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Holiday Recycling#

Learn how to recycle your holiday waste with this guide. Looking for ways to recycle other materials? Check out our A-Z Recycling List and our curbside recycling guidelines.

View the Printable Holiday Guide

For the Curbside Bin

Many holiday waste items are recyclable and can be put in your curbside recycle bin.

See What Belongs

Recycle Elsewhere

Some items cannot go into your curbside recycle bin, but can be recycled elsewhere.

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Recycle your Tree

Find out where to recycle your live Christmas tree locally.

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Holiday Tree Recycling#

Pine tree branch with a paper tag featuring a recycling chasing arrows symbol

Recycle your live Christmas tree at the drop-off locations listed below. Fees apply, contact the specific location for details.*

Be sure to remove all items from the tree before dropping off, including: lights, wire, hooks, ornaments, tinsel, and fake snow.

*Free drop-off program for trees will not be available this year. The previous drop-off locations in city parks will not be operational. 

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Tips to Reduce Your Holiday Waste#

Go Green with Gifts#

gifts wrapped in resuable bags, scarves or recyclable paper

Consider repairing a well-loved item or shopping at thrift stores for gifts. Look for gifts with minimal or recyclable packaging and items made from recycled materials or produced locally.

Add a reusable bag, scarf, or towel to your gift, and use it as wrapping! Reuse old gift bags or wrap gifts in colorful fabric scraps, maps, comics, and posters.

Conserve Energy#

a home with white christmas lights on the roof, door, windows and greenery

Use LED lights and put lights on timers to turn on at dusk and off at bedtime. Leaving holiday lights on for 24 hours quadruples energy costs and produces 4x more pollution! 

Be Mindful of Food Waste#

The holiday season means even more wasted food. Save money, water, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by wasting less!

  • Plan meals ahead of time and buy only what you need
  • Send leftovers home with guests and get creative with recipes that use leftovers
  • Compost the rest

More Tips

Give the Gift of Recycling#

Give the gift of recycling: Purchase an entry certificate to the Timberline Recycling Center's Hard-to-Recycle Materials Yard for just $5! 

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For the Curbside Bin#

bunched wrapping paper on the floor

Wrapping Paper

Reuse wrapping paper if you can! It can also be recycled in your curbside bin, or in the Low-Grade Mixed Paper Bin (Containers #4 & #5) at the City’s Timberline Recycling CenterNo metallic wrapping paper, ribbons or bows.

Local Recycling Options

balled up tissue paper

Tissue Paper

Reuse tissue wrapping paper if you can! It can also be recycled in your curbside recycle bin, or in the Low-Value Mixed Paper Bin (Containers #4 & #5) at the City’s Timberline Recycling CenterNo tissue paper with glitter.

More Recycling Options


Cardboard boxes in good shape can be reused. Consider posting boxes on Craigslist, Nextdoor or Facebook Marketplace for those who can reuse them. 

Cardboard can also be recycled in your curbside bin, or at the City’s Timberline Recycling CenterDisposing of cardboard in the trash is illegal in Fort Collins under the 2013 Cardboard Ordinance.

Additional Recycling Options

Recycle Elsewhere#

Holiday Lights & Extension Cords

Recycle strings of lights and extension cords at scrap metal recyclers. 

View Locations for Holiday Lights

Plastic Bags

Recycle clean, dry, empty, plastic bags at many grocery stores, specific retail stores, and at the City’s Timberline Recycling Center.

Learn More

Styrofoam & Packing Peanuts

Block Styrofoam can be recycled in Boulder at Eco-Cycle or thrown in the trash.  Foam peanuts can be reused at these Fort Collins Locations or thrown in the trash.

Learn More


Disposing of electronics in the trash or in your curbside recycle bin is illegal in Colorado due to the toxicity of their components. 

View Electronics Recyclers

Cooking Oil

For a $5 entry fee, you can drop off used cooking oil in a clear, sealed container at the City’s Timberline Recycling Center Hard-to-Recycle Materials YardLimit 5 gallons.

Do not put fats, oils, and grease down the drain.

Locations to Recycle Used Cooking Oil