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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.

See ordinance language for more information.

Pay-As-You-Throw Ordinance

Fort Collins' "Pay-As-You-Throw" (PAYT) ordinance was adopted in 1996 and has been regularly updated since then. 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
  • Two 96-gallon carts of 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
  • Hauler may include a service surcharge on bills to pay for fluctuating cost of doing service such as fuel costs or charges to deliver recyclables
  • All haulers offer an optional yard trimmings collection service from April to November (for an extra charge)
  • Haulers will mail an educational flyer including recycling guidelines and information about the PAYT ordinance, developed by the City, to all customers receiving any paper communications at least once per year. If a customer receives only electronic communications, including the annual service calendar, this flyer can be sent electronically.
  • 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.

Please contact the City of Fort Collins Environmental Services Department at 970-221-6600 if you feel that your trash service is not meeting these provisions.

See ordinance language for more information.

Electronic Waste Ordinance

In 2007, the City of Fort Collins 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.

See ordinance language for more information.

Trash and Recycling Enclosure Requirements

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).

See ordinance language for more information. Note: Section 6. Subsection 3.2.5 Trash and Recycling Enclosures begins on page 4.

Construction and Demolition Recycling Requirements

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.

See building code for more information.

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