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Top 5 Common Types of Garbage Found in Denver

Last Updated: January 24, 2024

Top 5 Common Types of Garbage Found in Denver

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The City and County of Denver is the largest municipality in Colorado, with almost 715,000 people calling it home. And that means there’s lots of garbage found in Denver. The city has rolled out several new initiatives in the last couple of years, with a goal of increasing recycling and other waste diversion tactics and reducing landfill use.

Compared to national averages, Colorado lags behind other states in recycling efforts. To encourage more recycling and composting, Denver has made it easy for households to separate and responsibly dispose of waste. Waste customers in Denver receive three trash bins: gray for common waste, green for compost waste, and purple for recyclables. All three types of trash are collected weekly.

How Much Garbage is Generated in Denver Each Year?

Like any vibrant and growing city, Denver, Colorado, generates trash – lots of trash! The City and County of Denver picks up an average of 1.2 tons per household each year. That’s more than 220,000 tons of waste that’ll end up in local landfills.

But not all household garbage ends up in a landfill. With a municipal solid waste average diversion rate of 15.6%, over 38,000 tons of waste is recycled instead of taken to a trash dump. While this is a significant amount of trash, there is still a lot of work to do. For example, Denver residents throw out 29,000 tons of recyclable paper each year.

Top 5 Common Types of Garbage Found in Denver

The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment breaks down municipal solid waste disposal into several categories. They also compare rural, urban, and state averages to the national average for each type of waste.

So, what of garbage is found in Denver? These are the key trash takeaways for the City of Denver:

An infographic detailing top 5 common types of garbage found in Denver
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1. Organic and Food Waste

About 34% of the City of Denver solid waste is in the form of organic material. This includes food waste, yard waste, vegetation, clean wood, and other organics. Much of this disposal activity occurs during the warmer months, when homeowners and businesses work on landscaping, cut grass, and collect fallen leaves. As part of municipal waste collection, homeowners are given compost carts to collect this type of waste. This initiative began in 2022 to help reduce landfill waste.

2. Paper Waste

Paper waste comes in all shapes and sizes. From cardboard and paperboard, to office paper, newspaper, junk mail and magazines, this trash makes up almost 20% of all municipal trash in Denver. Homeowners have purple trash bins to collect paper and other recyclable waste.

3. Plastic Waste

Denverites throw away a lot of plastic waste, which makes up over 11% of household trash. Much of this plastic trash should be recycled instead of put into the trash container. The City of Denver purple trash cans should be used for plastic items with recycling emblems 1 through 7.

4. Non-Industrial Construction and Demolition Waste

From home repairs to shed tear-downs to kitchen DIY remodels, household construction and demolition (C&D) waste makes up over 8% of the trash generated by Denver households. Much of this is deposited in rental dumpsters, but plenty still makes its way into household trash cans. When you count in industrial and commercial C&D waste, this category is much larger.

5. Metal and Glass Waste

Over 7% of household waste is in the form of metal and glass debris. This includes glass containers, aluminum cans, steel and tin, and other metals. This type of material is also eligible for recycling in the purple trash bins. Allowed items include aluminum cans, foil and pie plates, steel and aerosol cans, and glass bottles and jars.

Challenges of Waste Management and Plans to Increase Waste Diversion in Denver

The City of Denver continues to face challenges in waste management, most notably slower adoption of recycling and diversion actions by residents. According to the Sustainable Resource Management Plan issued in 2022, the city is working to “divert 50% of all solid waste generated by 2027 and 70% by 2032.” To do this, the plan outlines several tactics, including increasing residential waste hauling service fees, increasing waste diversion at City facilities, and working with the commercial sector to increase landfill diversion for C&D waste.

Discount Dumpster Offers Affordable and Sustainable Waste Management Services

At Discount Dumpster, we know first-hand how important it is for Denver residents and businesses to access responsible waste management services. Our rental dumpsters in Denver hold all garbage types, from construction debris to household items to yard waste and more.

Partner with us to get quick delivery of a dumpster to hold all your household clean-out and remodeling waste. We adhere to all environmental regulations and provide reliable service with easy ordering and fast delivery. Contact us today to learn about our services. We’ll assist you with all your waste management needs and continue to support Denver’s environmental goals. Give us a call today for your free quote.

Call Today for a Denver Dumpster Rental! - (888) 316-7010

About Monica Mayhak

I am an expert content writer with a depth of experience in the waste management and dumpster industry, with over 25 years of experience writing about construction, home improvement, property management, and education topics. As lead research writer for Discount Dumpster, I have expanded my knowledge and understanding of waste management, construction, and environmental issues over the past several years.

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