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Recycling: Now that Denver residents can recycle yogurt cups, what will kids play with?

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Denver residents can now recycle yogurt cups and other No. 5 plastics, which include ketchup bottles, disposable straws and shapely containers of fake maple syrup. (We're talking to you, Mrs. Butterworth.) The hooray-recycling initiative is thanks to a partnership between Yoplait and Waste Management.

But is it also bad news for the city's children's museum?

For years, The Children's Museum of Denver has collected all sorts of recyclable materials, including egg cartons, cereal boxes and paper towel rolls, for its Assembly Plant exhibit, where kids and their parents can use real tools (screwdrivers! clamps! saws!) to build creations out of junk.

The museum also collects plastics that until now were shunned by the city's recycling program, including yogurt cups -- many of which were turned into stunning creations like the yogurt cup-frozen dinner-Popsicle stick pirate ship pictured above. So does the dawn of yogurt cup recycling in Denver signal the death of imagination and tongue-depressor regattas?

Probably not, says museum spokeswoman Zoe Ocampo. She has faith that the yogurt-eating people who regularly donate their washed-out cups to the museum will continue to do so -- despite the city's expanded regulations.

"I've never looked at us as competition," she says. "It's just an alternative way to recycle."

"I think we'll be just fine," she adds.

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