In The Media

Colorado Releases HDR-Developed Needs Assessment for Statewide Recycling Program

In May 2022, Colorado became the third state to pass an extended producer responsibility law that will require packaging and paper companies to fund a statewide recycling system for those materials. This past month, the state took a major step toward implementation: releasing a needs assessment. 

HDR, in partnership with sustainability consultancy Eunomia Research and Consulting, worked with the Circular Action Alliance, Colorado’s producer responsibility organization, to develop the report, providing critical information about Colorado’s recycling infrastructure to inform the implementation of a statewide program. 

The Colorado needs assessment article from industry publication Waste Dive provides insight into the assessment's discoveries. A key finding is that between 22% and 28% of consumer packaging and paper products in Colorado are currently being recycled. The new program “has the potential to increase" that rate to 47-60% by 2035, according to the report. Other opportunities include more access for rural curbside recycling services, a minimum recyclables list and investments in materials recovery facilities.