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The Complete Waste & Recycling Guide to Denver

Find a Local Denver Recycling Center in Your Neighborhood

The Mile High City likes to keep it clean and green, and with our waste & recycling guide we can help you do just that. Currently, the city of Denver recycles approximately 16% of all its waste, equaling 39,218 tons of materials diverted from area landfills. And while Denver's recycling rate is trending up, its residents and businesses could certainly use a little help finding the right place to recycle and dispose of their junk. That's why we've scoured the neighborhoods of Denver to find local recycling centers that will take practically anything and everything that might be lying around the house. Here you will find local recyclers and disposal sites for a wide range of waste items, divided up into the most common waste categories including automotive parts, construction materials and household waste. Take a look and start recycling. 

Automotive

Not sure what to do with that car battery? Is that old can of gasoline past its prime? Find a place to take all of your automotive parts and accessories below:

Cars

Time to junk the old Jeep? There are numerous options open to you in the Denver area, for both donating your car to junking it. But if the engine still runs a treat, consider donating it towards one of these good causes before resorting to the scrapyard.

Car Batteries

Car batteries are quite easy to recycle. Chain auto parts stores will accept them for recycling in exchange for the purchase of a new battery, including these local chains:

Gasoline, Oils, & Lubricants

Have some expired or used automotive fluids lying around the garage? Make sure you take advantage of Denver’s household hazardous waste collection. All residents can schedule a single pickup at home once per year by calling 1-800-449-7587.

Tires

Tires can be recycled for a small fee through virtually any chain tire dealer. There are also many local businesses that will be glad to take your tires off your hands (or car, as the case may be). 

Construction Materials

Construction debris is big, bulky and a potentially big disposal job. Fortunately, we have dumpsters we can use to dispose of all the heavy stuff. But if you are looking to recycle some of your construction debris, such as carpet or scrap metal, you can use these local businesses to ensure it doesn't go to waste: 

Carpets

Has the shag carpet in the living room lost its...shagginess? Consider taking it to one of these local recyclers who can give it a new life in homes and businesses across Denver.

Scrap Metal

Everyone has some old scrap metal lying around. Rather than letting it rust out, consider taking it to a local scrap yard where it can be broken down and recycled into something brand new.

Shingles

Shingles are surprisingly easy to recycle, if you know where to go. These local businesses can turn your old roof into something useful:

Electronics

Electronic waste, or E-waste, is a rapidly growing category of trash, both in Denver and across the nation. It’s important to keep this rising tide of e-waste out of landfills where the hazardous components of an old laptop can contaminate an entire site. 

Appliances

Dishwashers and dryers can be cumbersome, but they too can be recycled or donated when you put them in the right hands. Consider handing your old appliances over to one of these local recycling companies or charities.

Cell Phones

Everyone needs a phone these days, smart or not. Consider donating one of your own to these local nonprofits. If it’s a little too banged up for refurbishment, try out one of these local recyclers instead:

Computers

Computers are great for everything, from uploading cute cat photos to doing your taxes three hours before the deadline. But as soon as your laptop stops spitting out the numbers you should consider recycling or donating yours to one of these local establishments:

Refrigerators

Refrigerators can simultaneously be a generous gift and a major pain to get rid of. If the old ice box is on its last legs, it might be time to recycle it. Or, if you are upgrading to a newer, shinier model, consider donating your used fridge to one of these organizations:

Televisions

If your television is on the fritz, it might be time to send it to the silicon farm upstate, or one of these recycling & donation centers:

Paper & Plastic

Paper and plastic can be placed in the curbside recycling bin furnished by the city of Denver. However, there are certain items that must be recycled and/or disposed of separately:

Banned Plastics: Banned Paper Products:
  • Plastic Bags
  • Styrofoam
  • Shrink Wrap
  • K-Cups
  • Compostable/Plant-Based Plastic
  • Containers Greater Than 3 Gallons
  • Tissue Paper
  • Bubble Envelopes
  • Microwave Popcorn Bags
  • Paper Cups
  • Foil Coated Paperboard

Household Items

The average household has a lot of stuff in it, some of which can find a new home in someone else’s home. Things like jackets, mattresses, even paint, assuming you are done using it, of course!

Clothing

Have you checked the basement closet lately? It’s like a storage depot in there. Consider downsizing your wardrobe with a donation to any of these local nonprofits and stores:

Mattresses

Yes, even mattresses can be recycled once they’ve lost their cushiness. Everything within the mattress can be recycled in some form, from the metal springs to the textiles and padding.

Medicines & Prescription Drugs

Medications of all kinds should be disposed of using either mail-in programs or local pharmacies that can ensure that unused medications are properly disposed of. 

Paints

Both oil and latex paints are better left out of the trash can. Most paints contain harmful chemicals that can cause a lot of problems down the line for waste management workers, not to mention the potential for pollution.

Organic Waste

The city of Denver offers voluntary compost collection through its Denver Composts program. The program accepts yard debris, food, most paper products and small wood products including toothpicks and Popsicle sticks. The service costs roughly $29.25 every three months.

Yard Waste & Tree Stumps

Though Denver residents can opt for compost collection services, there are still plenty of other options for offloading your yard debris and tree stumps. You can take your bags of leaves and broken branches to any of these locations.

 

For Everything Else...

Household Hazardous Waste

Household hazardous waste is any sort of solid waste that cannot or should not be disposed of using regular trash collection services and locations. These items range from paints to fluorescent tubes, all of which contain hazardous substances that can contaminate the local environment and can even result in bodily harm if disposed of improperly.

You can recycle any of the following items through Denver’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection program:

Bleach Paints
Corrosive Chemicals Cleaners
Adhesives Stains
Insecticides Mercury Thermometers
Mercury  Waxes
Paint Thinner Drain Openers

Local Landfills & Transfer Stations

Denver Regional Landfill (MSW Only)

1441 Weld County Rd 6, Erie, CO 80516

(303) 673-9431

Denver Arapahoe Disposal Site (MSW and C&D)

3500 S Gun Club Rd, Aurora, CO 80018

Alpine Waste & Recycling (MSW Only)

8201 Schumaker Rd., Bennett, CO 80102

(303) 685-2700

All Recycling North – Transfer Station (MSW and C&D)

5350 Washington St. Denver, CO 80216

(303) 293-3333

 

Recycling Success Stories in Denver 

Revampt Will Revamp All Your Furnishings – With Junk

The old cliché, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure", couldn’t be truer for this local shop. Founded in 2010, Revampt jumped into the "eco-friendly" movement in a different way than other businesses by focusing on reusing existing resources for its furniture and other household goods. Revampt Goods creates all of its furnishings using a wide, and sometimes odd, assortment of items found in the junkyards of the Denver metro area. On any given day, you might find a coffee table built from the wooden lanes of a bowling alley or a hodge podge of street signs melded together into a chair.

If you are ever in the Cherry Creek corner of Denver, stop by their location and check out their odd odds and ends!

Reclaimed Design Works Can Make Any Wood Work for You

Using reclaimed timber is exceedingly popular in both home and commercial building construction. Why? For one thing old growth lumber just plain looks better, as Reclaimed Design Works can attest to. Their company exclusively uses timber from old barns, warehouses, and factories throughout North America in all of their installations and construction projects. They believe firmly in telling a story through design, which includes the respective history of every piece of lumber used. The individual notches, nail marks, and saw holes in each piece of wood tell part of its story, both where it came from and the building it used to belong to.  

Whether you are renovating your home or just looking for a new mantelpiece, you can find the right recycled lumber for your project right here.