Did you know? The average Denver household sends about 306 pounds of recyclable material to the landfill each year. Making small changes – like remembering to always recycle items like glass bottles and jars, aluminum, and cardboard – can help change this number for the better!
Here are a few quick reminders and tips that will help keep valuable recyclables out of the landfill and help keep Denver’s recycling program operating smoothly:
Glass. Glass bottles and jars are perfectly recyclable in Denver’s purple carts, and are turned into new glass bottles right here in Colorado! Even with this cool bottle-to-bottle closed loop on glass, Denver residents still throw more than one quarter of their glass bottles and jars in the trash. Let’s change this!
Aluminum. Aluminum is infinitely recyclable, and using recycled aluminum saves 95% of the energy required in the manufacturing process. Trashing our aluminum, therefore, trashes our environment, our air, and the climate. Since Denver residents currently only recycle about 50% of their aluminum cans, there’s plenty of room for improvement here too. No need to crush your cans (in fact, we prefer that you don’t!), just place your cans in your purple cart with empty aluminum pie containers, aluminum food trays, and clean, balled-up aluminum foil.
Cardboard. In the age of online shopping, cardboard is everywhere! Fortunately, Denver Recycles accepts flattened cardboard in its purple carts (be sure to cut boxes down into flat pieces no larger than 2’ by 2’). If they’re free of grease, you can also recycle your pizza boxes (Pro Tip: If a cardboard pizza box is greasy, it’s not recyclable but it’s perfectly acceptable in the Denver Composts program. Better yet, you can separate the top of the box for recycling, and place the greasy bottom half in your green compost cart!).
NO Plastic Bags! If we are starting to sound like a broken record on the topic of plastic bags, it’s because we literally can’t stress this enough! Denver Recycles does not accept plastic bags of any kind in its purple carts. In fact, plastic bags are the No. 1 contaminant found in Denver’s recycling program. Recyclables placed inside plastic bags will not be recycled, and even worse, bags that make it into purple carts are often responsible for jamming and clogging the sorting equipment at the recycling center. Avoid plastic bags where you can, but if you cannot, look for a plastic bag recycling drop-off option at a local retailer instead!
Stay in the know with all things trash, recycle and compost with the FREE Denver Trash andRecycling app which is available in the iTunes Store and through Google Play.