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How a nationwide slowdown in housing sales put a kink in Colorado’s mattress recycling

Used mattress foam piling up at Spring Back Colorado’s recycling plant in Commerce City is due to a lack of a market, a problem that recyclers of other materials are wrestling with, too.

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Circular Action Alliance Announces New Executive Director

Circular Action Alliance has announced Juri Freeman as the organization's new executive director for Colorado operations, effective June 18, 2024. 

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Highlights from the 2024 NextCycle Colorado Pitch Competition

The 2024 NextCycle Colorado Pitch Competition was an energizing showcase of creativity and dedication, highlighting the innovative spirit within our community. We're deeply grateful to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) for the opportunity to collaborate with such exceptional individuals and organizations committed to driving positive change.

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Now Accepting Applications for the C3 Enterprise Board of Directors!

CDPHE seeks applications for the Colorado Circular Communities Enterprise Board of Directors. Individuals with an interest in designing and delivering circular economy services and statewide solutions are encouraged to review this Colorado Circular Communities (C3) Enterprise Overview. Specifically, the department seeks applications from individuals across the state who have expertise in:

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HB24-1449 Environmental Sustainability and Circularity (C3E) PASSED

We are pleased to announce that House Bill 24-1449 Environmental Sustainability and Circularity has officially passed!  The bill enhances the state’s work to advance sustainability across Colorado. The Colorado Circular Communities (C3) Enterprise will build out Colorado’s circular infrastructure, support cross-jurisdictional public-private partnerships, and provide grants, funding, and technical assistance to local governments, businesses, schools, and higher education institutions. The bill also makes permanent the sustainability coaching, technical assistance, and recognition services that the department’s Colorado Green Business Program provides.  

We would like to thank those of you that testified in support of the bill including:
  • Liz Chapman with Recycle Colorado
  • Laurie Johnson with Circular Colorado
  • Zan Jones with Eco-Cycle
  • Brandy Moe with Republic Services
  • Barrett Jensen with Waste Connections
We also would like to thank all our stakeholders for engaging with us in the process - it was an honor to carry this bill on your behalf.

What comes next? The bill is awaiting signature. The department anticipates the bill will go into effect on July 1, 2024. Over the next few weeks, the CDPHE team will be working on transitioning existing grants and contracts to the C3 Enterprise, working with current vendors to assess changes needed to support statewide service, and recruiting for the 13-member C3 board of directors to be appointed by the CDPHE Executive Director. Board members will represent for-profit, nonprofit, local government, and other organizations. We have attached an informational flyer with more information about the board. 
If you are interested in learning more or would like to apply for the board, please contact Deborah Nelson at [email protected] 
Thank you again for all your support! We look forward to continuing the collaboration as we roll out the statewide C3 Enterprise!

Producer Responsibility Advisory Board Meeting #25 / 25.a reunión del Consejo Consultivo del Programa de Responsabilidad del Productor

Colorado’s Producer Responsibility Advisory Board will hold its 25th meeting virtually on May 8, 2024 from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. Stakeholders and members of the public are welcome to observe the meeting, which will include Spanish interpretation, and provide public comment. Register for the meeting here.

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CDPHE Seeking Applicant for Producer Responsibility Advisory Board

The Producer Responsibility Program for Statewide Recycling is accepting applications for a vacancy on the Producer Responsibility Advisory Board. This individual will represent the manufacturer of recycled paper products seat and continue in a two-year term that ends in December of 2024. We are accepting applications until May 24 or until the seats filled.

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Congratulations to FRWD’s Recent Grant Awardees

Thanks to the submissions from many dedicated project teams and organizations, the Front Range Waste Diversion (FRWD) program has received and reviewed a remarkable array of projects submitted in response to RFA #SF011224 and RFA #MC030824. These projects exemplify the very essence of FRWD’s mission to reduce the amount of waste going into Front Range landfills and to support the region in achieving 39% waste diversion by 2026 and 51% by 2036.

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Recycle Colorado's 17th Annual Poster Contest: Trash to Treasure!

Recycle Colorado's 17th Annual Poster Contest: Trash to Treasure!

Students are encouraged every year to incorporate the theme of our poster contest into their artwork. This years theme was “Trash to Treasure”. Students were encouraged to either create a poster demonstrating the possibilities of upcycling or develop a creative innovation out of upcycled materials and take a picture of it for submission.

