by Raleigh Puzio, Staff Writer
America is ranked 7th in the world in recycling, however, there are some states that are better than others when it comes to participating and being successful in recycling. Colorado happens to be one of the bottom 20 states when it comes to recycling. This is due to a number of factors, including that since Colorado is almost in the exact middle of the country, so Colorado has to send its recycling off to other states to get it shipped to other countries. Sending recycling to other states is very, very expensive, and it’s hard for Colorado to deal with the cost. The most successful recycling company in the US is the San Francisco Zero Waste Scheme, and for Colorado to send all of their recycling to San Francisco, it costs over $150 per ton. Colorado’s average recycling rate is 15% which is less than half of the national average at 35%.
According to Environmental Reporter for CPR News, Miachel Elizabeth Sakas, “From 2018 to 2019, the state's recycling rate dropped to 15.9 percent from 17.2 percent, far below the national average of 35 percent, according to an annual report released by Eco-Cycle and the Colorado Public Interest Research Group.” Colorado struggles with participating in recycling not only because of cost, but also because Front Range had originally set a goal of reaching 32% by 2021, but they did not achieve that goal by finishing the year out with a 16% diversion rate. Another large issue in Colorado leading to its low recycling rate is that over forty percent of Colorado natives do not believe in human caused climate change, therefore leading them to believe that they should not have to participate in recycling or helping the environment.
Recycling is a very important issue in our world, and citizens need to understand that the world is dying at an extremely fast rate, so we need to do whatever we can to help.