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How are products in the essential ingredients of the economy manufactured in various states?

How should you establish recycling plant(s) in the state?

What are the salient features of a recycling plant?

What products should you expect from a recycling plant?

Do you have a better program, product, or service?

Would you like it to be displayed?

Do you need your name and mailing address to be displayed as a useful resource for establishing this program?

Should I display your details?

Where will these details be displayed?

Who has been useful in establishing this program?

What will be displayed? [this question and answer do not go together]

Are there any other guidelines?

Questions you need to answer

What do you know about the recycling of building and community garbage and waste?

What should you know about building and community garbage and waste recycling plants?

How do you recycle of building and community garbage and waste?

What products are manufactured from recycling?

What does a recycling plant look like?

Where are various recycling plants in various states?

Where is the best recycling plant in the world?

How are products in the essential ingredients of the economy manufactured in various states?

Manufacture of products from raw materials.
Manufacture of products from recycling plants.

How should you establish recycling plant(s) in the state?

Every room or kitchen in a building (home, home office or office) should have a 13-gallon trash bin with a trash bag.

The trash bag, once filled, goes into the building’s garbage container.
(This is the responsibility of the resident of the room)

From the building garbage container, the trash bags go into the road dumpster.
(This is duty of the building’s janitorial staff)

From the road dumpster, the trash bags go to the recycling plant.
(This is duty of the city’s streets and sanitation workers)
Usually there is a recycling truck to transport trash from the road dumpster.

At the recycling plant, a chemical engineer oversees the recycling process.

Once trash bags are dumped at the recycling plant, there is a waiting period.

What are the salient features of a recycling plant?

In a recycling plant, various processes are applied to get products. A typical recycling plant has a conveyor belt.
Magnets extract iron.
Strainers separate metals and paper.
Other resources.

More features can be added.

What products should you expect from a recycling plant?

1. Trash bags (low density polyethylene) (13 gallon, etc.)
2. Low and high density plastic products (polythene bags, plastic bottles for milk, packaging materials)
3. Iron products
4. Aluminum products
5. Paper products
6. Textile materials
7. Glass
8. Other

Do you have a better program, product, or service?

Would you like it to be displayed?

Your program has to some extent been useful.

Do you need your name and mailing address to be displayed as a useful resource for establishing this program?

Should I display your details?

Where will these details be displayed?


Who has been useful in establishing this program?

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality

What will be displayed? [this question and answer do not go together]

Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality has to some extent been useful in establishing this program

Are there any other guidelines?

Questions you need to answer

What do you know about the recycling of building and community garbage and waste?

What should you know about building and community garbage and waste recycling plants?

How do you recycle of building and community garbage and waste?

What products are manufactured from recycling?

What does a recycling plant look like?

Where are various recycling plants in various states?

Where is the best recycling plant in the world?
How to Recycle Different Materials
What is Recycling?
Recycling Guide
Drop-off centres
Curbside collection
Recycling industrial waste
Recycling codes
Environmental impact
Recycling Plant
What Can You Recycle?

General Recycling Questions

Who picks up my recycling and where is it processed?

A. Recycling in most of Boulder County is picked up by the trash/recycling hauler you select. For questions about your pickup day, a missed pickup, or materials collected at the curb, call your trash hauler. For questions on all recyclable items, how to sort your recyclables, or where to drop off your recyclables, call Eco-Cycle at 303-444-6634 or the Recycle Boulder hotline at 303-999-3823 (city of Boulder residents only). Collected recyclables are processed at the Boulder County Recycling Center at 1901 63rd Street in Boulder. The center is owned by the county and operated by Eco-Cycle.

Doesn’t hauling recyclables have a negative environmental impact?

A. Eco-Cycle does compare the environmental value of recycling materials to the environmental impact of hauling them. As a result, load size is important. Hauling a full load, as opposed to a half load, maximizes the efficiency of the truck and minimizes the environmental impact of collection.

More and more materials are collected together (such as commingled containers) to improve efficiency. More items in one bin means hauling full loads instead of half loads—there’s no sense in hauling air. You can help increase hauling efficiency by stomping on your plastic bottles to reduce the amount of air in each load, allowing each truck to carry more bottles.

What happens to my recyclables after processing? Are any recyclables processed locally?

A. All glass travels to Coors in Golden to be made into new bottles. Paper goes to paper mills to become new paper; there is a great demand at paper mills for recycled fiber to make all grades of new paper from cardboard boxes to fine writing paper. The paper from paper milk and juice cartons is high quality material used in many paper fiber applications, but processing is expensive so the market price is low. It’s one of the items we subsidize.

Aluminum is always a valuable material. Most aluminum cans contain recycled aluminum because it is much more energy- and resource-efficient for the industry to use reclaimed aluminum. A recycled aluminum can will end up back on the store shelf within six weeks after being recycled. Other metals, such as steel cans or scrap metals, have always had steady markets as well. Almost all metal products in the United States now have recycled content in them.

