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Recycling

 Contact Information

Dept Head: Susie Gordon
  •   11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (M-F, except for holidays)

 Recycling Updates Newsletter

 Recycling A to Z

Larimer County Recycling Drop-off Center | Fees may apply

Accepts:

Item Name Details  
Aerosol Can

Aerosol cans are accepted in curbside recycling or at the drop-off locations listed below.

Cans should be completely empty of all contents. Cans should not be crushed or flattened. Unused hazardous products such as spray paint or chemicals should not be in the trash or recycling; they should be disposed of at the Larimer County Hazardous Waste Facility.

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Aluminum

Aluminium cans, foil, and food containers accepted. 

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Aluminum Can

Aluminum cans are accepted in curbside recycling or at drop-off locations listed below.

Cans should be empty and dry. Cans should be recycled in their original shape (not crushed or flattened) so they can be properly sorted at the recycling plant.

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Aluminum Foil

Aluminum foil can be accepted in curbside recycling or at the drop-off locations listed below.

Foil should mostly free of food waste or other contaminants. Lightly crumple up the foil before recycling; do not flatten.

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Aluminum Pie Pan

Aluminum pie pans and other similar aluminum food containers can be accepted in curbside recycling or at the drop-off locations listed below.

Foil should mostly free of food waste or other contaminants.

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Aluminum Take-Out Container

Aluminum take-out containers, if rinsed and reasonably clean, can be recycled in curbside recycling or at drop-off centers.

Aluminum take-out containers that are soiled with lots of food residue should be thrown away in the trash. 

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Blueprint

Blueprints are accepted in curbside recycling or at drop-off locations listed below.

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Cardboard

Cardboard can be included in curbside recycling or delivered to the drop-off locations listed below. Boxes in good shape can be reused. Consider posting boxes on Craigslist and other social media sites for reuse.

It should be flattened before recycling. For curbside recycling, large cardboard should be cut down until it will fit loosely in the curbside bin. For drop-off, very large pieces should be cut to a maximum of 4’ x 4’.

Per a 2013 City ordinance, it is illegal to throw cardboard in the trash in Fort Collins. Non-recyclable cardboard is excluded from this requirement, such as waxed cardboard (used to ship bulk produce), or food-contaminated cardboard (such as heavily soiled/greasy pizza boxes). The non-recyclable cardboard should be composted or landfilled.

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Carton

Cartons are accepted in curbside recycling or at drop-off locations listed below.

Recyclable cartons include juice boxes, milk cartons, soup cartons, soy milk cartons, etc. Cartons from refrigerated foods as well as shelf-stable foods can be recycled. Foil-lined cartons are ok to recycle.

Cartons must be empty and dry. To be properly sorted at the recycling plant, they should not be crushed or flattened. Plastic spouts on cartons do not need to be removed before recycling.

Ice cream cartons are lined with a different type of plastic can CANNOT be recycled.

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Construction Paper

Construction paper can be included in your curbside recycling bin, or in the mixed paper bin at the drop-off locations listed below.  No glitter or excessive amounts of non-paper materials should be attached to the construction paper.

Paper should be left flat in order to be properly sorted at the recycling plant.

Scraps of paper smaller than a business card or standard post-it note are unlikely to get recycled and should be thrown away in the trash. They will fall through the sorting equipment at the recycling sorting facility.

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Glass Bottle or Jar

Glass bottles and jars (clear, brown and green glass) are accepted in curbside recycling or at drop-off locations listed below.

Metal lids are also accepted in curbside or drop-off recycling, but should be placed in the bin separate from the glass.

Do NOT include window glass, aquariums, ceramics, light bulbs, drinking glasses, or Pyrex ovenware – those items are made of different materials that contaminate glass recycling.

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Magazine

Magazines can be included in your curbside recycling bin or at drop-off locations listed below.

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Metal Lid

Metal lids, such as those that come on glass bottles and jars, can be recycled in your curbside recycling bin and at the drop-off locations listed below.

Metal lids should be placed in the recycling bin loose (i.e. not attached to their glass container) in order to be properly sorted at the recycling plant.

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Mixed Paper

Office paper, colored paper, magazines, newspapers, junk mail, and other mixed paper can be included in your curbside recycling bin, or taken to drop-off locations listed below and placed in the mixed paper bin. 

Paper should be left flat in order to be properly sorted at the recycling plant.

