Aug 16, 2023 - Climate

Denver seeks input on law that mandates businesses to recycle

Illustration of a recycling symbol repeating pattern.

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

The city wants your help in recommending changes to the city's Waste No More measure — a law requiring Denver businesses, like apartment buildings, restaurants and sporting arenas, to provide composting and recycling.

Why it matters: The law intends to reduce waste sent to landfills, where decaying material emits greenhouse gasses like methane that contribute to climate change.

  • Last fall, voters overwhelmingly passed the measure.

State of play: The changes to the law likely won't impact the requirements, Blake Adams, the city's zero waste manager, tells us. They are intended to provide flexibility around enforcement.

  • Adams said a task force considering potential tweaks to the measure to ensure it can be effectively implemented has brainstormed how the city will educate residents who need to follow the law before it goes into full effect.

The intrigue: Right now, only certain parts are in effect, like the requirement for construction and demolition projects to divert waste like scrap metal and clean wood toward recycling.

What we're watching: The 27-member task force, which first met in March and includes local business owners, lawmakers and advocates, will host a virtual public town hall Thursday at 6pm.

  • You will need to sign up to attend, though you can also submit feedback online.

What's next: A revised version of the law will likely be presented to the Denver City Council for final consideration later this year.


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