The plastic fibers from milk jugs and pop bottles are used in a range of applications including carpet, clothing, auto parts, tennis balls, park benches and sometimes even new bottles and jugs. One issue for plastics is that we don’t have any local markets, which is why it’s hard for us to recycle more types. Low-grade plastics are sent to Asia. All other markets are currently domestic. The rail spur at the new recycling facility has really opened up more distant markets for the new facility.

Why is it important to sort my recyclables according to guidelines?

A. The processing facility is a complex of sorting mechanisms designed to produce the highest quality materials at a manageable cost. Too much time spent handpicking contaminants out of the material stream or unclogging machinery increases our expenses and decreases our ability to subsidize other materials and improve recycling in our area.

It is important to remember that your recycled materials will be used to make new products. Quality matters and the better you do following the guidelines, the less sorting and contamination we will face at the drop-off center and the more money that can go back into the community to improve recycling.

What happens to the materials that aren’t recyclable? Don’t they just get recycled anyway?

A. As much as we would like to recycle everything we receive, it’s a matter of market demand. We cannot collect and process materials if there is no one to buy them. Similarly, if we include too much “junk” with our materials (such as plastic kiddy pools or laundry baskets mixed in with milk jugs), we risk losing buyers or getting a lower price for our materials.

Additional Questions

* Is the process of recycling paper bad for the environment?

* Is recycled paper more polluting to make than virgin paper?

* Am I really making a difference by recycling?

* What is Eco-Cycle doing to make more things recyclable?

* How can I be a frequent recycler?

* What is illegal to throw away in the state of Colorado?

* How does Boulder do in recycling compared to other communities in the country?

* What does Zero Waste really mean?

* What are other countries doing about Zero Waste?

* Is there any effort being made to improve our national recycling efforts?

* What is Extended Producer Responsibility?

Frequently Asked Questions about Commingled Containers

If a product has the three arrows symbol on it, doesn't that mean it's recyclable?

A. No. The three arrows symbol is not an indication that an item can be recycled. The recycling symbol is unregulated, meaning that no authority controls who places the symbol on what product, be it recyclable or not.

The plastics industry uses the recycling symbol as an “in house” coding system to identify resin types. If you ask the plastics industry, they’ll tell you that the coding system isn’t intended for consumer use or to indicate recyclability.

The recycling symbol, or chasing arrows, is found on most plastic products and identifies the type of plastic resin used in the product.Of course, good recyclers are trained to look for the recycling symbol so it leads to confusion, but unfortunately you cannot use the symbol to determine whether or not a material is recyclable. Instead, you need to follow the guidelines for your community, not the labeling on the product. Technically, almost everything manufactured could be recyclable if there was a reliable end-buyer for the material. The existence of a recycling market is typically dependent upon a manufacturer buying the product back for remanufacture. When an industry distributes a product and then uses virgin materials to manufacture new products, it creates a glut of material without a recycling market. Therefore, for a material to be recyclable, there has to be a demand for it on the market, and that’s what determines what can and cannot be accepted.

On a related note: When you see a recycling symbol on a product to indicate that it is MADE from recycled content, you can trust that it was (though again, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it is RECYCLABLE). We strongly encourage you to buy products with recycled content to further stimulate the market for recycled materials.

Additional Questions

* How clean do containers need to be before I stick them in the recycle bin?

* Why are we supposed to mix all our recyclables together?


If I can recycle a #1 soda bottle, why can’t I recycle everything with a #1?

A. The number on the bottom identifies only the type of plastic resin—it tells you nothing about how the product was made. Different manufacturing processes are used to make plastic bottles, tubs, and soccer balls, and these manufacturing processes give the plastics different properties such as melting points. It is not simply the number that determines whether the plastic is recyclable, but rather your community guidelines.

Do I need to take the caps and lids off plastic containers before I recycle them? Can the caps be recycled as well?

Please remove caps and lids from all plastic containers before recycling. It's okay to leave on the label and the plastic ring around the neck--these are removed during the recycling process.

A. Remove the caps and lids from all plastic bottles and jugs (and tubs) before recycling the containers. Plastic caps have a different melting point than other recyclable plastics and will contaminate the load. Throw away or find a creative way to reuse plastic caps—they make great paint or glue holders for small projects.

Do I need to remove the plastic ring that is left around the neck of a plastic bottle when I remove the cap?

A. No, you do not need to remove it. The recycling center is allowed a minimal amount of “contamination” in our materials to account for things like the plastic ring and the label on the product.

What's the difference between plastic bottles, jugs, and tubs?

