Recycling provides direct, tangible benefits to the community and the environment. The business of recycling creates jobs, spurs investment and sparks innovation. Environmentally, it conserves natural resources, saves energy and reduces pollution. The EPA estimates that 75% of our waste is recyclable — 75%! That’s a lot of power to do good, right in your hands, just by choosing the right bin and occasionally thinking outside the bin.

Single-Stream Recycling

Recycling properly is the key to maximizing its benefit. Understanding what can be recycled keeps the materials stream clean and marketable. 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 items that can be recycled in each community. 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.

Recycling Guidelines

Single-stream recycling picked up by Western from your home or business is taken to the Boulder County Recycling Center (BCRC), where it is separated, baled and sent to market for recycling. The BCRC sets guidelines for what can be recycled based upon their sorting equipment and material market conditions.

What happens to my recycling?

The Boulder County Recycling Center (BCRC) processes and markets the single-stream recycling collected in Boulder County. The BCRC has a national reputation for producing consistently clean, high-quality materials largely because local residents and businesses have long been savvy and conscientious recyclers.

Recycling Blog Posts

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Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM )

The CHaRM facility is your partner in going the last mile in responsibly managing your waste. They accept electronics, block foam, ceramic fixtures, fire extinguishers, plastic bags and much, much more. The only “hard” part about keeping many materials out of the landfill is the last bit of effort it takes to load it in your car and take it to this unique facility. Learn more about CHaRM.

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Hazardous Materials Management Facility

Household hazardous wastes can include cleaning and home maintenance products, yard and garden chemicals, motor oil, antifreeze, paints, stains, batteries and fluorescent bulbs. If a product label includes terms such as toxic, corrosive, poison, flammable, caution, etc., be mindful about proper disposal. The Boulder County Hazardous Materials Management Facility accepts a wide spectrum of these wastes and is free for residents of Boulder and Broomfield counties. While you’re there, check out their Free Reusable Products Shop, which includes a wide assortment of paints, stains and gardening fertilizers. Learn more about Hazardous Materials Management Facility.

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Resource Central

Resource Central supports all levels of conservation, including reusing and recycling reclaimed materials. At the 6400 Arapahoe location, previously known as ReSource Boulder and Resource 2000, Resource Central resells a variety of donated items such as lumber, cabinetry, old doors, windows, and even tubs & sinks — similar to a salvage yard. Learn more about Resource Central.

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Art Parts

Art Parts is a nonprofit creative reuse center in Boulder. They accept donated, reusable industry surplus and creative materials from businesses and individuals to resell at a discount to the public. Their mission is to inspire and promote creativity, resource conservation and community engagement through reuse. Learn more about Art Parts.

Thinking Outside the Bin

Improved creativity, emotional release, sharpened focus, greater productivity, lower stress — these are some of the many benefits documented by experts who advocate dealing with our clutter. So let’s say you’ve committed to your psychological cleansing by getting rid of the “noise” of your stuff. Here’s what to do with it.

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Sell It

On OfferUp, craigslist, eBay, Facebook or at a yard sale. Consignment exploded with the Great Recession and seems to be here to stay — give it a try, it’s fun!
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Gift It

That old dryer that still works? Your daughter’s friend who just got married could probably use it and would probably come to pick it up. Ditto for that couch.
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Donate It

There are a seemingly endless number of charitable and nonprofit organizations using thrift outlets to support their missions. Well known are Salvation Army and Goodwill, but there are opportunities to benefit local hospice care, Habitat for Humanity and Greenwood Wildlife Rehabilitation Center.