What’s next for Zero Waste in Denver?
With the passage of two progressive policies, Expanded Waste Services and Waste No More, which will expand access to recycling and composting across the city, 2022 was a transformative year for Zero Waste! However, there’s still a long way to go to create a just, circular economy in the Mile High City.
Denverites will elect a new mayor and several new City Council members on April 4, 2023. Eco-Cycle’s Denver Candidate Waste Policy Platform is intended to inform and direct future decision-makers to continue implementing and build upon recent successes.
Please download and share Eco-Cycle’s document with mayoral and City Council candidates! As you interact with candidates and attend community forums, ask the candidates to specifically support the priorities in the Denver Candidate Waste Policy Platform.
As Denver implements its new Zero Waste policies, we will need your help to educate residents and businesses to ensure success. Sign up for our Eco-Leader program and be the “go-to person” for Zero Waste and sustainability in your community. We will give you all the training, tools, and support you need to do what you are already passionate about. Your outreach to your friends, neighbors, and coworkers in Denver will ensure these new policies are effective.
Denver City Council Votes for Expanded Waste Services
After a decade of consideration by the City and County of Denver and six years of Eco-Cycle’s involvement, City Council voted to pass Expanded Waste Services in June 2022. With this policy, Denver residents who live in single-family homes will receive weekly curbside compost collection at no extra cost. Compost service will be rolled out to new customers who currently don’t subscribe to the compost program beginning in summer 2023. Additionally, the Expanded Waste Services policy includes a new weekly recycling collection. The City has now changed to a pay-as-you-throw system for trash where households are charged less for choosing a smaller trash bin (trash collection remains a weekly service). The Expanded Waste Services program for Denver is based on policies that have been proven to make cities more Zero Waste.
Denver overwhelmingly supported Ballot Measure 306—Waste No More Denver
In November 2022, over 190,000 Denverites voted in favor of Ballot Measure 306—Waste No More Denver. The Waste No More ballot initiative improves recycling and composting virtually everywhere else, including larger multifamily buildings, businesses, construction sites, permitted events, and more. Having won over 70% of the vote, the Denver community made it clear that they are ready for sustainable waste management no matter where they live, work, or play. The city will begin implementing the Waste No More policy over the next year.
What is Waste No More Denver?
Waste No More (Measure 306) was a grassroots ballot initiative that makes recycling and composting more accessible for Denver residents by requiring all businesses—including apartment buildings, condos, restaurants, hospitals, hotels, sporting arenas, and permitted events—to provide compost and recycling services alongside trash services. It also requires that all construction and demolition waste must be sustainably managed. These policies will boost recycling rates and dramatically decrease the amount of waste our city sends to the landfill.
Why do we need this policy?
Businesses, construction sites, and larger apartment complexes generate 82% of Denver’s waste. Waste No More requires these entities to recycle and compost instead of burying valuable materials in landfills.