A. A plastic bottle or jug has a narrow-neck top and can be recycled at the curb and at all drop-off centers if it has a #1, #2 or #5 symbol on it. Plastic tubs are wide-mouthed and are only accepted at limited locations (see yogurt containers below).

Can I recycle yogurt containers and dairy/deli tubs?

A. Yes, but only if they have a #2 or #5 on the bottom and ONLY at the Boulder and Longmont Drop-off Centers. Yogurt containers (and other dairy/deli tubs numbered 2 or 5, such as those used for margarine, cottage cheese, or sour cream) CANNOT be recycled through any other curbside or drop-off program. Please remove and throw away lids.

There is a very limited market for this type of plastic. The market is unstable and Boulder County actually pays to recycle this material. The Boulder County Recycling Center and the Longmont Drop-off Center do continue to accept small volumes of this material to experiment with the market, but can only handle enough to test the market. To help reduce waste, buy yogurt in large containers and use Tupperware for small, portable servings.

Why can’t prescription or vitamin bottles be recycled?

A. Prescription and vitamin bottles go through a different manufacturing process and, as a result, do not have the same melting temperature as other plastic bottles. (You’ll notice they are much, much harder than other narrow-necked bottles.) They have a different consistency at the same temperature (sometimes thinking of "soup" versus "pudding" is helpful), making them incompatible in a re-manufacturing process. It's the same reason plastic bottle tops can't be recycled, no matter their number.

Additional Questions

* Can I recycle a #2 motor oil bottle?

* Do I need to step on my plastic containers before recycling?

* Are black, #1 microwaveable containers recyclable?


Can I recycle drinking glasses, window glass, dinner plates, porcelain mugs, mirror glass, canning jars, and Pyrex?

A. No. These are all different types of glass with different melting points. Just one of these items could contaminate an entire load of recyclable glass. Only glass bottles and jars are acceptable. (Metal bottle caps and lids are also recyclable; please remove the metal caps from the containers and recycle them loose in the bin.)

Aluminum/Steel (tin)

Please do not ball up aluminum foil into small pieces. Foil should be left flat or folded, or balled together larger than a golf ball.How clean does foil need to be so it can be recycled?

A. Clean. Small (really small) amounts of food are allowed, but cheese and other oily foods are a problem and should be completely removed. Food left on foil will spoil between recycling collection and reuse, turning a bale of recycled foil into a stinking mess.

What is the proper way to recycle aluminum foil?

A. Foil should be folded and flattened, not balled up unless the ball is at least the size of a golf ball. Small pieces of balled-up foil will fall through the screens during processing and end up as trash.

Should I crush my aluminum cans?

A. No. The Boulder County Recycling Center uses a series of magnets and blown air to separate the commingled containers.

Workers at the Boulder County Recycling Center hand-pick crushed aluminum cans from the sorting line. The Boulder County Recycling Center uses a blower to separate lightweight containers from glass. Crushed cans are not lifted out by the blower and must be sorted out by hand.

Automated sorting equipment blows light materials (aluminum cans/clean aluminum foil, plastic containers, and paper milk/soy cartons/drink boxes) off the top, sending them to a separate conveyer belt. Crushing aluminum cans makes them too dense to get blown off. Instead, they sink down with the glass and end up on the wrong conveyer belt. Workers must then handpick the crushed aluminum cans off the glass line and carry them over to the aluminum/plastics line, making the sorting inefficient.

Are all metal caps okay, even if they have plastic or rubber on them?

A. All metal caps can be recycled in with the commingled containers, even if they have plastic or rubber on them. Please remove the metal caps from their containers and recycle them loose in your bin (unattached from the glass bottle or jar). They will be pulled out by magnets when processed.

If I can recycle steel cans and aluminum, why can’t I just throw all metal objects in with my commingled containers?

A. Commingled containers are processed through conveyer belts and equipment specifically designed for containers. When a piece of metal comes through in the wrong shape, it has the potential to jam the equipment, possibly ripping the conveyer belts and causing very expensive damage. Even though these metal products may be made of the same material as commingled containers, they are not going to the same market. That means if your scrap metal does somehow make it through the commingled system without causing damage, it’s coming through at the wrong place and will need to be picked out by hand and taken to the other side of the facility—not exactly the most cost-efficient method.

Paper Cartons/Drink Boxes

Can I recycle milk and juice cartons? What about soy milk and drink boxes?

A. Yes, paper milk and juice cartons go in the commingled container bin. This includes soy milk and juice cartons found in the refrigerated section. Cartons should not be recycled as paperboard. There is no need to remove the plastic spouts.

Milk and juice cartons refer to the paper containers which are found in the refrigerated section and must be kept refrigerated. These are not the same as non-refrigerated aseptic containers used for packaging soups, soy milk, etc. See below.

Can I recycle cartons with a foil lining?

