Fort Collins, Colorado (pop. 152,061) operates an innovative Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) trash system, meaning the less you throw out, the less you pay. PAYT aims to economically incentivize recycling as opposed to putting objects in the trash can, which ultimately benefits the consumer, the environment and the community as a whole. Learn more about how the City of Fort Collins is beautifying the community.

Materials Recycled

  • Plastics: Yogurt containers, plastic cups, milk jugs, bottles, jars (lid on), shampoo and conditioner bottlers, detergent containers, takeout containers and any other plastic bottles, tubs, jugs and jars. Plastic bags are NOT accepted. 
  • Paper: Magazines, cardboard (broken down, if in boxes), newspaper, egg cartons, file folders, printer paper, milk cartons and mail. Shredded paper is NOT accepted. 
  • Metal: Any soda or drink cans, soup or other canned goods, empty aerosol cans and aluminum foil. 
  • Glass: Jars (without the lid) and beverage bottles.


As a note, the City of Fort Collins does not provide curbside recycling or pick-up. Instead, it partners with private trash haulers to have these items picked up. These companies include: Gallegos Sanitation, Ram Waste Systems and Waste Management. 

Regardless of which company handles your recyclables, they should be placed by the curb by no later than 7 a.m. the morning of trash pick-up.

Other programs

For residents needing to recycle old laptops, cell phones, TVs, white appliances and other electronics devices, Fort Collins suggests they visit the City’s Recycling Directory to find responsible recycling options. Interested in composting? Fort Collins has an excellent primer for individuals looking to get started!

More information

For more information, visit the City of Fort Collins recycling homepage