Holiday Recycling Made Easy

Make holiday recycling a part of your tradition. Find out what and where to take all your stuff.

The week of festivities is upon us, but did you know between Thanksgiving and New Year’s, there is 25% more waste created in the average American household? Yikes! Check out these great recycling resources from the City of Fort Collins. Watch the video now or download the 2019 Holiday Recycling Guide.

Where to Recycle Holiday Waste
Some holiday waste, such as cardboard, can go into your curbside recycling bin, while other items such as batteries, should be recycled elsewhere. Here’s a quick guide for common holiday materials (also available in this printable guide):
For the Curbside Bin:
• Wrapping Paper
o Do not include metallic wrapping paper, ribbons, or bows
• Tissue Paper
o Do not include glitter, metallic items, any ribbons, or bows
• Cardboard
o Disposing of cardboard in the trash is illegal in Fort Collins
Recycle Elsewhere:
• Batteries
o Take batteries to the Hard-to-Recycle Materials Yard at the Timberline Recycling Center or the Larimer County Household Hazardous Waste Facility. Do not place in curbside recycle bin.
• Holiday Lights & Extension Cords
o Recycle strings of lights and extension cords at scrap metal recyclers. View locations that accept holiday lights.
• Plastic Bags
o Recycle clean, dry, empty, plastic bags at grocery stores, specific retail stores, and at the City’s Timberline Recycling Center.
• Styrofoam & Packing Peanuts
o Block Styrofoam can be recycled in Boulder at Eco-Cycle or thrown in the trash. Foam peanuts can be reused at these Fort Collins locations or thrown in the trash.
• Electronics
o Disposing of electronics in the trash or in your curbside recycle bin is illegal in Colorado due to the toxicity of their components. View electronic recycling centers.
• Cooking Oil
o For a $5 entry fee, you can drop off used cooking oil in a clear, sealed container at the City’s Timberline Recycling Center hard-to-recycle materials yard. Do not put fats, oils, and grease down the drain. Used cooking oil is also accepted at these locations.

Tips for a Greener Season
• Go Green with Gifts: Look for gifts with minimal packaging, items that are made from recycled materials, or are produced locally.
• Conserve Energy: Use LED lights and put lights on timers to turn on at dusk and off at bedtime. Leaving holiday lights on for 24 hours will quadruple energy costs and produce 4x more pollution than necessary!
• Give Gifts with a Small Eco-Footprint: Tickets to an event, movie, or show are excellent choices.
• Give the Gift of Recycling: Purchase an entry certificate to the Timberline Recycling Center Hard-to-Recycle Materials Yard for just $5!

Be Mindful of Food Waste

The holiday season means even more wasted food. Save money, water, and reduce your greenhouse gas emissions by wasting less.

Practice smart shopping by planning your meals ahead of time, buying only what you need, and eating what you buy. Send leftovers home with dinner guests after holiday celebrations, and get creative with recipes that use up leftovers. Have food scraps? Compost them! Learn more food saving tips.