A. No. Many non-refrigerated juice and beverage cartons have a foil lining on the inside, a plastic polymer lining on the outside, and paper on the inside. These layers cannot be effectively separated for recycling. These aseptic cartons are designed such that the products do not have to be refrigerated until the container is opened, which saves energy by avoiding refrigerated transportation. Unfortunately, efforts to recycle these containers by separating the composite layers have not been successful.

Can I recycle frozen food containers such as frozen TV dinner boxes and ice cream cartons?

A. No. Frozen food containers (such as frozen TV dinner boxes, etc.) appear the same as juice or milk boxes but they are not. Frozen food containers are sprayed with a plastic coating that protects the contents against freezer burn. Paperboard is recycled by mixing it with water in a giant blender to create a pulp. But fiber sprayed with a plastic polymer won’t pulp up, and instead it becomes a contaminant that needs to be fished out and thrown away. However, paperboard boxes for products designed to go in the refrigerator, like paperboard butter boxes, can be recycled.

Additional Questions

* Why are manufacturers using foiled lined cartons such as those for soy milk?

* Do I need to cut out the plastic spouts on my milk and juice cartons?

Why can’t I recycle neon/fluorescent/Astrobrite/dark-colored paper? How about construction paper?

A. These dark or super-bright papers are made with beater dyes, so named because they beat the dye into the fiber of the paper to get a dark or fluorescent color. Because there is so much ink in the fiber, it cannot be recycled in our recycling program because it is not possible to remove all the color from the paper in the recycling process. Dark paper may still be recyclable if the ink is printed on the paper as opposed to beaten into the paper fiber (for example, a brochure printed on light paper with dark ink). To tell the difference, tear a corner of the paper. If the color goes all the way through, it can’t be recycled. If there are white fibers inside, it can be recycled with office paper.

Where can I recycle shredded paper?

A. Shredded paper cannot be recycled at the curb, and is accepted only at the drop-off center in the paperboard bin. Paperboard collected at the drop-off center is baled without going over the sorting lines, but paperboard picked up at the curb is mixed with other paper and must be sorted. When shredded paper goes over the sorting lines, it damages equipment and slips through the screens, ending up as trash.

Many office recycling programs offer a separate bin for shredded paper—check with your recycling hauler. Eco-Cycle also offers shredding services at the CHaRM-call for pricing and more information.

Why isn’t shredded paper recycled with office paper at the drop-off center?

A. Once paper is shredded, it is demoted to a low-grade class because the fibers have been cut so short. Shredded paper is recycled with paperboard because paperboard is also a low-grade material. Office paper, with its longer fibers, can be recycled many times before ending up in the low-grade market. Shredded paper is accepted with paperboard at drop-off centers only, not through any curbside program. Read more on the problems with recycling shredded paper...

Can I recycle books?

A. Yes, although you don't want to recycle a book unnecessarily, so please explore all reuse options such as used bookstores and senior centers before recycling. As a last resort, bring your books to the Eco-Cycle/City of Boulder Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials. Book bindings are sheared off and the paper inside recycled.

Can I recycle paperboard containers used to hold food such as to-go boxes?

Paper products such as to-go boxes cannot be recycled because of food contamination. Cardboard pizza boxes are an exception if the box is largely free of cheese, grease, and other food residues.

A. No. While a little food on commingled containers can be handled, any food on paper will contaminate the paper bales. At the mills, baled paperboard may sit around for a while waiting for the market. Food remnants within the bale could begin to biodegrade the paper. Food contamination in the paperboard category is a BIG problem for that market.

Can I recycle cardboard pizza boxes?

A. Pizza boxes, while they do hold food, can be recycled. Made of corrugated cardboard, pizza boxes are a high-grade material that moves quickly through the market. However, we cannot accept pizza boxes soaked in grease and covered with cheese. If the box has lots of grease and cheese, tear that part off and throw it away (or compost it) and recycle the remaining part. And please wipe away any sauce or crumbs before tossing the box in the bin.

Can I recycle egg cartons, paper towel rolls, and toilet paper rolls at the curb?

A. No. Small paperboard items can only be recycled at the drop-off centers in Boulder, Broomfield, Lafayette/Louisville, and Longmont. Small paperboard items are not accepted through the curbside program because the items have to be picked out by hand at the recycling facility. Items that are too small may fall through the screen at the facility and end up as trash.

Can I recycle shiny cardboard, and if so, are staples or tape a problem?

A. Shiny or glossy cardboard can be recycled with regular cardboard. Staples and tape are not problems—they’ll come out in the screens during the sorting process. If you can tear off wads of tape, please do, but removing staples is unnecessary.

What is waxy cardboard?

A. Large produce boxes used by grocery stores have a wax coating used to prevent contamination and infestation. You can tell the difference between waxy and shiny cardboard with a simple test. If you run your fingernail up the side of the box and a layer of wax peels off, you have waxy cardboard that must be thrown away or composted. Shiny cardboard can be recycled with regular cardboard.

