What is Single-Stream Recycling?
Single-Stream Recycling is a system where paper, cardboard, plastic containers, metal containers, and glass containers are mixed together in one bin.
How should I prepare my recyclables?

Before putting materials in the recycle bin they should be:

  • Clean – no grease or food -the container should be 90% clean
  • Dry- no liquids or soggy items
  • Flat- breakdown and flatten cardboard and paperboard boxes.
  • No BAGS!!!!
Where do you take the materials/items that you pick up for recycling?

Here at GSI, we partner with several recycle facilities in the area and may use more than one end-user for the same material. Most of the end-users are listed below and may change at any time:

What size containers do you offer?

For our residential recycling customers we offer either a 65 or 95 gallon rolling polycart in addition to a 35, 65 or 95 gallon rolling polycart for trash.

Cart and container availability vary by location and some restrictions may apply.  For more information please call our Customer Service Department at (970) 484-5556.

For commercial customers, residential or rural customers requiring a larger permanent container, we offer several different dumpster and cart options for both recycling and trash.  Availability does vary by location area and some restrictions may apply.  For more information please call our Sales Department at (970) 498-4085.

How do I report a damaged or lost cart?

Often times, on a windy Colorado day, carts get blown around and end up at the wrong service address.  We suggest customers write down their cart serial number found on the front of their containers when they receive it, as well as placing a piece of tape or sticker inside the container with their name and/or service address.  Most times, the container is found only a few doors down.  If, however, you are unable to locate your cart or are uncertain of the correct serial number, please contact Customer Service by calling (970) 484-5556 or emailing us at

For Damaged Carts: Cracked lids, cart bodies or broken wheels can be a frequent occurrence with changing Northern Colorado temperatures and the use of our mechanical arms on our automated trucks.  Simply contact our Customer Service Department at (970) 484-556 or email to arrange for your equipment’s repair or switch out.

Does your service require a contract?

Residential service does not require a contract for trash, yardwaste or recycling services.

Commercial service does require a contract, with the terms and conditions being negotiable.

Is weekly recycling pick-up an option?

Weekly recycle pick-up is currently available for commercial customers only.  We do not offer a weekly residential recycling pickup frequency, but can certainly pick up extra recycling on your designated pickup day at no additional charge.  Simply place your extra recycling material unbagged in a labeled container next to your recycling cart, and we would be happy to pick it up.

Do you recycle electronics?

Yes. GSI provides electronic waste (e-waste) recycling by providing a pick-up from your residence or place of business. Please note that fees apply for all electronic waste recycling.

*GSI E-waste Pick-up Instructions:  Please call GSI Dispatch Department at (970) 484-6574, prior to your pick up day, to schedule a special pick-up for e-waste.

Are plastic bags accepted in Single Stream Recycling?

No. Plastic bags are NOT allowed to be included with single-stream recycling. Plastic Bags cause damage to the gears at the recycle facility and are prohibited. This means we do NOT want recycling to be prepared in plastic bags.

 Check out this video to understand why

Please note that you can separate out your plastic bags and recycle them at most local grocery stores. Most grocery stores accept clean/dry #2 and #4 plastic bags for recycling.

 Locations & Guidelines

What is acceptable for single stream recycling?
There are five main materials that are acceptable for single stream recycling:
Materials all need to be clean and dry:
1) Plastic containers- includes #1-7
2) Metal containers- includes aluminum, tin & steel cans, balled aluminum foil, empty aerosol cans, paint cans and lids
3) Glass- food and beverage glass ONLY
4) Cardboard- flattened and cut to a 2’x2′ size
5) Paper- includes egg cartons, envelopes, phone books, folders, magazines, newspaper, office paper, paper bags, milk cartons, aseptic containers. (Remove plastic bags and wrap, and non paper inserts)

Check out this video on how single-stream recyclable materials are processed: Click here

What materials are unacceptable for single stream recycling?
    • No plastic BAGS!!! No Wet or Soggy Items!!
      • Unacceptable Plastics: NO Plastic bags, Saranwrap, Shrink-wrap, Styrofoam
      • Unacceptable Glass: NO Ceramics, Dishes, Light bulbs, Mirrors, Pyrex, Windows
      • Unacceptable Paper: NO Napkins, Paper towels, Paper cups, Paper plates, Shredded paper, Wax paper
      • Unacceptable Cardboard: NO Waxed or Painted cardboard
      • Other Unacceptable Items in single-stream:
        • NO Animal waste
        • NO Yard waste
        • NO Electronic waste
        • NO Liquids
      • Size Matters!
      • Materials should be no smaller than 2″ x 2″ (about the size of a regular post it note)
      • Cut cardboard down to 2’x 2’ (2 feet * 2 feet or smaller)
      • 12” in diameter is largest size of plastic party platter accepted
      • 5 gallon buckets are the largest accepted
What do I do with used batteries?

