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Denver recycling rate ‘abysmal,’ according to report

DENVER -- A report calls Denver one of the worst cities in the country when it comes to recycling.

"Denver has one of the worst recycling rates of any city in the country right now," said Danny Katz, Colorado Public Interest Research group director.

According to a 2016 study by CoPIRG and Eco-Cycle, a nonprofit recycler, Denver recycles only 20 percent of waste generated by single-family homes.

"We're at 20 percent because we're not getting that composting, which makes up for 50 percent of our trash out into those green bins and we're not getting the recycling, which makes up for 25 percent of our trash, out into those purple bins," Katz said.

Denver Solid Waste Management manager Charlotte Pitt agrees with the report.

"They did get it right. The numbers are correct. Part of it is, we obviously have a lot of land out here. We've never suffered from a landfill crisis," Pitt said.

The other part is only 4 percent of Denver residents have the purple bin.

"People need more access to purple and green bins. They need those purple and green bins to be free," Katz said.

"We are in the process now of automatically delivering recycling carts to those households that don't have them," Pitt said.