For several months, staff from the City's Environmental Services Department held several Community Conversations on waste reduction and recycling strategies. The goal? Collect feedback from residents and businesses and develop a master plan that would improve waste diversion rates in the City. Please take a moment to review the plan's initial draft and give us your feedback. Learn more about the Road to Zero Waste today!
Whether you need leaves for composting or you're looking to keep this year's heaps out of the landfill, Fort Collins Leaf Exchange is the place to visit.
Keep Cardboard from the Landfill
The City of Fort Collins recently adopted a regulation to prohibit corrugated cardboard boxes/packaging from disposal in the landfill. This affects all commercial, industrial, and residential generators. Learn more about the ordinance and what it means to Fort Collins residents. Why is this an important issue to tackle? Even though cardboard is easy to recycle, much of it continues to end up in our landfill. You can also read our article on the cardboard ban or view our informative brochure.
Nearly everything can be reused or recycled, but do you know what you can and can't place in your recycling bin? We've made it easy to become a recycling expert! Check out our easy-to-follow Recycling Guidelines Poster.
Glass Recycling Reduces Waste
You already know that all of the paper, metal, and plastic you place in your curbside recycle bin is made into new paper, metal and plastic. But did you know that glass is unique? It's the only material placed in our single-stream recycling that goes toward a "beneficial secondary use". Learn more about glass recycling.
You probably think paper is paper, right? Not if it’s shredded paper. Unlike office paper, shredded paper can't go in your curbside bin. However, shredded paper can be taken to the City’s Recycling Drop-off site at 1702 Riverside Avenue, and placed in the mixed paper bin (#4).
Here’s our advice. Before shredding paper, decide if there are just a few lines of information you want to keep protected. Tear off the information you consider confidential and shred it. The larger pieces of the paper can go into your curbside bin, and the shredded pieces taken to the City's Drop-off. Or, find a local business that can shred and recycle your documents for a fee.
Help stop dumping of non-accepted items at our City Recycling Drop-Off location. The City incurs costs everytime non-recyclable items are left. These costs deplete the funds available to operate and grow the drop-off center. If you see dumping happening, please note the license plate and identifying factors about the vehicle, and report it.
Start Recycling at Your Business or Apartment Complex
Want to start a recycling or composting at your workplace? Do you hope to have recycling options at your apartment complex? Now’s a great time to start! The City of Fort Collins' Waste Reduction and Recycling Assistance Program (WRAP) is offering financial incentives for businesses and multi-family complexes to start such programs.
Take a quick peek at the WRAP overview. If you'd like more details, this brochure can help you. Thanks to this program, you could even get a financial incentive for referring someone to start a program!
On March 18, 2013, the City Council reviewed an option on placing a fee for disposable shopping bags. The meeting resulted in a split vote. Still interested in learning more about this issue? Visit our website and take a peek at the Triple Bottom Line Report, which draws on disposable bag policies throughout the nation.
Stop Junk Mail (PDF)
The City has joined forces with Catalog Choice to allow consumers to stop unwanted phone books, catalogs, coupons, and credit card solicitations at the source. More than 80 billion pieces of unsolicited mail are received by Americans each year—and customers and municipalities foot the bill for waste/recycling collection and disposal.
Residents and businesses can sign up for the mail preference program immediately. The program is designed to help Fort Collins shed waste, time, and cost one mailbox at a time. With the annual collection and landfill cost of these mailings estimated at up to $10 per household, the cost savings will be significant.
Think Globally, Reuse Locally
Cleaning your garage, but can't bear to send all that stuff to the landfill? Freecycle it! The Fort Collins Freecycle group is more than 9,000 members strong and the rules are simple: everything posted must be free, legal and appropriate for all ages. Check out the local Freecycle Yahoo! group today! Additional local groups are in Berthoud, Loveland, Wellington, and Windsor. Or, check out freecycle.org, a different resource that allows you to post items for free reuse.
Paper Carton Recycling Available in Fort Collins!
Paper cartons can be recycled in Fort Collins! Residents have the opportunity to include food and beverage cartons in their curbside recycling bins. Cartons are also accepted at the City's Recycling Drop-Off site in the commingled containers bin (container #5). Examples include milk, soup and tofu cartons, as well as juice boxes. Please rinse the cartons and remove caps or straws. For those who live closer to the Larimer County Landfill, cartons can be dropped off at their recycling site as well.
Check out our FAQ sheet or our press release to learn more. You can also listen to 102.5 FM morning radio show host Paul Wozniak’s interview with Environmental Planner Caroline Mitchell.
Confused about the 1-7 "symbols" on plastics containers, what they really mean, what they're manufactured as, what they're recycled into, and what local options are available for each? Find out with this handy poster.