Batteries should NOT be placed in your curbside recycle bin or trash cart. Rather, used batteries of all kinds should be separated out and brought to a battery recycler in the area. Battery recyclers in Northern Colorado include:


Batteries (Household, Auto, Truck, & Rechargeable):

  Batteries Plus Locations

  Larimer County Recycle Center

  Loveland Recycle Center

 Other Locations


How do I dispose of light bulbs?

There are a few different kinds of light-bulbs, each are handled differently. Please note, light-bulbs should NOT be placed in your curbside recycle bin.

  • Light bulb, CFL’s (compact fluorescent lamps: CFLs contain a small amount of mercury thus should be handled and disposed of differently than traditional incandescent bulbs. Residents have several options of recycling CFLs, including drop-off locations and mail-in service.
  • Light bulb, Fluorescent Lights: Because they contain mercury, many fluorescent lamps are classified as hazardous waste, and must be handled and disposed of differently than traditional incandescent bulbs
  • Light bulb, LED (light-emitting diode): An LED lamp should be disposed of in the trash. No local recycling options exist for LED light bulbs. More information on LED lights
  • Light bulb, incandescent:  Incandescent light bulbs should be disposed of in the trash. No local recycling options exist for incandescent light bulbs. Incandescent Light Bulbs

 For more information

Where can I drop off my recycled items?

There are several recycle drop-off locations in Northern Colorado. Please click on the links below for detailed information.


Larimer County Recycle Center  

Location: The Larimer County Landfill, 5887 South Taft Hill Road, Fort Collins (2 miles south of Harmony Road)

Drop-off Hours: Monday – Saturday 8:00 – 4:30. The Recycling Center drop-off area is also closed whenever the Landfill is closed due to wind

City of Fort Collins Recycling Drop-off Facility   

Location: Rivendell Recycle Center 1702 Riverside Avenue, Fort Collins (Corner of Prospect and Riverside)

Drop-off Hours: Monday – Sunday during daylight hours

City of Loveland Recycle Drop-off Facility

Location: 400 N. Wilson Avenue, Loveland, CO 80537

Drop-off Hours: Tuesday – Sunday 7:30 am – 4:30 pm / Closed Mondays

Open year-round except major holidays

City of Windsor Brush Recycling Site & Recycling Center 

Location: 801 Diamond Valley Dr. Windsor, CO  80550

Drop-off Hours: Seasonal hours, so please visit their website.

City of Wellington Recycle Center

Location: 217 N. Jefferson (old fire station)

Drop-off Hours: Wednesday ~ 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. / Saturday ~ 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 Noon

Do you recycle boxes and cardboard?

Yes.  Cardboard, can and should be included in single-stream recycling.

To ensure maximum recycling, Cardboard should be prepared correctly, so please:

  • Flatten cardboard
  • Cut cardboard down to 2’x 2’ (2 feet * 2 feet or smaller) to ensure it will fit in our truck

Do NOT include:

  • Waxed cardboard
  • Painted/Oil Cardboard
  • Cardboard with Food/grease

About those Pizza Boxes- throw away the part that had the pizza on it (if greasy) and tear off the top of the box for recycling.


Cardboard recycling is mandated to be recycled by the City of Fort Collins- On March 5, 2013, Fort Collins became the first community in Colorado requiring corrugated cardboard to be recycled or reused. click here

Why do some areas have to pay for recycling and others do not?

Here at Gallegos Sanitation we strongly support sustainable initiatives and have worked tirelessly to expand and streamline our recycling operations.  Recycling, as many people may not be aware, has a significant cost. Truck maintenance, labor, material drop-off costs and population density all determine the viability of our recycling routes.  We sometimes have to make tough decisions on the efficacy and costs of offering recycling in areas outside of dense population centers. We will continue to seek solutions to help improve the diversion of waste from our Northern Colorado landfills.

Do you offer commercial recycling?
Yes. At Gallegos we offer businesses the choice of single-stream and/or cardboard-only recycling, in various sizes and frequencies, depending on your location.  Please contact our Sales Department at 970-498-4085 for more information