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Recycling

Contact Information

  •   Dept Head: Susie Gordon

Community Organics Recycling Project

Project Status

More than half of the material landfilled by Fort Collins residents and businesses could be composted. Finding alternatives for handling these materials is important for meeting waste reduction and climate action goals. Elements that were originally considered as part of the Community Recycling Ordinance and were removed for further consideration are now being analyzed in the Community Organics Recycling Project.

Elements under consideration:

  • Collection of organics from residents of single-family homes; options include:
    • Yard trimmings collection only or yard trimmings and food scraps mixed collection
    • Opt-in or bundled service
  • Collection of food scraps from restaurants
    • Opt-in or bundled service

The options listed above are being analyzed from a financial perspective and from a carbon impacts perspective. Results will be shared on this website once available.

Outreach and City Council Meetings

Please join us to learn more at an open house: May 2nd, 2017, 4 p.m. - 6 p.m., 222 Laporte Ave Colorado River Room. Brief presentations will be given at 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

Fort Collins City Council will discuss this topic at a work session on Tuesday, May 23rd. The meeting starts at 6 p.m.

Project Contact

Caroline Mitchell, Environmental Planner, at Y21pdGNoZWxsQGZjZ292LmNvbQ== or 970-221-6288.




Community Recycling Ordinance

Project Status

The Community Recycling Ordinance was unanimously approved by Fort Collins City Council in September 2016. The following elements were included in the adopted ordinance:

  • Updates to trash / recycling service for single family homes:
    • Allow private trash haulers the option to charge a "service surcharge" on residential trash / recycling bills, equal to up to 25% of the cost of the smallest trash cart. This is effective now.
    • Require private trash haulers to provide optional, seasonal yard trimmings service for an additional charge by April 2017.
  • Require private trash haulers to provide recycling along with trash service to all multi-family complexes and businesses by 2020, for a separate charge.
  • Require grocery stores to have compost collection by 2017.

Staff will return to Council within the next 12 months to discuss the following items:

  • Bundling weekly, year-round collection of food scraps and yard trimmings into basic trash and recycling service provided to all single-family customers
  • Requiring collection of food scraps for composting from all Fort Collins restaurants

Current Trash & Recycling Systems in Fort Collins

In Fort Collins, trash and recycling are collected by the private sector. The City creates ordinances that govern how the collection of trash and recycling take place. The primary recycling ordinance in Fort Collins, called the Pay-As-You-Throw ordinance, was passed in 1995. Through its 20-year history, this ordinance has resulted in a community where 95 percent of residents recycle and more than half of the community's discards get recycled or composted.

The existing Pay-As-You-Throw ordinance applies only to single-family homes and includes the following requirements for trash haulers:

  • Unlimited recycling is included with trash service for no additional charge.
  • Trash bills are based on container size chosen by residents (32, 64 or 96 gallons).
  • Residents are required to be offered a large wheeled plastic cart for their recycling if they prefer (rather than the 18-gallon open-top tubs).

A separate ordinance bans landfill disposal of electronics and of cardboard in Fort Collins. These apply to all members of the community – residents, businesses – anyone who generates cardboard or electronics.

Outreach and City Council Meetings

The Community Recycling Ordinance project involves working closely with stakeholders and the general public to create options that will enable our community to make progress toward City Council-adopted goals in a manner that works for our community. Staff held public meetings about this project on:

June 30, 2015: 6:30-8:30 p.m., 215 N. Mason St., Community Room

July 1, 2015: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Drive, Foxtail 2

August 11, 2015: 6:30-8:30 p.m., Council Tree Library, 2733 Council Tree Ave.

August 12, 2015: 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Fort Collins Area Chamber of Commerce, 225 S. Meldrum St.

December 17, 2015: 4:30-6:30 p.m., 215 N. Mason St., Community Room

Watch the first community conversation here.


The Community Recycling Ordinance was discussed by City Council on the following dates.

Archive Project Documents

Project Contact

Caroline Mitchell, Environmental Planner, at Y21pdGNoZWxsQGZjZ292LmNvbQ== or 970-221-6288.