Roaring Fork Valley Communities
The recyclables we collect from Aspen through Glenwood Springs to Silt are taken to a single-stream sorting facility in Denver –Altogether Recycling (about 180 miles away). Using just one collection bin for all your recyclable items increases the ease and convenience of recycling so that more people participate and more resources are saved also making recycling easier for you — at home or at work. Material Recovery Facilities (called MRFs, which rhymes with “smurfs”) have gotten pretty good at doing that sorting for you with a combination of machines and human manpower.
For a look behind the scenes, watch this video of the MRF that serves the Roaring Fork Valley.
A large portion of the Rifle Colorado community is still serviced with the dual-stream system. This means that residents keep paper in one container and other recyclables—such as plastic and metal—in another.
These recyclables are taken to the Eagle County processing center in Wolcott, CO (about 60 miles away). This facility requires us to sort all recyclables into two major groups:
- Fiber (paper, cardboard, cereal boxes, etc.)
- Co-mingle (plastic, glass and metal mixed together)
In both cases, recyclables collected on route are loaded into a larger truck and hauled to one of the two processing centers. We reduce transportation costs and fuel use, as well as improve operation efficiency, through the transfer station, which helps ensure trucks are full on each trip to the processing center. We are working toward using only the single-stream method to collect recyclables; for now, we will continue to use two methods.
What We Recycle
Properly sorted materials ensure that we can process your recyclables. We Accept:
- Newspapers (including inserts)
- Mixed paper
- Phone books
- Steel or tin cans
- Aluminum foil
- Plastic milk jugs
- Corrugated cardboard (FLATTENED)
- Chipboard (cereal and tissue boxes)
- Plastic (#1 – #7) plastic bottles or tubs (if it’s not labeled it can’t be recycled)
- Empty aerosol cans
- Pie tins
- Office paper
- Brown paper bags
- Aluminum (do not crush)
- Glass bottles and jars
- Detergent bottles (Tide)
- Bulk or junk mail
Things to Keep Out of Recycling Bins
Please, NO PLASTIC BAGS. We cannot accept them, and they gum up the processing machines. Even if other recyclables are put inside a plastic bag, we still cannot take them. Plastic bags among otherwise recyclable materials can cause us to have to dump the entire batch of recyclables into the landfill instead of taking the load to the processing facility.
- NO Plastic bags!!!
- NO Packing material (bubbles, plastic, foam…etc.)
- NO shredded paper
- NO Food
- NO Broken glass & dishes
- NO Styrofoam
- NO Scrap metal
- NO Light bulbs
- NO Caps and lids
- NO Pizza boxes with food stuck to them
- NO Freezer food boxes (wax prevents recycling)
- NO Hazardous waste
- NO Electronics (call for electronics options)
- NO “To Go” plastic containers
- NO Plastic egg cartons
- NO Plastic plates, forks, spoons or knives
- NO Six pack holders
- NO Oils, paints, or batteries
- NO Hazardous or bio-hazardous waste products such as needles or syringes
- NO ceramics or Pyrex containers
- NO Windshield glass
We cannot recycle things like: bowling balls, couches, radios and electronics, clothing, chain link fencing, most athletic equipment, or houseplants. If you have furniture that’s in relatively good condition, consider donating it to Habitat For Humanity of the Roaring Fork Valley, taking it to a nearby thrift store, listing it on local internet sites where people sell and trade goods, or giving your well-used couch to a person in college whose front porch is un-cushioned.
Helpful Tips on Recycling Certain Products
Not sure whether the item is recyclable or not? Here are some quick rules of thumb to consider for each type of material many would consider recyclable:
Plastics: Only recycle plastic bottles and tubs. This is typically a #1 through #7 plastic and only pertains to the bottles and tubs. Here are some examples of plastic bottles that are okay to recycle:
- Soda, water, and juice bottles
- Liquid detergent and other cleaning supply bottles
- Condiment bottles (ketchup, mustard, etc)
- Milk jugs and orange juice jugs (no paper cartons)
- Shampoo bottles and liquid soap dispensers
- Peanut butter jars (please rinse out)
- Butter and yogurt tubs
Steel: Please make sure any aerosol cans are completely empty. This includes containers such as shaving cream and hairspray cans. Labels are okay.
Office Paper: All types of office paper are accepted. If you can tear it, we can take it. All colors are fine as well. Don’t worry about paper clips, staples, tape, and sticky notes. These are all okay in the mix. NO TYVEK (polyethylene fiber) plastic or overnight mailing folders.
Bulk or Junk Mail: This material is okay as well. Do not worry about any stamps or staples or sticky notes in this material, either. Remember, if you can tear it, we can take it. Again, NO TYVEK (polyethylene fiber) plastic or overnight mailing folders.
Magazines, Catalogs, Phone Books: Please discard plastic bags around these items and items such as CDs and magnets. Everything else is okay.
With Single-Stream Recycling You No Longer Have to Sort
We currently provide Single-Stream recycling as a part of our recycling program from Aspen to New Castle. Silt and Rifle Remain on Dual-Stream recycling and will transition to Single-Stream recycling in the future.
Single Stream recycling allows all recycling to be placed in one container with sorting done at the recycling plant. This makes it easier for anyone to make recycling part of their daily routine.
With Dual-Stream recycling, residents use one container for paper and another container for all other recyclables.
This area of the country poses transportation challenges when it comes to recycling. There are no local processing centers, which means we have to transport loads of recycling materials at least 60 miles to the nearest sorting center. Additionally, these locations charge a fee to deposit recycling materials, which is based on weight. The more we bring to recycle, the more it costs. Much of the material collected in the Roaring Fork Valley must be sent to other cities where it is further prepared for ultimate re-use or taken to manufacturing facilities directly. All of these factors affect the cost of our recycling service.
Learn more about the Challenges of Recycling
Mountain Waste is fully committed to doing our part for the planet by reducing waste and recycling by providing affordable convenient recycling services to customers throughout the area.
How to Prepare your Recyclables
Here is how the processing facility wants each of us to prepare the recyclables:
- FIBER: newspaper, office paper, uncoated cardboard (flattened), cereal/food boxes, telephone books, magazines, & junk mail
- CO-MINGLE (everything else that is accepted by the materials recycling facility): aluminum and steel cans, #1 — #7 plastic bottles/containers, and glass bottles
Items That Are NOT ACCEPTABLE!
NO PLASTIC BAGS
Please, please, please, DO NOT PLACE YOUR RECYCLABLES INTO PLASTIC BAGS for collection. The plastic bags cause damage to the sorting equipment at the MRF and can contaminate the load, and an entire batch of recycling can end up in the landfill.
Plastic bags can be recycled at many retail locations such as WalMart, supermarkets, or Ace Hardware.
NO WINDOW GLASS
NO PYREX DISHWARE