Take a Trip Down Recycle Row, Boulder’s Hub for Sustainability

Located in East Boulder, Recycle Row is a unique corridor with several Zero Waste facilities dedicated to helping residents and businesses reuse and recycle their discards responsibly, fostering a culture of sustainable resource management in the community.

Eco-Cycle is proud to be an integral part of Recycle Row, operating the Boulder County Recycling Center and founding the nation’s first Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM). We collaborate with mission-aligned organizations, including our neighbor at 6400 Arapahoe Road, Resource Central, as well as the Boulder County Hazardous Materials Management Facility, and Western Disposal, to advance resource conservation.

Read on to learn more about the member organizations of Recycle Row and the services available to you, and watch this video produced by Boulder County to see Recycle Row facilities in action!

Eco-Cycle Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM)

Founded in 2001, the Eco-Cycle Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM) creates an opportunity to recycle unusual items not typically accepted in curbside programs. By accepting dozens of hard-to-recycle materials at our drop-off location in Boulder, the CHaRM makes it easier for area residents and businesses to responsibly recycle (and in some cases, reuse) these items.

Accepted Items at Eco-Cycle’s CHaRM

  • Electronics, including computers, monitors, printers, and cell phones. E-waste contains hazardous materials that can harm the environment if not disposed of properly, making it illegal to dump electronics in the trash in Colorado.
  • Plastic Bags and Bubble Wrap: Unlike plastic bottles, tubs, jugs, jars, and clamshells, plastic bags and other polyethylene films are not accepted in curbside recycling because they get tangled in recycling machinery. However, when collected separately from curbside recyclables, this material can be recycled into composite lumber for outdoor furniture and decking—or even turned back into film plastic!
  • Documents for Shredding, including loose office paper, folders, and envelopes—staples and paper clips do not need to be removed. 
  • Block White Styrofoam, often seen in the form of the rigid material in which electronics are packaged inside the box. Food-grade styrofoam containers and cups are NOT accepted, and are being phased out in Colorado thanks to the Plastic Pollution Reduction Act championed by Eco-Cycle in 2021. Packing peanuts are also not accepted for recycling at CHaRM, but can often be reused by shipping companies.
  • Scrap Metal, which include items that are at least 50% metal by weight and contain no refrigerants—everything from metal caps less than 2 inches in diameter (which are too small to put in your curbside recycling bin) to pots and pans, microwaves,  water heaters, and non-Freon appliances.
  • Large Plastics, made of #2 HDPE or #5 PP only and less than 3 feet in length in every direction, including all-plastic kiddie pools, lawn chairs, trash cans, buckets, laundry baskets, and milk crates.
  • Freon Appliances, including all sizes of refrigerators, freezers, air-conditioning units, and dehumidifiers.  
  • And more! See our full list of accepted items and fees here.

Resource Central

Co-located with Eco-Cycle at 6400 Arapahoe Road, Resource Central is a fellow nonprofit organization facilitating Zero Waste in Boulder by accepting donations of reusable building materials, and selling these reclaimed items to the public at a fraction of the original price. Resource Central also runs effective and innovative programs to save water, conserve energy, and reduce waste.

Accepted Items at Resource Central

Resource Central accepts donations of new and gently used building materials, such as:

  • Lumber
  • Hardware
  • Cabinetry and doors
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Sinks
  • Appliances in good working condition

Resource Central also takes some housewares such as shelving units. Learn more about what items they accept at resourcecentral.org/reuse/material-donations.

Looking to purchase building materials at prices significantly below retail cost? Visit the Materials Reuse Store co-located on the same property as the Eco-Cycle CHaRM, open Monday through Saturday, 9 am–5 pm. 

Boulder County Recycling Center (BCRC)

The Boulder County Recycling Center, operated by Eco-Cycle, is a state-of-the-art facility that processes recyclable materials from Boulder County and beyond. If you live in Boulder County, your curbside single-stream recycling is brought here to be sorted, baled, and sold to end markets for remanufacturing, ensuring your recyclables are returned to the supply chain.

At the Boulder County Recycling Center Drop-Off Center, located at 1901 63rd St. in Boulder, the community can bring single-stream recycling materials for free drop-off! Accepted items include paper, cardboard, glass bottles, aluminum or metal cans, and plastic bottles, jugs, tubs, and jars. 

Hazardous Materials Management Facility (HMMF)

Proper disposal of hazardous waste is critical to protecting both human health and the environment. Boulder County’s Hazardous Materials Management Facility (HMMF), located at 1901 63rd St. in Boulder (just to the west of the Boulder County Recycling Center), offers a safe and responsible solution for managing hazardous materials, ensuring the health of our community and environment. 

Accepted Items at Boulder County’s Hazardous Waste Drop-Off:

  • Household Chemicals: Items such as cleaning products, pesticides, and paint thinners are accepted. These materials can be extremely harmful if disposed of improperly.
  • Fluorescent Bulbs: Fluorescent bulbs require special handling to prevent environmental contamination, since they contain mercury.
  • Automotive Fluids: Used motor oil, antifreeze, and other automotive fluids are accepted. Proper disposal prevents these substances from polluting waterways.
  • Batteries: All types are accepted—please tape your lithium batteries.
  • Vaping Accessories 
  • LED Bulbs
  • Camping Fuel Containers (under 1 pound)

Western Disposal

Western Disposal provides comprehensive waste management services, including housing the Boulder County and City of Boulder Yard Waste and Wood Waste Drop-Off Center, trash collection, and recycling. Visit their location at 2051 63rd St. in Boulder to drop off a host of materials, including:

  • Yard debris: branches, stumps, leaves, etc.
  • Construction & Demolition (C&D) materials
  • And more!

Recycle Row in Boulder exemplifies our community’s commitment to Zero Waste and sustainability. Whether you’re looking to recycle electronics, donate building materials, safely dispose of hazardous waste, or find a home for C&D materials, Recycle Row has you covered! The next time you’re in Boulder, take a trip down Recycle Row and see sustainability in action.