Holiday Recycling Guide

From batteries to wrapping paper, your resource for recycling holiday-related items


If the material you’re looking for is not on this list, call us at 303-444-6634 or visit our website at Check our online Guide to Hard-to-Recycle Materials for other unusual recycling items you may accumulate over the holidays or year-round.

Batteries—Take spent rechargeable batteries to Best Buy, Radio Shack, Batteries Plus, Office Depot, or other local hardware or electronic stores, or to Boulder County’s Household Hazardous Waste (HHW) facility at 5880 Butte Mill Rd.

Bubble Wrap—Bring bubble wrap to a packing and shipping service store for reuse. See our Guide to Hard-to-Recycle Materials for locations at

Clothing, Toys and Gear—As you make room in your closet for your new clothing, toys and gear, donate your gently used and unwanted clothing and toys to thrift stores. Share-A-Gift will be accepting new and used toys, books and bikes in good condition from Nov. 27 through Dec. 15. Visit or call 303-494-4258. You can donate or consign used sporting goods through Play it Again Sports or the Boulder Sports Recycler. Find more locations at Clothing and bedding too torn or stained for resale can be recycled at Eco-Cycle’s Center for Hard-to- Recycle Materials (CHaRM).

Cooking Oil—Used cooking oil can be recycled at the CHaRM. Broomfield residents can recycle cooking oil at the Norman Smith Service Center at 3001 W. 124th Ave. in Broomfield. Call 303-438- 6336 for holiday hours.

Corrugated Cardboard—Corrugated cardboard boxes can be recycled even if they have large staples or shiny graphics on them. Corrugated cardboard is accepted in the Boulder County curbside recycling program and at drop-off centers.

Electronics and Cell Phones—Replacing your TV or computer? Don’t toss your old one in the trash. Both contain three to eight pounds of lead along with mercury, cadmium, arsenic and other toxic substances, as do smaller electronic items. These toxins will eventually leak into our groundwater and soils if landfilled. Recycle these materials responsibly at the CHaRM. There is a fee for recycling electronics to help cover the costs of the program and to make sure they are recycled domestically and responsibly. Thanks to our Partner for Responsible Recycling, ListenUp, for financially supporting our electronics recycling program.

Envelopes—Dark-colored envelopes, such as the reds and greens typically used around the holidays, cannot be recycled but can be placed in your curbside compost bin (if you have one). Kraft envelopes (yellow/orange 8.5-by-11-inch office envelopes) also cannot be recycled. All other envelopes can be recycled in your single-stream recycling bin.

Food Scraps—Compost your food scraps in your curbside compost bin (if you have one), backyard composter or indoor vermicomposting (worm) bin. Go to for more information. Donate your packaged food items to Community Food Share (, 303-652-3663) or Emergency Family Assistance Association (, 303-442-3042).

Holiday Greeting Cards—Holiday cards are recyclable in your single-stream recycling bin, except for those made from or embossed with foil. Reuse cards as next year’s gift tags or place-setting cards. No photos or very dark paper.

Packing Peanuts—Bring peanuts to a packing and shipping store for reuse. See our Guide to Hard-to-Recycle Materials for locations at www.

Paper Shopping Bags—These bags are great for reuse or for use as a gift bag, but if they’re too worn, they can be recycled with your corrugated cardboard either at the curb or at a drop-off center (including white, colored, glossy and non-glossy bags). Remove all non-paper handles (string, etc.).

Plastic Bags—Recycle your #2 and #4 plastic bags at the CHaRM. This includes grocery sacks, newspaper bags and drycleaner bags. Bags must be completely clean, dry and empty. Plastic bags are not recyclable in your curbside bin.

#6 White Block Foam (a.k.a. Styrofoam®)— The CHaRM accepts #6 white block foam, typically used to package computers, TVs, wine, etc.. Yes: #6 clean, white block foam or rigid white foam insulation. No: food-grade foam (to-go boxes, meat trays, disposable cups, etc.), tape, bubble wrap (see listing), moisture, foam peanuts, any foam other than #6, or any color other than white.

