Great Divide Brewing Company Wins Grant to Launch Community Recycling Program

DENVER — Great Divide Brewing Company has been awarded a $16,000 grant to launch a recycling program in the RiNo neighborhood. The funding is part of the Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity (RREO) competitive grant program, which is administered by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The brewery will use the grant to establish themselves as a community recycling center for small manufacturing businesses in the RiNo neighborhood.

The inspiration behind becoming a hub for a community recycling program came about when the Great Divide Green Team started researching ways to recycle, polypropylene grain bags and shrink wrap, items in which recycling centers do not take unless the items are baled (compacted into blocks that can be stacked and easily transported). Without a baler, these streams would go directly to landfills.

“We estimate that we use 2,000 lbs of polypro grain bags a month, and all of this was going to the dump,” said Erin Cox, sustainability coordinator at Great Divide. “We realized if we were struggling with recycling these items, then surely our neighboring breweries were also having the same issue.”

Upon receiving the grant, Great Divide became registered as an official recycler in the state of Colorado. The brewery purchased and installed two balers and a pallet scale which weighs recyclable materials and can help participating businesses understand their diversion rates and impact. This spring, Great Divide is launching a pilot program with neighbors Bierstadt Lagerhaus and Black Shirt Brewing to ensure that the community recycling program is efficient and runs smoothly for all involved. Once the program is finalized, Great Divide will launch the official community recycling program and open up its recycling capabilities to other RiNo small businesses in the fall.

“At the end of the day, this grant serves as a way to ensure that we’re impacting the environment as little as possible,” said Cox. “With these new resources, we are now able to not only bale our own waste streams, but can handle our neighbors’ recyclable byproducts as well.”

Breweries and small businesses that are interested in being involved with Great Divide’s recycling program are encouraged to email quality@greatdivide.com.

About Great Divide Brewing Company

Founded in 1994, Great Divide Brewing Company is one of the most decorated breweries in America, recognized for brewing some of the globe’s most balanced yet assertive and flavorful beers. These beers have landed an impressive amount of acclaim, earning 18 Great American Beer Festival Medals, five World Beer Cup Awards and 14 spots on Beer Advocate’s “Top Rated Beers: Colorado” (2015). Here at Great Divide, Bold Character isn’t just a catchphrase. It’s the philosophy behind what we brew, how we think and what we believe. For more information visit www.greatdivide.com.

About the RREO Grant Program

The Recycling Resources Economic Opportunity Act (HB 07-1288) created the RREO Grant Program with the intent to fund implementation projects that promote economic development through the productive management of recyclable materials that would otherwise be treated as discards. Projects that meet this goal are designed to implement recycling, composting, anaerobic digestion, source reduction, and beneficial use/reuse for a wide variety of materials. Funds are awarded to businesses, local governments, nonprofit groups, and schools and universities throughout Colorado. The grant program is under the authority of Colorado’s Pollution Prevention Advisory Board.

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