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recycling & composting tips what goes where?

Want to test your sorting skills? Confused on some common items? Check out the Sorting Quiz at

  • Why own when you can rent?
    Boulder has a tool library to make any handyman (or handywoman) envious.

    Visit the Website
  • Bummed about packaging?
    Recycle block styrofoam and foam packing sheets at the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials.

    Visit the website
  • Got old electronics?
    Keep lead, mercury, and arsenic out of our environment by recycling TVs, computers and phones at CHaRM.

    Visit the Website
  • Do you make art out of recycled materials?
    Join Boulder County’s Reuse in Action Contest, and enter your unique creation today.

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  • Old building materials?
    Give sinks, toilets, and lamps a second life by donating to the ReSource Yard.

    Visit the Website

Sorting 101 Video 

Learn some fun tips and sort compost, recycling and trash like a pro! 




resources in boulder

Boulder has facilities for just about every item you'd want to donate, recycle, or compost. Look below for a list of community resources.

Searching for TIPS on reducing, reusing, recycling or composting?

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computer recycling

Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM)

Recycle electronics, appliances, styrofoam, plastic bags, yoga mats–you name it.

6400 Arapahoe Rd. Boulder

Visit the website

Wood Waste Drop-off Center

Dispose of clean wood waste (50% off standard rates for city businesses)

5880 Butte Mill Road
Boulder CO 80305

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stack of recyclables

Recycling Drop-off Center

Recycle large amounts of material.

1901c 63rd Street
Boulder CO 80305

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Yard Waste Drop-off Center

Dispose of yard waste (reduced rate for city residents and businesses)

5880 Butte Mill Road

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Hazardous Materials Management Facility (HMMF)

Properly dispose of hazardous items such as batteries, motor oil, paint, and cleaning agents.

1901c 63rd Street

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ReSource Yard

Drop off or pick up salvaged building materials, such as wood, doors, windows, sinks and more.

6400 Arapahoe Rd

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Art Parts

Donate or buy reused art, craft, school and office supplies

2870 Bluff St.

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Tips & Tricks

There are many reuse programs, thrift stores, tool libraries and repair resources available in Boulder County. Click to learn more! 

Reuse Programs in Boulder County

Also see iFixit for free online guides or to get in-person help with repairing household items and electronics.

  • Reduce & Reuse
    • Borrow or rent goods that don’t require regular use, such as tools or special outdoor gear
    • Dine “in” to avoid takeout containers
    • Look for goods that use less packaging or compostable packaging
  • Reuse what you have
    • Wash and reuse food containers instead of tossing single-use bags and containers
    • Wash and reuse clothes, sheets and towels
    • Repair broken items--toys, appliances and electronics can sometimes be an easy fix
    • Buy used--it’s amazing what kinds of unique and quality items you may find
    • Donate unwanted goods whenever possible--someone will likely have another use in mind


Check out curbside recycling guidelines, Eco-Cycle’s A-Z recycling guide, and the dirty dozen: top recycling contaminants pdf to get a better sense of what goes in and what goes out. Visit Recycle Row to give a second life to electronics and Styrofoam blocks, paints and pesticides, salvaged building materials, and much more. Connect with the following facilities for specialized recycling information:

If you can eat it, you can compost it. Boulder’s curbside compost program accepts yard waste and food scraps, including meat, bones and dairy.

  • What is compost?

    Compost is nature's ultimate recycling system, where living or once-living materials break down into a rich soil supplement called compost.

  • Why compost?

    Your food scraps and yard waste are valuable resources. By choosing to compost, you help:

    • Save landfill space and delay building a new one
    • Reduce methane gas (a potent greenhouse gas)
    • Enrich our Colorado soil, reducing the need for pesticides and herbicides
    • Reduce groundwater pollution and toxicity in landfill runoff
    • Move Boulder one step closer to zero waste
  • What about smells and the "yuck" factor?

    Here are some tips to minimize them:


    • Make or purchase an odor-reducing countertop compost container
    • Trap fruit flies by placing a dish with water, apple cider vinegar and a few drops of liquid dish soap near your compost container
    • Place compost in a container or certified compostable bag in your freezer, then transfer to your compost cart on pickup day
    • Layer food waste with yard waste, newspaper or cardboard to keep your cart clean and odor-free.*Note: Newspaper and cardboard are also recyclable, so use only as much as you need to keep your cart clean


    Businesses and property owners:

    • Purchase compostable bags to line your compost bins and keep them clean
    • Frequently empty indoor compost bins, especially during hot summer months. Your outdoor compost containers may need to be picked up more frequently than your landfill containers. Work with your waste hauler to determine the best pick-up schedule for your business or property.
    • When possible, layer food waste with yard waste, newspaper and cardboard. *Note: Newspaper and cardboard are also recyclable, so use only as much as you need to keep your cart clean


Ready to take the next step?

Find more information to put these ideas into action.