Transformational producer responsibility recycling bill passes first cmte

Media Contacts

DENVER – Building on successful programs in dozens of countries and recent action taken by Maine and Oregon, the bipartisan producer responsibility bill, HB22-1355, passed out of its first committee with a 7-5 vote. The bill will transform Colorado’s dismal recycling system, creating the infrastructure to collect and reuse valuable glass, aluminum and paper and the incentives for large companies to reduce the amount of non recyclable and unnecessary packaging that comes wrapped around products.  

The bill passed on a 7-5 vote with Representatives Valdez, Bernett, Cutter, Froelich, Sirota, Titone, and Weissman voting yes.

According to the State of Recycling report by Eco-Cycle and CoPIRG, Colorado recycles just 15% of its waste, less than half the national average. Colorado’s low recycling rate is largely due to a lack of easy access by many residents to convenient, affordable curbside recycling services. 

“Colorado’s recycling rate is an abysmal 15%, which means 85% of our waste winds up in landfills instead of being reused,” said Danny Katz, CoPIRG executive director. “Too often, as consumers, we’re left to figure out what to do with the glass, aluminum, paper and plastic packaging that comes with our stuff. Producer responsibility will help cut down on the amount of unnecessary packaging that inundates us right now, and will fund a robust recycling system to ensure the stuff that wraps our goods is collected and reused.”

The Colorado Producer Responsibility bill, HB22-1355, would transform Colorado’s waste and recycling system by requiring producers to pay into a fund based on the packaging around their products, whether that packaging is cans, bottles, boxes, containers, shrink wrap or other material. The dues paid would fund an expansion of recycling infrastructure so that everyone in Colorado would have easy access to recycling at no additional cost to them or taxpayers, and businesses would gain access to a reliable source of recycled materials like glass, aluminum, and paper from our recycling bins.   

Local government leaders from the Colorado Municipal League and Colorado Communities for Climate Action (CC4CA) support the bill and many will be speaking at the hearing today citing the ways it can reduce costs for local governments, remove barriers for consumers, and expand recycling services and access for everyone. 

HB22-1355 heads next to the House Appropriations Committee.