Additional Questions

* What is the difference between waxy and glossy paper?

* Can I recycle “kraft” envelopes and what is considered "kraft" paper?

* Can I recycle holiday greeting cards or dark red and green envelopes?

* Why are we suppose to open our junk mail before we recycle it?

* Can I recycle those fake credit cards found in junk mail?

* Can I recycle paper with stickers on it?

* Can I recycle spiral bound notebooks?

* Can I recycle stapled and paper-clipped papers?

* Can I recycle paper bags?

Frequently Asked Questions about Construction and Demolition Debris

Where can I take used building materials such as doors, windows, lumber, cabinets, etc.?

ReSource is a program of the Center for ReSource Conservation. The sales yard is located on 63rd St. between Valmont and Arapahoe.A. These items can be taken to ReSource, the local used building material sales yard. All items must be in good, reusable condition. ReSource does not repair, recycle, or accept broken items. Items are accepted on a donation basis and qualify for a tax deduction. ReSource then resells the items to the public at 30%-50% below retail. Call 303.419.5418 or 303.441.3278 for a list of accepted materials.

Can I recycle drywall?

A. No. Presently in Colorado there are no consistent opportunities to recycle used drywall for two reasons. First, the most common application of used drywall is as a soil amendment. Because Colorado’s soils are alkaline to begin with, adding calcium-rich drywall is not beneficial. The second reuse potential is to re-manufacture the drywall into new drywall. Since Colorado is the source of the primary component of drywall, gypsum, recycling is presently not cost effective.

Is there anyone who will recycle asphalt or concrete paving?

A. Contact Recycled Material Company at 303.431.3701 or Oxford Recycling at 303.762.1160. Check out our Hard-to-Recycle Guide for other options that may arise.

How do I recycle construction waste from my building projects? ReSource resells good quality construction materials to contractors and the public. Stop by the yard 7 days a week to support recycling and find a great deal.

A. The majority of the waste produced in the building process is a combination of wood, cardboard and scrap metal, all of which are easily recycled if kept separated. ReSource is presently developing a construction waste recycling service to help contractors recycle their construction debris. Contact ReSource at 303.419.5418 or 303.441.3278 for more information.

Are there other resources for dealing with construction and demolition waste?

A. Yes. Boulder County Resource Conservation and the city of Boulder’s Office of Environmental Affairs maintain a Boulder County Construction Job-Site

Recycling Guide.

Frequently Asked Questions on Hard-to-Recycle Items

Where do I take my plastic grocery bags for recycling?

A. Plastic grocery bags can be taken to the Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM) if they are clean, dry and empty—no receipts, food residues, moisture, etc. The CHaRM accepts #2 and #4 plastic bags, such as dry cleaner bags, newspaper bags, and produce bags.

Can I recycle Ziploc bags? Ziploc bags can be recycled at the CHaRM if they are clean, dry, and empty, and if the Ziploc seal has been removed.

A. Yes, if they are clean, dry and empty and the zip part is removed with scissors (and discarded). Plastic bags can only be recycled at the Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM). (See above.)

Can I recycle tennis shoes?

A. Yes, tennis shoes can be recycled at the Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials. The CHaRM cannot accept shoes with cleats, spikes, or mud, or shoes with metal eyelets. The CHaRM also accepts all other types of shoes, such as dress shoes and hiking boots. These shoes must be in complete pairs, preferably bound together with rubber bands (provided on site).

Can I recycle computers?

A. Computers, monitors, and other peripheral electronics can be recycled at the Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials. There is a fee to drop-off equipment. Please call Eco-Cycle for details or click here.

Why is there a fee to recycle electronics?

A. There is a fee for recycling most electronic equipment (cell phones and printer cartridges are free). These funds are used to offset the cost of collection, storage, and marketing of the materials. In most cases, items must be disassembled before they can be recycled, a labor-intensive process that often requires handling toxic substances. Eco-Cycle works only with certified, domestic electronic recyclers.

Why should I recycle my TV?

A. Televisions and computers each contain 3-8 pounds of lead, and like most electronics, can contain a host of other toxic substances such as cadmium, mercury and arsenic. These toxic substances could contaminate groundwater when landfilled.

Can I recycle the white foam blocks used in packaging?

A. Yes, but only at the Eco-Cycle/City of Boulder Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM). The CHaRM accepts clean, white block foam typically used for packaging computers and other electronics, wine, etc. (as seen in photo to left). The CHaRM also accepts rigid white foam insulation typically found around building foundations.

Eco-Cycle DOES NOT accept food grade foam packaging (to-go containers, meat trays, disposable cups, etc.), packing peanuts, bubble wrap, any foam other than #6, or foam with tape or moisture.