Wrapping Paper—Wrapping paper will be accepted for one month only (Dec. 26 – Jan. 31). Wrapping paper will be accepted at the Longmont and Boulder drop-off centers in the boxes marked “paperboard.” Please do not put wrapping paper in with single-stream recycling. This material will be accepted for one month only as it is a very low-grade material and normally considered a contaminant in the recycling bin because of its high clay and ink content and low fiber content. For this reason, we strongly urge the use of wrapping paper alternatives. If you do receive wrapped gifts from friends and family this holiday season, we suggest you save and store ribbons, bows and wrapping paper and reuse them again next year before recycling. No metallic wrapping paper, ribbons, bows, ornaments, tissue paper, fluorescent or dark paper, paper covered with tape.

Trees—Before “recycling” your tree, please be sure to remove all tinsel, lights, stands, etc. Please do not leave any trash or other materials at these locations.

Boulder County: Dec. 26 – Jan. 31. Holiday trees may be taken to the City of Boulder Yard Waste Drop-off located at 5880 Butte Mill Rd. Call 303-999-3823 for hours. Open to all and free of charge. Note: Western Disposal will pick up and recycle trees that are put by your compost bin at the curb on your compost pick-up day. If you don’t have composting service or if you put out your tree at any other time, it will go to the landfill.

City of Broomfield: Dec. 18 – Jan. 17. The city and county of Broomfield’s seven holiday tree collection sites will be marked with signs and orange fencing. The collection sites are intended for holiday trees only; do not leave yard waste, tree branches or other wood products. Tree mulch will be available at Bronco Park and the Recycle Center. Call 303-464- 5651 for more information.

Anthem Community Park – Parking lot east of intersection of Sheridan and Lowell Boulevard.

Bronco Park – Westlake Drive and Grove Circle.

The tree drop-off is north of the backstop.

Broadlands Park West – Sheridan Boulevard and Meadow Mountain Drive. The tree drop-off is on the west side of the parking lot.

Loc Amora Park – Miramonte Boulevard and Oak Circle North. The tree drop-off is west of the backstop.

Meridian Park – McKay Circle and Park Cove Way in McKay Landing. The tree drop-off is located west of the backstop.

Recycle Center – Industrial Lane and Commerce Avenue. The tree drop-off is west of the recycle bins. (Closed Dec. 26, Jan. 2) Community Park Ballfields – Community Park Drive and Lamar. The tree drop-off is west of Hall Field.

City of Lafayette: Local Boy Scout Troop 69 will pick up untrimmed trees from Lafayette residents on Jan. 2 for a $10 donation. Call 303-926- 0724 between Dec. 12 and Jan. 1 or go to http:// to set up an appointment.

City of Longmont: Dec. 26 – Jan. 5. The City of Longmont will recycle holiday trees at no charge for residents. Bring trees to the Tree Limb Diversion Center located at 140 Martin St. or to one of the satellite drop-off sites listed below. The Center will accept trees seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., except New Year’s Day. Satellite drop-off sites are open during daylight hours. Call 303-651-8416 for more info.

Roosevelt Park – Parking lot south of 8th Avenue. Garden Acres Baseball Park – West side of parking lot off 18th Avenue.

Kanemoto Park – Parking lot off Pratt Parkway. Centennial Park – East parking lot off Alpine Street.

City of Louisville: Dec. 26–31. Louisville residents can take holiday trees to the Branch Recycle Site located on the north end of the cemetery on Hwy. 42 and Empire Road. Hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 303-335-4735 for more information. The center permanently closes due to budget cuts after Dec. 31, 2009.

Town of Lyons: Jan. 4–8. Holiday trees will be picked up at the curb. Call 303-823-6622 for more information or to schedule a pick-up. Woodchips are free for anyone to pick up at Bohn Park, subject to availability.

Town of Superior: Citizens of the Town of Superior can bring their trees to the Superior Recycling Drop-Off Center from Dec. 26 – Jan. 31. Call 303-499-3675 for more information. Boy Scout Troop 575 will offer tree pick-ups on Jan. 9. Donations are encouraged: $6/small tree, $10/large tree. Visit for more info.

Check out our online video guide! Visit for detailed instructions on what can and cannot be recycled and why.


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