JUNE 3, 2016 BY 

Adapted from Colorado Office for Resource Efficiency

Trash your misperceptions

Questions have recently surfaced over the merits of recycling in the valley. CORE has received calls from individuals questioning its efficacy. In this article we will uncover a common misconception:

True or False?: All our recyclables go to China.

Answer: False. Some recyclables do go to China, but many are processed in the states–even right here in Colorado. The Comprehensive Waste Diversion Plan for Pitkin County outlines the markets for common recyclables:

  • Plastics #1, #2 and PET do go to China
  • There are markets for steel, amber-colored glass, and the plastic HDPHE in Colorado
  • Markets that recycle cardboard in New Mexico
  • Paper mills that recycle newspaper on the West Coast
  • Food and yard waste can be composted at facilities in Routt county

According to a study by the University of Massachusetts, manufacturing products from virgin materials uses on average 17 times more energy than making products from recycled materials.

So, don’t give up! CORE would like to encourage you to keep recycling to reduce emissions, protect our air and water, and prevent the extraction of the earth’s finite resources.