Are there recycling options for other kinds of foam packaging like the packing peanuts and coffee cups?

A. Foam peanuts can be reused. Take these to any packaging store or shipping place and they will reuse them in their packaging efforts. Always call first.

There are no recycling options for food grade foam packaging such as to-go boxes, coffee cups, or meat trays. Avoid these products when possible by carrying a reusable coffee mug, buying meat packaged in butcher paper, or bringing a Tupperware out to eat to hold leftovers. Find more tips for reducing your use of foam packaging.

I see a lot of things in the scrap metal bin like microwaves that have non-metal parts. Does that mean the things I drop off don't have to be completely metal? Items frequently found in the scrap metal bin include water heaters, metal sinks, metal framing and shelving, microwaves, and old BBQ grills.

A. Yes, with a few exceptions. As long as the items contain mostly metal parts, the non-metal parts can be separated out. This includes microwaves, dishwashers, old bicycles, etc.

Computers, TVs, and other electronic equipment are the exception to this rule. Call Eco-Cycle for electronic equipment recycling or click here. Also, any appliance containing Freon or CFCs—such as refrigerators, freezers, and air conditioners—must have the CFCs removed by a certified CFC remover before being recycled. Do not leave these materials in the scrap metal bin. Lastly, we cannot accept pressurized containers such as propane tanks. Use our Hard-to-Recycle Guide to find an authorized handler.

Additional Questions

* What is Producer Responsibility?

* Can I recycle old sheets, shirts and towels?

* Can I recycle old sports equipment?

* Can I recycle athletic shoes?

* Where do I take wrapping paper?

* Where do I recycle trees, holiday lights, and other seasonal items?

* How do I recycle my old dishwasher and stove?

* Where do I take a refrigerator, freezer, and air conditioner?

* Can I recycle old pots and pans?

* Can I recycle old pieces of a metal fence?

Frequently Asked Questions on Household Hazardous Waste

Who can use the Boulder County HHW Facility?

Boulder County's Household Hazardous Waste Facility accepts hazardous waste from residents only.A. Only residents of Boulder County, City and County of Broomfield, and Town of Erie. This includes residents of Allenspark, Boulder, Broomfield, Erie, Hygiene, Jamestown, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, Lyons, Nederland, Niwot, Superior, Ward and all of unincorporated Boulder County. Proof of residency (e.g. driving license, voter ID, tax certificate, or lease agreement) is required.

Due to space limitations and current permitting, no business waste is accepted. This includes wastes from nonprofit organizations such schools, churches and municipalities. Please advise businesses that they are responsible for disposing of hazardous wastes in compliance with state and federal regulations. Companies providing hazardous waste collection services are listed in the yellow pages under “Waste Disposal – Hazardous” or “Environmental and Ecological Services.” A list of companies that provide hazardous services is also available from the Boulder County Resource Conservation Division—call 720.564.2220 to request a copy. Contact the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment at 303.692.3300 for information on hazardous waste generator requirements. Contact EPA Region 8 at 303.312.6149 or Boulder County Public Health at 303.441.1100 for information on reducing the use of hazardous chemicals and pollution prevention.

A new hazardous waste facility is being developed by Boulder County that will accept hazardous wastes from businesses that generate small quantities of hazardous wastes and can be categorized as “conditionally-exempt small quantity generators.” Opening is slated for spring 2006.

Where is the Boulder County HHW Facility located? When is it open?

A. The Household Hazardous Waste Facility is located on the southeast corner of Western Disposal Services’ waste transfer station at 5880 Butte Mill Road, just east of 55th and Valmont. The facility is open for hazardous waste drop-off on Wednesdays from 8:00 a.m. until 3:30 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 8:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon. Free reusable products are also available to the public during these hours. The facility is NOT open on public holidays, and for safety reasons it CLOSES in bad weather (rain, snow, high winds, lightening storms).

Several communities (Broomfield, Lafayette, Longmont, Louisville, and Superior) hold annual or periodic HHW collection events for their residents. Contact your local town/city hall for details.

What wastes are accepted at the Boulder County HHW Facility?

A. The Household Hazardous Waste Facility accepts various types of household products including: paint products (oil-based and latex)*, garden chemicals and fertilizers, hobby products, gasoline, diesel and other fuels, batteries**, household cleaners, mercury thermometers and switches, motor oil, antifreeze and other automotive products.

*Latex paint (if dried out or solidified with an absorbent such as kitty litter) can also be disposed of with your regular trash. **Most types of alkaline and zinc carbon batteries (often called “heavy duty” or “general purpose”) can be disposed of with your regular trash.

A more detailed list of accepted and non-accepted wastes plus fact sheets on batteries and latex paint are available at Boulder County’s website, www.bouldercountyrecycles.net, or by calling the Boulder County Resource Conservation Division at 720.564.2220.