Vegetable Oil Recycling
It's critically important to remember these two items:
1.) Do not drop off WVO except during hours of operations at partnering busineses; unattendd drop-offs could compromise the long-term viability of this innovative project.
2.) Absolutely NO animal fat allowed. Only used vegetable oil, please.
Did you know that Coloradoan's generate twice the national average in waste? Recycling keeps products and their processing in Colorado--keeping jobs here, too. The Colorado Association for Recycling (CAFR) recently released a YouTube Video (4 minutes) on recycling awareness and education. The City of Fort Collins and CAFR work together to support, educate, and guide Coloradoans on the importance of recycling.
If you're like us, your recycling bin is larger and fills up much faster than your trash bin. Thanks to the participatory actions of community members, the City is able to divert significant amounts of recyclable goods from ending up in the landfill. But have you ever wondered where all of that recycling goes after it leaves your curb?
Tri-102.5 FM morning radio show host Paul Wozniak did, so he made the trip to Waste Management's main recycling facility in Denver to see first-hand how the company sorts and processes Fort Collins' recycling. Check out Wozniak's tour in this YouTube video!
Local Restaurants Team Up to Combat Waste
In partnership with the City, local bike courier Rob Martin has partnered with local restaurants Enzio’s and Austin’s to divert food waste from finding its way to the landfill. Instead, Martin pedals the restaurants’ leftovers to the City’s compost bins called “Earth Tubs.” Thanks for federal funding through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the City was able to purchase the Earth Tubs as part of a pilot project.
So far, Martin estimates more than 15,000 pounds of food waste has been saved and converted to high-quality compost that is then used in the City’s downtown flower beds and planters. According to the City’s Senior Environmental Planner Susie Gordon, the Earth Tubs have helped the City take steps towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Given that organic waste (such as food scraps) takes up about 30% of landfill space, she adds, composting has a real impact. Read the full story.
Recycle Everywhere You Go
The Waste Reduction & Recycling Program wants to remind residents and visitors to "Recycle Everywhere You Go". Recycling is an easy thing to do no matter where you go. Learn more. In this audio interview, Environmental Planner Caroline Mitchell speaks with morning radio show host Paul Wozniak of Tri-102.5 FM about recycling and how to access the many resources available to make this easy. You'll also learn about a series of rebate and referral incentive programs to encourage recycling and composting at businesses and multi-family complexes.
iRecycle Campaign Encourages Recycling Through Innovative Advertising
In a series of targeted advertising campaigns, the City of Fort Collins Environmental Services Department encourages residents of all ages to become an “iRecycle” participant.
The first of the series features children from the Rivendell School (PDF) who are role models by taking an active role in recycling.
The second installment targeted 20-somethings to recycle because it's hip, easy, and the right thing to do. Eric Bjorlo, a forestry college student, is an avid recycler. Take a look at Eric's story and why he recycles. You can also view this short video that will give you a flavor of how Eric, his room-mates, and some of his friends incorporate recycling into their time.
In the third installment Aida Raider, a mother and grandmother, encourages everyone to take an active role in recycling. Take a look at Aida's story. This particular installment includes two well-produced, entertaining videos. The first video shows how little actions can make a big difference. The second video has a lighter, more entertaining take on recycling as cameras follow this avid recycler.
BigBelly Solar Trash & Recycling Compacting Units
Check out this nifty video on the solar compacting trash and recycling bins around Fort Collins. Learn how these new “Solar Bellies” located around town are helping us all recycle bottles, cans, and paper away from home.
Recycle More & "Right Size" Your Trash
Did you know that by “right sizing” your trash, you could save money? This ongoing option is available to Fort Collins citizens living in single-family homes. The “Pay-As-You Throw” (PAYT) trash ordinance enables you to call your trash hauler and request a bigger recycling cart. The less you throw away, the less you pay!
Call your hauler today and order your bin. Haulers are required to deliver upgraded recycling bins (64-gallon or 96-gallon) to customers who request them.
Here are a few resources to help you stay current on PAYT:
The Garbage Garage Education Center
The Larimer County "Garbage Garage" waste education center features educational and interactive displays about the problems associated with an overabundance of trash. "Patty Packrat" directs visitors through the Garbage Garage, starting with the Mountain of Trash and from there you can choose from a variety of exits into areas depicting various methods of handling waste: reducing, reusing and recycling or landfilling. Enter the kitchen/garage area to learn what household hazardous wastes are and how to safely handle them.
The Garbage Garage is located at the Larimer County Landfill, 5887 S. Taft Hill Road, Fort Collins. For more information, visit Larimer County Landfill or call (970) 498-5772.