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Timberline Recycling Center FAQs#

General Questions#

Where is the Timberline Recycling Center and when is it open?

The Timberline Recycling Center is located at 1903 S. Timberline Road, south of Prospect.

The recycling center has two different sections with different hours of operation. The Everyday Recyclables Yard is open is open seven days per week, 365 days per year April – October from 6:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., and November – March from 7:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.. The Hard-to-Recycle Materials Yard, located on the west side of the site, is open Tuesday – Saturday and closed on Sundays, Mondays and holidays (Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve (closes at noon), Christmas Day, New Year's Day). November – March the yard is open from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and April – October the site is open 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

I don’t live in Fort Collins. Can I use the Timberline Recycling Center?

You do not have to be a resident of Fort Collins to use the Timberline Recycling Center. However, there may be an option for recycling closer to home. Visit our list to search for disposal options for your items or check with your local trash hauler to see if they collect recyclables or if there is a recycling drop off center nearby.

Is the Timberline Recycling Center profitable?

The City of Fort Collins funds the operations of the Timberline Recycling Center. Any revenue received from the sale of recyclables offsets some of the operations costs. The market value of the recyclables shifts over time and has never been (nor is it anticipated to be in the future) sufficient to pay for the operations of the facility. In other words, the City of Fort Collins funds this service for the community – it is not a revenue-generating facility.

Everyday Recyclables Yard#

What are everyday recyclables?

Everyday recyclables are the recyclable items we interact with every day, the same items that can go into your curbside recycling bin. Everyday recyclables include items such as bottles, cans, cardboard, glass, paperboard, and paper. View all the everyday recyclables accepted at the Timberline Recycling Center.

When is the Everyday Recyclables Yard open?

The Everyday Recycles Yard at the Timberline Recycling Center is open seven days per week, 365 days per year (barring weather or emergency closures) from 7:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. November- March, and from 6:00 a.m.- 8:00 p.m. April- October.

Should I crush or smash containers like aluminum cans, cartons and milk jugs before recycling them?

No! Do not crush or flatten any of the items that you place in containers at the Timberline Recycling Center or in your home recycling bin. Machinery at the sorting facility is designed to sort containers in their original shape. Flattened containers may not be sorted correctly by machinery and make the recycling sorting process more difficult, potentially even leading to the flattened item not being recycled.

Why can’t I recycle my plastic takeout container or berry container?
Why isn’t Styrofoam accepted at the Timberline Recycling Center?

Styrofoam (a brand name for “expanded polystyrene”) is mostly air, so it is not economically feasible to transport it to a remanufacturing facility unless it is first crushed and condensed to remove the air. Fort Collins currently does not have the machinery needed to “densify” Styrofoam so it cannot be collected locally.

Headed to Boulder? Eco-Cycle has a Styrofoam densifier and can collect certain types of Styrofoam block packaging (but cannot accept food-grade Styrofoam cups, trays, etc.). Learn more.

For other reuse and disposal options for Styrofoam visit our A-Z List.

What’s the difference between the White Office Paper Container and the Mixed Paper Container?

There are two containers in the Everyday Recyclables Yard that accept paper.

The White Office Paper Container is specifically for:

  • White office paper (black or colored ink on paper is ok)
  • White envelopes (envelopes with windows accepted)
  • Shredded white paper (loose)


White paper is high quality material, so it has a higher market value and can be made into higher quality end products (such as being made back into white paper rather than being made into bathroom tissue). By recycling your white paper in the White Office Paper Container, you are helping strengthen our recycling system and allowing that material to be “high graded.”

The Mixed Paper Container is for all other paper products, including magazines, junk mail, newspaper, and telephone books along with paperboard containers like cereal boxes and paper towel rolls. This material is still definitely worth recycling, but has a different value and different markets than the white paper.

Why is shredded paper accepted at the Timberline Recycling Center, but not in my curbside recycling bin?
Do I have to unload my own recyclables?

When visiting the Everyday Recyclables Yard you are responsible for sorting and unloading your own recyclables. Volunteers can be available for those who need assistance. If you need assistance unloading your recyclables, check the schedule to see when volunteers will be onsite.

There isn’t any mulch? When is the next delivery?

The City of Fort Collins Forestry Department offers tree mulch in the Everyday Recyclables Yard when they have a surplus available. There is no set delivery schedule, and mulch is available for no charge on a first come, first served basis. The best way to find out if mulch is available is to stop by. Forestry also provides mulch in the northeast corner of the Gardens on Spring Creek parking lot.

Hard-to-Recycle Materials Yard#

What is a hard-to-recycle material?

A hard-to-recycle material is an item that can be recycled, just not in your curbside recycling bin.

When is the Hard-to-Recycle Yard Open?

The Hard-to-Recycle Yard is open Tuesday – Saturday and closed on Sundays, Mondays and holidays (Independence Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve (closes at noon), Christmas Day, New Year's Day). November - March the yard is open from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and April – October the site is open 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.

Why is there a $5 entry fee?

The $5 entry fee to the Hard-to-Recycle Materials Yard helps offset costs for the collection, handling, transporting and processing of accepted items.

Do I have to unload my own hard-to-recycle materials?

You are responsible for unloading your own materials in the Hard-to-Recycle Materials Yard. Staff is available to show you where materials should be dropped off, but you will unload your own materials and no additional unloading equipment is available.

Will you pick up my large item for recycling?

The Timberline Recycling Center does not offer any pick up services.

Can I bring my refrigerator, air conditioner or freezer to the Hard-to-Recycle Yard?

We also do not accept items with freon such as refrigerators, air conditioners, or freezers. Items containing freon must be disposed of at the following locations.

Can I bring automotive fluids other than motor oil and antifreeze to the Timberline Recycling Center?

The only automotive fluids accepted at the Hard-to-Recycle Yard are motor oil and antifreeze. All other automotive fluids should be disposed of at the following locations.

Can commercial customers use the Hard-to-Recycle Materials Yard?

Yes! Commercial customers are welcome to both the Everyday Recyclables Yard and Hard-to-Recycle Materials Yard at the Timberline Recycling Center. However, additional fees and drop off limits apply for certain items. Learn more about guidelines for commercial customers.