What wastes are not accepted at the Boulder County Household Hazardous Waste Facility?

A. The Household Hazardous Waste Facility does NOT accept: alkaline or zinc carbon household batteries; asbestos insulation or large quantities of asbestos tile or linoleum; business wastes; empty containers; explosives or shock sensitive wastes such as fireworks, road flares or ammunition; fire extinguishers; medical wastes, medicines or sharps; non-hazardous wastes; propane tanks (BBQ-grill-size and larger); radioactive materials; and smoke detectors. Click here to learn more about managing these materials.

If I have a specific HHW question, who do I contact?

A. Call the HHW Hotline at 303.441.4800 for answers to frequently asked questions or call Boulder County Resource Conservation at 720.564.2220 to speak to a staff member.

Should I take household batteries to the Boulder County Household Hazardous Waste Facility?

A. The HHW Facility accepts most types of rechargeable and non-rechargeable household batteries* for recycling. Many hardware or electronics stores also collect rechargeable batteries for recycling—find a retailer in your area by visiting the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation at http://www.rbrc.org.

*Most types of alkaline and zinc carbon (often called “heavy duty” or “general purpose”) batteries can be disposed of with your regular trash. A fact sheet on household batteries is available at www.bouldercountyrecycles.net or by calling the Boulder County Resource Conservation Division at 720.564.2220.

Where can I take car batteries?

A. Most auto parts stores will accept used lead-acid auto batteries for recycling and will often give a credit towards the purchase of a new battery. The HHW facility will accept all types of lead-acid batteries from households only. Please note that the Boulder County Recycling Center no longer accepts lead acid batteries.

Can I get free products for reuse? Residents can drop off and pick up reusable quantities of paints, stains, and other supplies from HHW during regular hours.

A. Yes, the Household Hazardous Waste Program offers free products to the public during its regular hours: Wednesday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Friday & Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to noon.

The HHW Facility accepts many products that are in usable condition and some that have never been opened. Reusable products include: cleaning, automotive, hobby and pet products, paints, stains & varnishes, garden, woodworking supplies, wood sealants, etc. Suitable products are made available to individuals, businesses, and county and city departments for reuse. They are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis. All persons accepting products will be asked to sign a liability and indemnification release.

The HHW Program reserves the right to restrict or terminate access to these products in cases of overuse or abuse of this service.

Why does the program accept donations?

A. In order to help fund this important service, the Household Hazardous Waste Program accepts voluntary cash donations from residents. A convenient donations box is available at the facility. Tax-deductible receipts are available on request.

Why should I take my fluorescent light bulbs to HHW? What happens to them when I take them to the Household Hazardous Waste Facility?

A. Fluorescent light tubes are hazardous because they contain mercury vapor, small amounts of lead, and phosphorus dust. Do NOT break fluorescent tubes—this will release these hazardous compounds into the air. The HHW facility ships the light tubes to Arizona where the glass, metal and mercury are extracted for recycling.

Regular incandescent light bulbs cannot be recycled. They are not hazardous and can be disposed of with regular trash.

If I take my motor oil to HHW, what happens to it? Does it get used in the production of plastic?

A. Oil collected at the HHW facility is currently sent to facilities around the country for use as an industrial fuel.

What happens to all of the other items taken to the Boulder County HHW Facility? How are they disposed?

A. Wastes received at the Boulder County HHW facility are reused, recycled, used as fuel, treated, or disposed of in an environmentally-sound manner. HHW receives many products in good condition and makes these products available to the public free of charge for reuse. Rechargeable household batteries, lead-acid batteries, antifreeze, and mercury-containing products are recycled. Halogenated solvents (some wood strippers) are processed for chlorine recovery. Bulked flammable liquids and oil-based paints are used as energy-saving industrial fuels. Low BTU paint products (waxes and greases), oxidizers (bleach and drain cleaners), pesticides, and poisons are burned in an industrial incinerator using modern, clean air technology. Latex paints that are not reusable are solidified with cement kiln dust and landfilled.

For more information refer to www.bouldercountyrecycles.net or call the Household Hazardous Waste Hotline at 303.441.4800.

Additional Questions

* How do I know if a product is considered too hazardous for the landfill?

* How should I transport my hazardous waste to the Household Hazardous Waste center?

Frequently Asked Questions on Composting and Yard Waste

Why is it important to compost?

A. Putting organic materials—like food waste, yard waste and even paper—into a landfill doesn’t just waste valuable space, it contributes to climate change by releasing greenhouse gases. A landfill isn’t a giant compost bin. Materials buried there get densely packed in, giving them no access to the elements—especially oxygen. Materials breaking down in a landfill do so anaerobically, or without oxygen, and over a significantly longer time than in a compost bin. This anaerobic decomposition produces methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than CO2.