Items ok to include in mixed paper:

  • Staples
  • Paperclips (although is better to remove them for reuse)
  • Plastic windows in envelopes
  • Stamps and other adhesive labels attached to the paper
  • Construction paper
  • Blueprints

Items NOT recyclable with mixed paper:

  • Items smaller than a standard sticky note or business card
    • They will fall through the cracks at the sorting facility and not be recycled
  • Sheets of unused labels on their plastic-coated paper
  • Plastic-coated paper used for label backing
  • Carbon paper
  • Cartons for milk, juice
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Paper Bag

Paper bags can be recycled in your curbside recycling bin or at drop-off locations listed below. Bags should be flattened. Do not recycle bags that are dirty or greasy.

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Paper Egg Carton

Paper egg cartons can be recycled in your curbside recycling bin or at drop-off locations listed below.

Styrofoam egg cartons are not locally recyclable and should be disposed of in the trash.

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Paper Envelope

Paper envelopes can be recycled in your curbside recycling bin or at drop-off locations listed below.

Details:

  • Clear plastic windows are ok to recycle – no need to remove them
  • Colored envelopes are ok to recycle
  • Labels and stamps are ok to leave on envelopes
  • Envelopes with metallic or glittery lining cannot be recycled
  • Envelopes with bubble wrap lining can be reused but not recycled

See other listings for Tyvek envelopes 

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Paper Towel or Toilet Paper Tube

Paper towel and toilet paper tubes can be recycled in your curbside recycling bin or at drop-off locations listed below. Tubes should be empty, without any other materials still stuck to them.

Thicker, rigid cardboard tubes – like carpet roll tubes – should be reused or disposed of in the trash.

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Paperback Book

Gently used books can be donated to used bookstores or libraries. Paperback books can also be recycled in your curbside recycling bin or at drop-off locations listed below.

Hard cover books can be donated or recycled at these locations.

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Paperboard

Paperboard can be included in your curbside recycling bin or at drop-off locations listed below.

Paperboard is single-layer cardboard, also known as chipboard. Recyclable paperboard items include cereal, food, gift, and shoe boxes, paper egg cartons, toilet paper and paper towel tubes.

The following items CANNOT be recycled:

  • Freezer boxes
    • Boxes designed for the freezer have plastic mixed in with the paper fibers
  • Paper frozen juice containers
  • Ice cream cartons
  • Pet food bags
  • Charcoal bags
  • Paper plates, bowls, cups etc.
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Paperboard Election Sign

Signs made of paperboard can be separated from their metal wicket and paced in your curbside recycling bin or at drop-off locations listed below.

The metal wickets can be recycled as scrap metal at local scrap metal recyclers.

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Pizza Box

Pizza boxes that are not significantly soiled with food waste can be recycled in your curbside recycling bin or at the drop-off locations listed below.

Pizza boxes that are greasy or have food on them should be thrown away. If there is a large amount of grease on the bottom of the pizza box, tear off the greasy section to throw away or compost and then recycle the clean portion.

While Fort Collins municipal code bans the landfill disposal of cardboard, items that can’t be recycled, such as greasy pizza boxes, are excluded. Dirty or soiled cardboard should be composted or thrown in the trash.

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Plastic Caps & Lids

Plastic caps & lids can be recycled, if attached to their empty plastic bottle or tub.

Caps not attached to their plastic containers should be disposed of in the trash.  Plastic caps by themselves are too small to be properly sorted at the recycling plant.

Be sure that the plastic bottle or tub is empty and dry before recycling.

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Plastic Container

The primary way to know whether a plastic can be recycled curbside or at the drop-off center is by its shape. The only plastics that can be recycled curbside in Fort Collins are plastic bottles and tubs. Bottles include soda or water bottles, laundry bottles, shampoo bottles, and milk jugs. Tubs include the solid white dairy tubs like those that contain yogurt or sour cream, as well as translucent tubs with a #5 on the bottom, commonly used in delis or for liquidy takeout like soups.

Always be sure that all containers are empty and dry before recycling. Do NOT recycle motor oil, chemical, or pesticide bottles.

Due to changes in international recycling markets, local recycling guidelines do not include low-value plastic containers. These are typically the thinnest and flimsiest types of plastics, such as plastic clamshell containers (that hold berries), plastic party cups, and plastic take-out containers.  Residents may choose to throw away these low-value plastic containers, or know that if they are in the recycling bin, they will be landfilled until recycling markets improve.

