is collected, sorted and made into new products, such as bottles. However, for Colorado’s closed loop system to work properly, the organization says more glass needs to be collected.
It takes only a few weeks to remanufacture 100 percent of the collected glass into new bottles in Colorado, the association says. Currently, less than 30 percent of the total glass in the waste stream is captured for recycling, according to Recycle Colorado. Keeping glass in a closed loop system and out of the landfill benefits Colorado environmentally and economically. One ton of recycled glass saves 42 kilowatt hours of energy. Recycling creates an average of 10 times more jobs than sending material to landfill, the association notes.
Businesses in the South Broadway, Colfax east and west and Downtown Denver neighborhoods are invited to participate in the pilot. During the collection portion of the project, outreach teams will provide support and address any issues or concerns that arise. At the end of the project, participants can choose to continue to work with a service provider or return the recycling cart. For more information or to participate contact Laurie Johnson at 303-550-2591.
The project is sponsored by MillerCoors, Momentum Recycling and Rehrig Pacific Co., which supplied the 96-gallon carts. Alpine Waste & Recycling, Republic Services and Certifiably Green Denver provided additional support. Cornerstone Apartments has involved 18 of its multifamily unit buildings in the pilot as a program partner to help support recycling.
The Baker Historic neighborhood residents who do not have single-stream recycling service also can participate by taking their glass to the Sinclair gas station at 295 South Broadway in Denver.