Single stream recycling picked up by Western from your home or business is taken to the Boulder County Recycling Center where it is separated, baled and sent to market for recycling. There may be items in the “NO” section of our guidelines that have a recycling symbol or that you are able to recycle in other cities. Why is that? Each recycling center is unique, using different equipment and processing lines which can create differences between which items can be processed in each community.
Click here for printable recycling guidelines in English and Spanish.
10 Tips to Keep the Recycling Waste Stream Clean and Marketable
Recycling that is either contaminated with trash or mixed with different types of recyclable material will either be trashed or sold as a much lower value material to recycling companies.
Please use the following tips to help maximize our community’s diversion:
- DO NOT PUT YOUR RECYCLING IN PLASTIC BAGS – It cannot be processed at the recycling center and will either be emptied by hand (expensive!) or thrown in the trash (bummer since you went to all that trouble to separate it).
- No loose plastic bags of any kind – they get tangled up in the equipment. Most grocery stores will recycle grocery bags and the Boulder County Hard to Recycle Materials (CHarM) Center accepts many kinds of film-type plastic.
- Don’t flatten cartons or cans – these items are separated based on their dimension and the machines separate flat material with the paper.
- DO attach plastic screw-top lids to plastic containers – if they come in loose they go out as trash.
- Remove metal lids from glass containers – then the metal will go with the metal, not the glass.
- Shredded paper should go in your compost cart rather than recycling as at the recycling center it gets tangled in the machinery.
- “Clamshell” plastic produce containers (1 pint or smaller) and plastic cups are trash – they get flattened in transportation and wind up with the paper.
- Do not put scrap metal in your recycling bin. It can be dropped off at Western’s Trash & Recycle Center (fees may apply).
- Frozen food boxes and the containers inside are trash – these materials are simply not recyclable.
- Rinse it! Be respectful of the folks who handle the material.