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Plastic Grocery Bags and Plastic Film

Plastic grocery bags and plastic film can be recycled at most grocery stores, big box stores, or at one of the drop-off locations listed below.

Bags and film should be clean and dry, with stickers and labels removed.

Recyclable plastic film includes grocery bags, produce, bread, dry-cleaning, Ziploc-type and newspaper bags, along with industrial shrink-wrap, air pillows, and bubble wrap. Plastic wrapping such as that around paper towels and toilet paper can also be included with plastic film. Recyclable plastic film is often labeled with a #2 (HDPE) or #4 (LDPE) in the chasing arrows.

Plastic bags SHOULD NEVER be placed in curbside recycling or be used to bag recyclable items before placing them in your bin. Plastic bags and plastic film cause major issues at recycling sorting plants, tangling in recycling equipment and causing it to jam and break. Be sure to recycle your plastic grocery bags and other plastic film, just not in curbside recycling!

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Plastic Jug

Plastic jugs, including plastic milk jugs, laundry detergent, and juice jugs are accepted in curbside recycling or at drop-off locations listed below.

Jugs must be empty and dry. Plastic caps can be left on empty jugs.

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Plastic Peanut Butter Jar

Plastic peanut butter jars are accepted in curbside recycling or at the drop-off locations listed below.

Jars should be empty and dry.  Jars do not need to be spotless, but the majority of food should be cleaned from the jar.  Soaking the jar in water is a good way to loosen stuck-on food. 

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Plastic Tub

Plastic tubs, including yogurt tubs and sour cream tubs, are accepted in curbside recycling or at drop-off locations listed below.

Tubs must be empty and dry. Usually they are marked with a #5 in the chasing arrows symbol.

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Receipt Paper

Receipt Paper can be recycled in curbside recycling bins or at the drop-off locations listed below as long as it is larger than a business card.

Very small items are extremely difficult to recycle as they cannot be sorted out at the recycling plant. Receipts and other pieces of scrap paper smaller than a business card should be thrown away in the trash.

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Shredded Paper

Shredded paper can be recycled at the drop-off locations listed below. Place shredded paper loose in the office paper bin at the recycling drop-off centers listed below. 

Do NOT include shredded paper in your curbside recycle bin. The paper literally falls through the cracks in the machinery at the sorting facility, and will not be recycled

Note: These locations do not offer secure document shredding services.

Paper can be recycled 7-12 times. However, when shredded, its value is decreased and the number of times it can be recycled decreases drastically. In order to maintain the value of the paper fibers, shred only when necessary. Consider only shredding the documents (or parts of the documents) that contain sensitive information – and recycle the rest whole!

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Spiral Notebook

Spiral bound notebooks can be recycled in your curbside recycle bin or at the drop-off locations listed below. Remove the cover & back of the notebook (paperboard covers can be recycled at these locations). The spiral does NOT need to be removed.

 Both metal and plastic bound spiral notebooks are accepted.

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Telephone Book

Telephone books can be recycled curbside or at drop-off locations listed below.

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Tin Can

Tin or steel cans can be recycled curbside or at drop-off locations listed below.

Cans should be empty and dry. They should not be crushed or flattened, and it’s ok to leave their labels on.  

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Tissue Wrapping Paper

Tissue wrapping paper can be recycled curbside or at the drop-off locations listed below.

Do not include any glitter, ribbons, or bows.

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Vitamin or Prescription Bottle

Plastic vitamin and prescription bottles are accepted in curbside recycling or at drop-off locations listed below. Bottles must be empty.

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Wrapping Paper

Wrapping paper can be recycled in your curbside recycle bin or at drop-off locations listed below.

Do not recycle any glittery or metallic wrapping paper, ribbons, or bows.

Consider wrapping gifts in newspaper, maps, cloth bags, reusable gift bags, or reusable gift boxes as alternatives to wrapping paper.

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***DISCLAIMER***

The information provided in this tool is compiled as a service to Fort Collins Residents. Contact information has been provided for the listed locations, and it is encouraged that you call ahead to verify the location, materials accepted, and hours of operation. Inclusion in this list is not an endorsement by the City of Fort Collins.

Any recycler wishing to be added to this list may contact cmVjeWNsaW5nQGZjZ292LmNvbQ==. If you can’t find the answer to your question here, please call us at 970-221-6600