CDPHE appoints first Producer Responsibility Organization in the nation for statewide recycling of packaging and paper

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REMOTE (May 1, 2023): The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment has appointed Circular Action Alliance as the Producer Responsibility Organization in charge of implementing Colorado’s new statewide recycling program created under the Producer Responsibility Program for Statewide Recycling Act. 

Circular Action Alliance will develop a convenient, cost-effective program that provides free and equitable recycling of packaging and paper for all Coloradans. By January 30, 2024, they will complete a statewide needs assessment to evaluate the recycling infrastructure throughout all geographic areas of the state. Following that, they will develop a program plan to detail how it will implement the recycling program to best serve Coloradans and establish targets for minimum recycling rates in Colorado by 2030 and 2035. 

Circular Action Alliance is a U.S. non-profit organization formed in response to the passage of Colorado’s Producer Responsibility Program for Statewide Recycling Act and similar laws in other states. Circular Action Alliance developed a working group of producers since the passage of these laws and are committed to the successful implementation of the program to provide all Coloradans with better access to recycling while advancing a more circular economy for packaging and paper.

“I am thrilled we are moving forward with implementing this landmark legislation,” said CDPHE executive director Jill Hunsaker Ryan. “Over the last several years, Colorado has made tremendous progress to help move us towards a more sustainable future. Producer responsibility is a solution that helps to solve some of the major gaps concerning supply chain, recycling end markets, and accessibility of recycling.”

The department evaluated and ranked the applications received for the producer responsibility organization. Scoring was based on criteria required within the Producer Responsibility Program for Statewide Recycling Act, including a diverse list of participating producers representing a variety of material types, the funding mechanism for the needs assessment, and governing board composition, as well as other applicable criteria.

Find more information about the program and upcoming activities on the Producer Responsibility Program webpage.

We are committed to achieving a 45% waste diversion rate by 2036 and are working in a variety of ways to move the needle:

  • We have awarded over $25 million to fund statewide waste diversion projects and provide rebates for community recycling centers through our Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity Grant Program. As the majority of the state’s waste is generated on the Front Range, we also have a dedicated grant program specifically targeting this area through the Front Range Waste Diversion Grant Program.
  • We released the Statewide Organics Management Plan in partnership with the Colorado Department of Agriculture to analyze and provide recommendations for increasing diversion of this waste stream.
  • Colorado is now poised to address the need for local recycling markets and attract end-market users and entrepreneurs to the state after the passage of the Waste Diversion and Circular Economy Development Center.
  • The Colorado Paint Stewardship Program “Paint Care” supports the free recycling of unused paint. Since 2015, PaintCare has collected over 5.1 million gallons of unused paint and has established 185 free drop-off sites in Colorado.
  • We run a statewide information campaign, Erase the Waste, letting Coloradans know how they can help the environment through recycling.