Where do I _________ a compost bin?

A. Contact the Center for Resource Conservation _________________

The Master Composters program holds a spring compost bin sale every year; contact 303.441.3278 for more information. Outside of Boulder? Call your neighborhood gardening or home improvement store. You can also build a bin with four pallets placed on end and wired together.

Where do I put my compost bin?

A. If possible, place the bin in the shade in a location where the compost will have direct contact with the ground. This will help the moisture level stay higher. If the bin is going to be on concrete, you might want to buy or borrow some finished compost to get a little microbial activity going.

Do I need to prepare food waste before it goes in the bin? Is there anything I shouldn’t compost?

A. Collect food waste in a lidded bucket or large food container, chopping up any large fruit and veggie pieces. The more surface area you create within your pile, the faster the material will decompose. Dump the bucket in the compost bin. If you’re concerned about attracting animals, keep dairy and meat products out. Eggshells are okay. Don’t forget the coffee grounds—these are great for your soil. Exclude any pet excrement.

What kind of maintenance do I need to do?

A. For the most part, let the compost rot and go about your life. Water your pile from time to time if it dries out. Smelly compost is a cry for air. Using a pitchfork to turn the compost will increase airflow, speed up decomposition, and help any odor problems.

Doesn’t compost smell?

A. Compost should not create an odor if you take care of it properly and don't overload the system. Always bury the food waste by pulling aside some of the bedding, dumping the waste, and then covering it up with the bedding again. Bury successive loads in different locations in the bin.

Healthy compost smells like soil. If your compost is smelly, that's a sign that it needs more air. Aerate your compost by regularly turning your pile. The capacity of a 20" x 24" x 12" bin is up to 5 pounds of organic materials per week.

How do I use compost?

A. Ready to use compost looks and smells like rich soil. Harvest your compost by skimming the unrotted stuff off the top and use the rest in your garden or with potted plants, houseplants, etc. following these simple directions:

* Flowers and vegetables: Work in 1/2 inch of mature compost into the top six inches of the soil with a garden fork or rototiller. Be sure the soil isn't sodden with water as this can result in an "adobe effect" when it dries which adversely affects the plants.

* Perennials: Use compost as mulch to gradually improve the soil. Apply it an inch or so deep between the plants.

* Seedlings or potted flowers: Use a 20 percent mature compost in the soil mix (if the mix you purchased doesn't already contain compost or worm castings).

* Lawn: Sprinkle 1/8 to 1/4 inch of fine compost evenly across the grass to improve the lawn's ability to use fertilizers more efficiently so that less is needed. If you do fertilize your lawn, consider using one of the natural products based on recycled dried poultry wastes (often listed as DPW on the ingredient list) rather than synthetic chemicals.

* Trees and shrubs: Uncomposted wood chips, grass clippings, and leaves can be spread around plantings. Be sure that woody wastes are shredded or chipped up.

* Indoor plants: Add small handfuls to the surface of the soil inside the pots. It will break down over time and provide nutrients as it decomposes.

How can I learn more?

A. If you’re more the active composter type, sign up for a Master Composter training provided by the Boulder County Resource Conservation Division, Center for Resource Conservation (CRC) and the Colorado State University Cooperative Extension office. Contact CRC at 303.441.3278.

Additional Questions

* Is it okay to throw away grass?

* Is it bad to put wood stove ash in my compost bin?

* What can I do about all of the leaves in my yard?

* When are leaf collections held?

* How do I mulch leaves?

Environmental Choices

* How much waste do disposable razors and toothbrushes produce?

* Why should I buy recycled products?

* How much water and money can I save with a low-flow showerhead?

* Are cloth or disposable diapers better for the environment?

* In the summertime, should I get gas in the morning or evening only?

* What is ground-level ozone and how can I reduce summertime pollution?

* What are kenaf and hemp papers?

* What does “pre-cycling” mean?

* What can I do to make companies stop over-packaging their products?

* How can I stop junk mail from showing up in my mailbox?

* Should I flush my old prescription drugs down the toilet?

* Should I buy regular batteries or rechargeable batteries?

* Which is better, paper or plastic bags?

* How can I get rid of clothes moths without using moth balls?

* Which is better to use at the salad bar, plastic or paper boxes?

* Why should I buy recycled paper products?

* What is the difference between “post-consumer” and “pre-consumer”?

* What can I do around the house to save energy?

* How can I reduce the amount of waste my child produces at lunch?

* What are some non-toxic cleaner recipes?

* Is there a non-toxic way to get rid of ants, fruit flies, house flies, and plant pests?

* Is the air in my house more polluted than the air outside?

* How can I reduce pollution in my home?

* What are the health effects of being exposed to pesticides?

* Are there harmful ingredients in cosmetics? If a cosmetic is labeled “natural” does that mean it is safe?