Denver recycling“Go Purple” is the only phrase Denver (pop. 634,265) residents need to know when it comes to residential recycling. The purple curbside collection bins — a color not typically seen in municipal recycling — allows Denverites to recycle sans sorting. They also provide Denver with a unique recycling twist that few other cities can claim.

Materials recycled

Paper Including junk mail, envelopes (plastic windows OK), greeting cards, postcards, index cards, file folders, loose leaf/legal pad paper, copy/typing paper, brochures, glossy ads, newspapers, magazines, catalogs, paper bags, paperboard boxes, shoe boxes, gift boxes, hanging file folders, egg cartons, paper towel and toilet paper tubes, phone books (no plastic coating), non-foil-coated wrapping paper, non-wax-coated frozen food boxes and all paper-based food and drink cartons (rinsed/cleaned; no straws/caps). Flattened cardboard segments no larger than 2×2 can also be added to the bin (clean pizza boxes are OK; no cardboard with wax coating). Plastics Rigid plastic bottles, tubs, jugs, jars, cups and containers marked #1 through #7 are acceptable. All items must be clean; no caps or lids accepted. No plastic bags, Styrofoam, shrink wrap, toys or plastic tubing. Metals Including aluminum cans and tin cans, aluminum foil and aluminum trays and pie tins and empty aerosol cans. Labels are OK. All items must be clean. Glass Food and beverage glass bottles, jars and containers accepted. Lids/caps must be removed (large metal lids can be recycled but must be separate). All items must be clean.


Curbside pick-up occurs on a biweekly basis. A collection schedule is available online. Carts must be placed curbside (at least 4 feet from any obstructions) by 7 a.m. on collection day.

Other programs

Denver holds an “Eco-Rally” e-waste collection event annually. Residents can bring old electronics by car to the drop-off location and recycle them for a $5 fee. Solid Waste Management customers in Denver are eligible for complimentary appliance collection and recycling by appointment. Items collected include refrigerators, freezers, air conditioners, washers, dryers, stoves and hot water heaters.

More information

Visit the City of Denver Trash and Recycling website for more recycling program info.