Denver, a capital of the US state of Colorado, has collaborated with the Foodservice Packaging Institute (FPI) on paper cup recycling program.
The FPI Community Partner program will allow two million residents in the Denver to recycle hot and cold paper beverage cups.
Denver is the fourth city to join the program, after Washington, Chattanooga of Tennessee, and Louisville of Kentucky.
According to FPI, the four recycling programs have joined the ranks of major US programs such as New York City, Seattle and San Francisco, where paper cups are also accepted for recycling.
FPI president Lynn Dyer said: “We spent five years researching real and perceived barriers to recycling foodservice packaging before launching our FPI Community Partner program last year.
“Our approach relies on strong end markets partnering with recycling processors and communities educating their residents to ensure these materials are recycled properly.”
FPI noted that cities are elected based on viable end markets and material recovery facilities (MRFs). The cities should also have interest and capacity to recycle foodservice packaging items.
The 16 paper mills in the US and Canada are already accepting poly-coated paper cups, under commodity bales such as mixed paper or aseptic cartons.
In Denver, Sustana’s Fox River Fiber facility will accept the cups for recycling. The paper mill produces around 450 tons of de-inked recycled pulp per day and secures about 1.3 million pounds of post-consumer paper daily from its suppliers.
Denver is targeting to increase its recycling rate to 34%, the national average. It is already accepting plastic containers and cups as part of the recycling program.
Denver-based Alpine Waste & Recycling processes more than 30,000 tons of recyclables for the city each year. It intends to increase the production of carton bales with the addition of other poly-coated feedstock.
Alpine Waste & Recycling vice president Brent Hildebrand said: “Since its origin 20 years ago, Alpine has promoted a sense of innovation and environmental stewardship in the industry. Now we have a role in which cups can be recycled and turned into other products, with help from companies like Sustana.”