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Frequently Asked Questions

We just moved to Fort Collins. How do we get a curbside recycling service?

All solid waste haulers in Fort Collins are required by ordinance to provide curbside recycling service as part of their basic trash service.  A recycling bin will be provided to you by the trash hauler. You may have to pay a one-time recycling bin deposit fee.

How do I get a recycling bin?

You must call your trash collector for recycling bins.

Where can styrofoam be recycled?

Most mail service centers such as Mail Boxes Etc, Pack Rat Freight Company, Leonard's Mail Company, etc., accept Styrofoam "peanuts" and bubble wrap for reuse. To locate a "peanut" reuser close to you, call the Plastic Loose-Fill Peanuts hotline at 1-800-828-2214. It's a good idea to call first.

Colorado Frame Manufacturing, Inc., 1230 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins, CO 80524, 970-493-5966. Polystyrene materials accepted include: bubble wrap, styrofoam peanuts, and sheet or flat styrofoam.

Now that grocery stores don't accept styrofoam meat trays, egg cartons, or restaurant "to-go" boxes anymore, what can I do with them?

There are no recycling options for Styrofoam used as food packaging or molded Styrofoam. It is no longer recyclable by anyone in the region because there's just no market for it. There certainly is a supply, but no demand. California had the last major polystyrene recycling facility in the country and that was closed down last year.

Recycling the material was totally uneconomical due to high quality standards for cleanliness and also because it is a low-weight material, and in the recycling business where recyclers are paid by the pound, the revenue generated did not come close to covering collection, hauling and processing costs.  There are no markets for post-consumer (i.e. used) styrofoam in Colorado, so the material would have to be shipped quite a distance. We don't see any new markets developing in the near future either; so what to do when you can't recycle? Precycle.

As far as eggs are concerned, we recommend buying the paper egg cartons that can be recycled with the paperboard at the Larimer County Recycling Center. The next time you go to a restaurant a "to-go" container, ask the restaurant if they use something other than styrofoam.

Where are City drop-off sites?

Fort Collins residents can recycle several materials at the City's recycling drop-off center located at 1702 Riverside, just north of the Rivendell School. See map on right. The one-acre drop-off site is open year-round to the public during daylight hours, seven days a week. Recyclable materials collected at the site include:

  • cardboard (must be flattened)
  • paperboard (e.g., cereal boxes, cracker boxes, gift, shirt, shoe, tissue boxes, paper egg cartons)
  • newspaper and all inserts
  • junk mail
  • telephone books
  • soft-bound manuals and information books
  • magazines and catalogs
  • commingled bottles and cans, including steel and aluminum cans, glass containers, and plastic #1 and #2 screw-top bottles

Where can I recycle paint, batteries, fluorescent light bults and other hazardous chemicals?

Residential hazardous waste is accepted from Larimer County residents at no charge at the Larimer County Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Business or commercial hazardous wastes are accepted at low cost through our BHAPE Program (Business Hazardous Waste Assistance Program and Eduction). Because of State and Federal Regulations, the Larimer County Household Hazardous Waste Facility cannot accept business waste without an appointment. Call 498-5760 for more information on the "Be Happy" Program.

Loveland has a free yard waste drop-off site for residents, how come Fort Collins doesn't?

Trash and recycling service in Loveland is a municipal service.  Because the Loveland Sanitation Department is a utility, revenue is generated from the fees charged to all Loveland residents.  The City of Loveland contracts with A-1 Organics to compost the materials generated at the drop-off site.  Fort Collins does not have municipal trash service; it's provided by the private sector.  There is a privately owned composting business in Fort Collins, Hageman EarthCycle, located at 3501 East Prospect.  Though they do charge a fee based on vehicle sizes, the cost is lower than the tipping fee charged at the Larimer County Landfill.

Where can old computers and printers be recycled?

Our "recycling centers directory" lists several companies. Click here and then scroll down to "computers and printers" for more details.

Do I have asbestos in my house? What do I do if I'm remodeling?

Products where asbestos is typically found in home construction include, but are not limited to, floor coverings, cement products, wallboard, caulking and patching compounds, electrical wire insulation, ceilings and other insulation materials.

If you are remodeling and think you might have asbestos which may be impacted, look in the yellow pages of your phone book for a qualified environmental consultant who handles asbestos testing and/or mitigation.