Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson
> Departments > Solid Waste > Recycling > Recycling Center

Recycling Center

Become a Recycling Ambassador and help visitors recycle
correctly! Call 970-498-5772 for more details!

Recycling Drop-Off Recycling Drop-Off

(970) 226-1101
(970) 498-5770 (24-hour information line)

Location and Hours

Location: The Larimer County Landfill, 5887 South Taft Hill Road, Fort Collins (2 miles south of Harmony Road)

Phone: (970) 226-1101

Fax: (970) 226-0524

Drop-off Hours: Monday - Saturday 8:00 - 4:30. The Recycling Center drop-off area is also closed whenever the Landfill is closed due to wind.


Larimer County opened an Intermediate Processing Center (IPC) at the landfill in 1992. The facility accepts separated recyclables of two types: mixed containers (plastic, steel, glass and aluminum) and paper. Contaminants are removed and the recyclables sorted and processed to market specifications. The materials are then sold to end markets. Although primarily designed to serve curbside collection programs, the site will also process clean commercial loads as well as recyclables taken to the facility by individuals. Both drop-off and buy-back centers are provided for citizen use.

The $3.1 million cost of the facility was financed through a municipal lease. The facility was designed, constructed and originally operated by New England CRInc, a large national recycling company, through an agreement with Larimer County. CRInc was later bought out by Waste Management Inc., which assumed operations of all CRInc facilities, including the Larimer County Recycling Center. In 2005, a new contract was awarded to Recycle America, Waste Management, and later that year, our recycling center made changes to allow "single-stream" recycling. This refers to the mixing together of all accepted recyclables. Single-stream materials are brought to the Larimer County facility and then trucked to Recycle America's facility in Denver to be sorted. The Larimer County Recycling Center continues to accept "dual-stream" (pre-sorted) recyclables as well, which are baled and shipped to remanufacturers across the country.

How Do I Prepare My Recyclables?

All of the items listed below can be dropped off at the Larimer County Recycling Center or placed in your curbside cart. Call your trash hauler for any specific requirements it may have.

Learn more about the plastics recycling guidelines!

The following categories apply when taking your recyclables to a drop-off site.

The following items may be mixed and recycled together:
Glass Bottles and Jars Remove lids and toss and rinse. Paper labels can stay on. (No plate glass, drinking glasses, oven cookware, light bulbs, or ceramics.)To assure a greater amount of glass being recycled, it is recommended that you place your glass bottles and jars in "Glass Only" containers which are found at the drop-off site at the Landfill, at the Fort Collins drop-off site on Riverside, or at the Loveland Recycling Center as well as containers located throughout Loveland
Aluminum Cans Please rinse.
Steel (Tin) cans Rinse. Metal lids are okay. You may remove labels or leave them on the can. Empty aerosol cans are okay as long as they are totally empty.
Plastic Containers Rinse. Most containers (e.g., bottles, jars, tubs, pails, cups, pots) #1-#7. Snap-on lids okay. (No automotive chemical or pesticide bottles. No plastic wrap nor bags, Styrofoam, or items marked "compostable." No non-container plastics like toys, flatware, pieces of plastic of any kind, etc.)
The following items must be recycled separately if taken to a drop-off site:
Newspapers PLUS Newspapers (glossy inserts are okay), magazines and catalogs (No glue bindings more than ½ inch thick) and junk mail (envelopes and their contents that are not included in the "not accepted" list below).
NOT ACCEPTED: Paper or plastic bags, boxes, or string; phone books, paperback or hard-covered books; paperboard; cardboard; fluorescent or pastel-colored paper; construction paper; carbon paper; stickers, decals, etc.
Corrugated Cardboard and Brown Paper Bags Flatten boxes. (At curbside, boxes must be broken down to 2 ft. x 2 ft. or smaller.) Remove plastic or waxed paper liners and styrofoam packing. No wet, soiled or waxed cardboard; no pizza boxes (recycle empty pizza boxes with paperboard).
Office Paper Acceptable: White paper, colored paper - pastels only. (No neons or deep tones.) Carbonless paper (no carbon paper). Envelopes - includes those with plastic windows. (No self-adhesive labels, and no tan or brown paper envelopes.) Coated paper, fax, glossy brochures (staples okay), advertisements. (No plastic-coated papers such as ream wrappers.) File folders - manila or pastel.
Magazines and Catalogs These are recycled with Newspapers Plus (see above).
Paperboard and Low-grade Paper Includes cereal/cracker boxes; gift/shirt boxes; paper egg cartons; paper tubes; shoe boxes; six-pack holders/boxes; soap/tissue boxes; Kraft paper and envelopes; paper bags (brown bags go with corrugated cardboard); empty pizza boxes; and wrapping/packaging paper.
Flatten boxes. No paper towels/plates/cups/tissues/napkins; pet food or charcoal bags; foil-lined boxes; waxed paper or cardboard; or photographs.

Other Items Accepted for Recycling

For a fee, the Larimer County Recycling Center will also accept computers and electronics. These items must be taken to the scalehouse, just north of the recycling bins. See map.

Large appliances are recycled at the landfill's working face (where trash is dumped). Regular landfill fees are charged, which may include a Freon removal fee, if appropriate.

Rural Recycling Drop-Off Sites

The Larimer County Department of Solid Waste also maintains roll-off recycling containers in Berthoud, Wellington, Red Feather Lakes, Estes Park, and at Rocky Mountain National Park headquarters. Click here for more information on these sites.

Schoolchildren enjoying a tour of the recycling center

Tour Information

The Recycling Center offers tours to the public along with the Garbage Garage Education Center tour. Schools, scout troops, businesses or anyone else interested in learning more about the recycling center can call (970) 498-5772 to add a tour of the facility to your visit.

Background Image: Cirque Meadows by Adam Johnson. All rights reserved.