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Closed Landfill Remediation Grant Program - Proposed Rulemaking

During the 2023 legislative session, the Colorado General Assembly passed HB 23-1194, creating the Closed Landfill Remediation Grant Program. The program will provide grants to eligible local governments to help with the costs of environmental remediation efforts for, and management of, closed landfills owned by local governments. 

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Pitkin Solid Waste Center takes part in donation of bikes to Dine’ Bike Project

The Pitkin County Solid Waste Center and its Motherlode Mercantile shop were involved in a collaborative project where 126 bikes, bike parts, and wheels were donated to the nonprofit, NavajoYES, according to a Pitkin County press release. 

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Colorado Compost Regulation Revisions

As of March 30, 2024, revisions to Section 14 of the Solid Waste Regulations are effective.  The primary aim of these revisions was to address a lack of mid-tier food waste composting options within our regulatory structure.  The following is a summary of changes to increase food waste composting opportunities:

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Avon Awarded Grant to Launch Styrofoam Recycling Program for Eagle County

The Town of Avon is thrilled to announce that the proposed “Avon Community Styrofoam Recycling Program” has received a significant boost with the approval of a $111,105 grant from the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) program provided by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). This grant will empower Avon to implement an innovative Styrofoam recycling program that will benefit all of Eagle County and is the first of its kind in the Colorado mountain regions.

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2024 Rocky Mountain NAHMMA Conference

Register for the NAHMMA Conference

Producer Responsibility is Good for Business and Good for Colorado

Colorado is poised to have one of the nation’s best recycling programs as it implements its best-in-class Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) program. The newly released Circular Action Alliance (CAA) report charts a course towards raising the recycling rate to as high as 50% by 2035. This is all possible because the state passed HB24-1355, creating a producer responsibility program for recycling in Colorado.

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Coming Soon! Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) Recycling Rebate for 2023

The purpose of the upcoming RREO rebate is to assist free public recycling drop-off sites by offsetting a portion of the transportation costs incurred by shipping recyclables to market or to a processing center. The rebate period covers costs incurred by drop-off sites from January 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023. To be eligible for the rebate, each public drop-off site must have collected a minimum of 10 tons of qualifying recyclables during the rebate period and must continue to be operational and open to the public today. Additional eligibility requirements will be provided within the application.

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Revised Producer Responsibility Needs Assessment Scenarios

Based on feedback, Circular Action Alliance (CAA) revised the three proposed recycling scenarios to:

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Grant Support for Foam Recycling - Webinar

Foam polystyrene (PS) is part of our everyday lives - from egg cartons in the grocery store, to protective cushioning in shipments, to takeout containers from our local restaurants. Because PS foam is over 90% air, it can be costly to transport for recycling. However, when the foam is densified - compacted into dense blocks - is can be transported more cost-effectively. For example, a 48-foot truckload of baled PS foam weighs around 16,000 pounds, whereas a truckload of densified PS foam weighs approximately 40,000 pounds. The Foam Recycling Coalition (a part of the Foodservice Packaging Institute) is hosting a webinar that will provide more information about foam recycling and end markets for densified foam. Additionally, the webinar will provide information on the FRC grant program that provides up to $50K per grant to public, private, or non-profit entities that are engaged with drop-off centers, curbside programs, or MRFs and looking to increase foam recycling for their communities. Grant applications will be accepted between March 18 – April 22, 2024.

Glass Recycling Survey Findings Released

Consumer Expectations for Glass Recycling Remains High

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Circular Economy Models are Evolving in Southern Colorado

The Circular Economy Development Center’s recent stakeholder meeting explored concrete examples that show how circular models are evolving in southern Colorado, highlighting several businesses that derive their success from recovered plastics. On February 7 at Microchip’s Colorado Springs facility, business owners, government representatives and elected officials heard from Front Range Transload, a Pueblo-based material-handling company that provides the opportunity to aggregate less than full loads of material until there is enough volume for a truck or rail carload to go to market. Direct Polymers, a recycling services provider, uses the space to aggregate plastics. The company is preparing to close the loop on plastics by launching a manufacturing business in Colorado. The CEDC is helping coordinate these projects as part of circular economy development and showing other recyclers how materials could be stored for combined transport by rail or truck.

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