New law to boost development of recycling markets in Colorado

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EVERGREEN, June 3, 2022 - Governor Polis today signed a law creating Colorado’s first Circular Economy Development Center, which aims to empower Colorado businesses to create products using materials that Coloradans recycle. The new law will help the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment achieve its commitment to diverting trash away from landfills, increasing how much residents are recycling across the state. 

Legislators crafted the new law with extensive input from innovative recycling businesses around the state as well as other stakeholders. 

A key function of the Circular Economy Development Center will be to help businesses use recycled material to create new products. End markets are manufacturers that use recyclables to make new products. They can include paper mills, metal smelters, glass factories, and plastics fabrication plants.

“Today’s bill signing marks a new chapter for innovation in recycling for the state,” said Jill Hunsaker Ryan, executive director of CDPHE. “Materials recycled in Colorado should be reused here to help uplift our economy. The new Circular Economy Development Center will help businesses innovate and create new opportunities around the state.” 

The state will contract with a third-party administrator to operate and launch the center.

“Recycling helps the planet by lowering carbon emissions, which improves air quality and public health while mitigating the impacts of climate change. It also reduces the demand for limited natural resources,” said Jeff Lawrence, Director of the Division of Environmental Health and Sustainability at CDPHE. “Building new markets in rural areas will help local job creation through the development of small-scale manufacturers that use materials recycled here in Colorado.”