Colorado, and more specifically, Denver, has trouble recycling its waste. Additionally, the mountain towns that make our state so charming also struggle to recycle because systems are simply not in place to help them do so. Now, many are working to effect positive change in this arena. If Denver leads the charge in making headway in its recycling efforts, there is hope that the rest of the state can follow suit. Here’s what you should know about a 2022 ballot initiative that needs your help.
Momentum Behind “Waste No More”
Denver is an ever-expanding city with plenty of room to continue growing. Currently, apartment complexes with more than eight units are not required to provide recycling for residents. Additionally, Denver’s current regulations on businesses don’t require them to compost or recycle, either, allowing them to take up 55% of the city’s municipal waste.
The people behind this movement believe that both of these issues need solving. Instead of placing an undue burden on individuals, “Waste No More” is advocating for businesses and large apartment complexes, all of whom can afford to provide recycling, to do so. Not only is this a climate change issue, but it’s an equity one. It’s no secret that Denver is an expensive place to live and many of the city’s residents often don’t have the time, resources, or even vehicles to recycle and compost themselves.
The Fine Print
Wading through ballot measures is time consuming, so we’ve pulled out the finer points for you. If Waste No More is passed, the following changes will be implemented in Denver:
- Require recycling and composting at all permitted events
- Require construction and demolition companies to properly dispose of the waste they create
- Require businesses – including hospitals, apartment complexes, condos, restaurants, hotels, and sporting arenas – to provide compost and recycling pick up services
For those looking to do a deeper dive into the ballot’s official language, the entire ballot initiative can be found here.
Many are still reeling from the effects of pandemic shut downs and dissolution of certain jobs. According to “Waste No More”, one ton of recycling materials provides nine times more jobs than one ton of trash. Not only can this help Denver’s residents, but it will undoubtedly help our state work effectively toward the climate goals that we are seemingly behind in reaching.
If you live in or near Denver, consider signing up to volunteer with Waste No More Denver. Volunteers collect signatures and educate voters on this impending ballot initiative. Find a “Waste No More” event in order to sign the petition. Here’s how.
Confronting behemoth issues like climate change feels insurmountable on an individual level. However, with groups like Waste No More doing the heavy lifting, we can contribute simply by becoming informed voters and making a decision that moves our state in the right direction: toward increased sustainability, better air quality, more jobs, and equitable waste disposal for all Denver residents.