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Contact Information

  •   Dept Head: Susie Gordon
  •   PO Box 580, Fort Collins, CO 80522-0580
  •   215 N Mason St
    Fort Collins, CO 80524
  •   Alexis Hmielak
  •   YWhtaWVsYWtAZmNnb3YuY29t
  •   970.221.6600
  •   8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (M-F, except for holidays)

Recycling Updates Newsletter

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.

Electronic Waste Ordinance

In 2007, the City of Fort Collins’ E-waste ordinance banned the landfill disposal of electronic waste (e-waste). Click here for more information on what e-waste is and how to properly dispose of it. In 2013, the State of Colorado also passed an electronics landfill disposal ban, making it illegal to landfill electronic waste 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 4.

Construction and Demolition Debris

On January 1, 2012, Fort Collins’ building code was updated. It states, "For new buildings and additions over 2,500 square feet or remodels over 2,500 square feet, a construction waste management plan acceptable to the building official that includes recycling of concrete and masonry, wood, metals and cardboard, is required at the time of application for a building permit. The construction waste management plan shall be implemented and conspicuously posted on the construction site. Compliance shall be certified by the hauler through receipts and signed affidavits. Substantive changes to the plan shall be subject to prior approval by the building official."

The City of Fort Collins encourages building owners, designers and builders to plan ahead and manage construction waste. Some local projects, such as Poudre School District’s construction of new schools, recycle or reuse 90% of the materials generated by the project. More information construction debris recycling and how to comply with the building code is available here.

Zero Waste Goals

On December 17th 2013, Fort Collins City Council adopted Resolution 2013-111 establishing a waste diversion policy that would help the city meet its zero waste goals. The plan calls for 75% waste diversion by the year 2020, 90% by 2025 and 100% or "Zero Waste" by 2030.

Link to Current Fort Collins Municipal Code