by Brenna Timm


Recycling is an important part of keeping the environment healthy. However easy it may seem you still need to know a few things. Things like what you can and cannot recycle or what condition things need to be in. So lets look at the some of the recycling requirements here in Larimer County.

The Dos and Don’ts

Let’s take a quick tally to see what you think you can normally recycle. Here’s a list of common items you think about recycling:




Glass Bottles/Jars

Ink Cartridges


Aluminum Cans



So what do you think? What here can be recycled?

Recycling Requirements

The answers can be tricky, so let’s go through the list.

  • Paper– Paper can be recycled with everything else. However, only if the paper is typical paper. Laminated paper, carbon paper, or paper with neon or deep hues shouldn’t be recycled like everything else. Also, please don’t recycle soggy, wet paper.
  • Cardboard– Cardboard is good to recycle but might need some prep. Break down your boxes and take out any bags, plastics, or Styrofoam. And once again, wet is no good. Also, for things like pizza boxes, recycle them only if they are reasonably clean.
  • TVs– TV’s and other electronic devices and appliances cannot be dumped in with the rest of your recyclables. Electronics need to be dealt with special care, so check out the details for appliances or electronic recycling instead of dumping them.
  • Glass bottles/jars– These are completely acceptable to recycle. Make sure the container is clean before disposing. Just be careful not to get excited and recycle other glasses. Glass products like plate glass, cookware, light bulbs, or ceramics are not accepted at Larimer’s recycling plant.

recycling requirements

Easy so far?

Lets get a little more challenging…

  • Ink Cartridges– Ink cartridges can’t be recycled with everything else. However, the Solid Waste Department has a partnership working to recycle these, so drop off old ink cartridges at Hazardous Waste Facility at the Recycling Center.
  • Batteries– Batteries cannot be recycled with normal recyclables. Instead, various electronic stores around Fort Collins offer to take your drained batteries off your hands.
  • Aluminum cans– There are great to recycle along with other forms of cans. Just like with glass, make sure they are empty and cleaned out.
  • Plastics– In general, plastics are easy and safe to recycle. The numbers found on plastic materials refer to how they need to be processed for recycled. Numbers 1-5 are the easiest to recycle.
  • Clothing– There is no special way to recycle clothing with your other recyclables. To recycle clothes, you will need to take them to a donation center or store, or schedule a pick-up at your house.

In the End…

How did you do? It is surprising how much can be recycled, even if some special preparation is needed. There are recycling requirements but a lot can be reused in new ways. Keep these in mind before you dump everything in the green bin.