In Larimer County, curbside recycling is available for most households either through their municipality or a local hauler. With some haulers, it is advantageous to recycle more items and reduce the size of your trash cart, as pricing is based on cart size. If you live in an area where curbside recycling is not available, you may use the recycling drop-off bins at the landfill and transfer stations.

Single stream recycling is the method used for recycling collection in Larimer County. This means that all recyclables can be collected in the same container to be transported to the recycling center. Recycling pickup typically occurs once every two weeks.

How to recycle properly

  • Ensure containers are empty and dry.
  • Flatten cardboard and paperboard boxes.
  • It’s okay to leave labels and lids on.
  • It’s okay to recycle paper products with tape, rubber bands and staples, and envelopes with windows.
  • Use a spatula to remove excess product from containers such as peanut butter and dressing.
  • Do not recycle plastic bags in your recycle cart!

What can be recycled curbside

Please view the photo below to see what can and cannot be recycled curbside. (Contact your trash and recycling hauler for specific requirements.) You can recycle cardboard, glass bottles and jars, metal cans, plastic bottles/jars/jugs and tubs, and paper/paperboard, including cartons.

 

How to recycle items not accepted curbside

The City of Fort Collins has a comprehensive A-Z Recycling Guide that provides alternatives to throwing items away. View our A-Z list for disposal options for various waste items, on-site at the landfill.

What happens to my recyclables?

Recyclables are collected and transported to the Recycle Center at the landfill. After they are unloaded inside the center, fiber (cardboard and paper) is separated with an OCC Screen, baled and shipped directly to market. Remaining recyclables are transported to a Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) where they are separated and prepared for marketing to a manufacturer that uses recycled content for new products.

At the MRF, various methods separate the mixed recycling based on material type. Screens isolate fiber from containers, air jets sort heavier and lighter plastics, optical sensors separate plastics by polymer type or color, and magnets and eddy currents (powerful magnetic fields) separate steel from aluminum.

Visit the Garbage Garage Education Center to learn more about recycling and other sustainable waste solutions. It's fun, free, and educational!