Durango has once again been recognized in the State of Recycling & Composting in Colorado report as a leader in recycling and composting. The report jointly recognized Durango and Aspen for having the highest recycling and composting rates outside of the Front Range in 2020. Both cities had recycling rates of 32%.
Durango’s recycling rate, which remained relatively stable despite an increase in waste during the COVID-19 pandemic, was on par with national recycling and composting rates. Waste diversion policies, programs and infrastructure in Durango and other leading communities can serve as models that can be scaled up statewide to meet Colorado’s goal of 50% waste diversion by 2030, according to the report.
Residents in Durango are automatically signed up for municipal single-stream recycling collection and have access to 24-7 free glass recycling at the Durango Recycle Center, which also offers recycling for electronics, light bulbs and batteries. The city’s website provides education and resources, including the option to sign up for collection reminders and a “Waste Wizard” to help residents determine how to responsibly dispose of almost any items and materials.
Special collection services, including Spring and Fall Cleanup, Pumpkin and Leaf Drop-off and the bi-annual Household Hazardous Waste event, raise awareness of responsible waste management while diverting additional material from the landfill. Learn more about Durango’s recycling program at DurangoRecycles.com
“The success of the city’s recycling program is also due to the diligence of residents who prioritize waste reduction and follow guidelines on what can and cannot be recycled,” said Joey Medina, recycle/solid waste manager. “Durango would not be a recycling leader without the community’s commitment to helping keep waste out of the landfills to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
Food waste comprises about 20% of residential trash in Durango. The city recently entered a public-private partnership with a local composting company, Table to Farm Compost, to increase voluntary participation in curbside composting while assessing the feasibility of a citywide composting ordinance.
The State of Recycling and Composting in Colorado report is produced by the Colorado Public Interest Research Group (CoPIRG) and EcoCycle. Find the full report here.