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Recycling & Trash Ordinances

Cardboard Ordinance

The City of Fort Collins Cardboard ordinance went into effect on March 15, 2013. All entities that use cardboard in Fort Collins are included in the ordinance, such as residents, businesses, and industrial operations. Cardboard may be recycled or reused or composted, but may not be placed in the trash for landfill disposal. For more information, read Fort Collins Ordinance 023.

Pay-As-You-Throw Ordinance

Fort Collins' "Pay-As-You-Throw" (PAYT) ordinance was adopted in 1996 and has been regularly updated since then (see ordinance language here). The ordinance requires trash haulers to be licensed by the City of Fort Collins. The ordinance also requires the following for residents of single family homes:

  • A trash bill based on the size of your trash receptacle
  • Unlimited recycling included at no additional charge
  • Recycling offered in a wheeled 64 or 96-gallon recycling cart. Some haulers also offer an 18-gallon recycling tub
  • Additional service fees such as an environmental fee or fuel fee cannot be charged on residential billing
  • All aspects of the PAYT ordinance apply to residents of single-family homes who live in homeowners associations as well as those who subscribe directly with the hauler.

E-waste Ordinances

In 2007, the City of Fort Collins’ E-waste ordinance banned the landfill disposal of electronics. Click here to read the ordinance. In 2013, the State of Colorado also passed an electronics landfill disposal ban, making it illegal to landfill electronics anywhere in Colorado.

Trash and Recycling Enclosures

The City of Fort Collins amended the Land Use Code in 2004 to require that trash enclosures be designed and built with sufficient space to accommodate recycling in all new commercial or multi-family housing construction. With this requirement, the City ensures that future tenants or occupants who wish to recycle are not constrained by a lack of space.

Structures that are exempt from the provisions are single-family homes and multi-family dwellings where there are no central or communal refuse or recycling collection or storage facilities (in other words, locations where refuse and recyclable materials are stored and collected on an individual unit basis).  For more information, read Fort Collins Ordinance 198, 2004Note: Section 6. Subsection 3.2.5 Trash and Recycling Enclosures begins on page 10.

Additional Related Topics in the Fort Collins Municipal Code