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Winter 2018 News Briefs
State Of Recycling In Colorado: Needs Improvement
A first-of-its-kind report released by CoPIRG Foundation and Eco-Cycle in November contained sobering numbers about the Centennial State’s recycling rates, which lag more than 20 percent behind the national average.
“We might think of ourselves as a green state, but on average, each Coloradan is putting seven pounds of trash per day in landfills,” said CoPIRG State Director Danny Katz. “Our policies in Colorado are pushing us to do the wrong thing—throw everything in the trash can.”
Our new report, titled “The State Of Recycling In Colorado,” details the policies and practices that lead to low recycling rates, and recommends actions that will help Colorado reach its newly adopted statewide recycling goals.
There’s certainly work to be done. Colorado produces more than 35 million pounds of trash every day—enough trash to fill one garbage truck every minute of every day for a year.
According to our research, one of the biggest barriers to upping the state’s recycling rate is a lack of access to curbside recycling programs. Only one in four Colorado residents automatically receives curbside recycling with trash service—and nearly 40 percent of Colorado counties don’t offer any curbside recycling programs.
The patchwork of recycling program policy across the state becomes clear when comparing recycling rates from different communities. Loveland, for example, has a recycling rate of 61 percent, but Commerce City’s rate is only 16 percent.
Our report found that in Front Range communities like Denver, the problem is exacerbated by a lack of recycling services for apartments and businesses, which produce nearly 60 percent of the waste in Colorado.
“The single biggest thing we can do to stop filling our landfills with recyclable material is to ensure every Coloradan, especially the majority of us who live in cities and towns, has a recycling cart for cans, bottles and paper and a cart for organic compostables,” Katz said. “This would immediately increase our recycling rates.”
Colorado Adopts First-Ever Electric Vehicle Plan
The Washington Post has called Colorado the best place in the country to buy a new electric car, and with this year’s adoption of the Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan, our state is working to become one of the best places to drive one.
The new Colorado Electric Vehicle Plan sets long-term goals for electric vehicle adoption, and lays out a series of actions and strategies to electrify the state’s transportation corridors.
CoPIRG Foundation is paying close attention to this important step toward an electric vehicle future, and we’ve submitted comments that we think will help make the plan even more comprehensive.
Standing Up For Our Consumer Watchdog
Six years ago, CoPIRG helped create the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to make sure banks and financial companies treat us fairly and play by the rules. Since then, the bureau has returned nearly $12 billion to ripped-off consumers.
Yet President Trump and some in Congress are trying to strip away vital consumer protections, and even eliminate the Consumer Bureau. That’s why we knocked on more than 300,000 doors across the country last summer, mobilizing more than 60,000 citizens to sign our petition to Congress.
In November, when Richard Cordray stepped down as director of the Consumer Bureau and the president named staunch CFPB opponent Mick Mulvaney as acting director, we doubled down on our efforts to ensure the agency stays strong and independent. With support from members like you, we’ll fight tooth and nail to ensure this important agency continues to thrive in the future.
Get the latest from our campaign here.
Bustang Ridership Jumps By More Than Half
If you build it, they will ride.
This year, the Bustang inter-regional bus service saw ridership jump by 52 percent over its inaugural year. CoPIRG Foundation was there on Bustang’s two-year anniversary to celebrate the success of mass transit in our state and push for bringing the long-overdue service to more Coloradans.
Forty-one mayors and county commissioners signed our letter applauding Bustang—which provided nearly 156,000 passenger trips this year—and called for more service.
Bustang—which connects Denver to Fort Collins, Colorado Springs and Glenwood Springs—brings us a step closer to a 21st century transportation system that doesn’t require people to rely on individual, fossil-fueled cars to get around.
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