What to Expect at the CHaRM

Your first stop at the facility is the CHaRM window. CHaRM does not take appointments, so please feel welcome to visit anytime during business hours.

Enter by vehicle through the gate and follow the blue signs for CHaRM. At the window, you will be greeted by a member of the register team. These friendly folks will ask what you are bringing in to recycle as well as a few questions that help us learn about our customers, such as where you’re from. Your place of residence does not determine whether you can use the CHaRM, or affect fees.

The cashier will assess your recycling fees, and provide directions for where to deposit your materials. NOTE: Customers bringing electronics will be directed to pay at the second register in Zone 3, operated by Blue Star Recyclers, our electronics recycling partner.

The CHaRM is set up along a central lane with zones dedicated to specific materials. The zones are organized by a combination of material type, collection container, and the volume we receive of each material. Collection containers at CHaRM vary in style and size. Many have been custom-built for CHaRM, and some have become the standard for similar sites around the country.

Once you have deposited your materials in the appropriate containers you are free to continue through the site, looping around to the exit. You are also welcome to visit CHaRM’s next-door neighbor, Resource Central, to make a reuse donation or purchase reuse items.

What We Accept

CHaRM Fees

CHaRM assesses a $3 facility fee for every vehicle entering the CHaRM to recycle hard-to-recycle materials with one exception. If you are only bringing scrap metal the facility fee is waived. This fixed fee is used to cover the operating costs of the site, including things like utilities, general maintenance, equipment costs, etc.

Some materials require additional fees as described in the fee chart below. These fees are based on the direct costs of processing and shipping to end markets.

CHaRM is a specialty recycling facility that collects the most common consumer discards that are challenging to divert from the landfill. One of the factors making these materials difficult to recycle is that the cost to recycle them exceeds their value in the secondary materials market once processed. An old mattress, for instance, requires a large investment of time to dismantle into discrete materials—such as metal, wood, and textiles—that can be recycled. In addition to the cost of processing, many CHaRM materials must be shipped considerable distances to the nearest end markets.

The costs of processing and transportation require CHaRM to assess fees that enable this social enterprise to continue providing our services. These fees are routinely audited to ensure they are as low as possible so that fees do not become a barrier to responsible recycling.

CHaRM is also funded in part by the City of Boulder trash tax dollars.

CHaRM Tips

Every walk-up customer or vehicle bringing drop-off materials other than scrap metal must pay at minimum a $3 facility-use fee. Save on the facility fee with the tips below!

The facility fee is waived for customers arriving by bicycle. This is to provide an incentive for making an emission-free trip, and due to the space constraints of bringing materials in by bike.

Gather up CHaRM materials from your friends and neighbors—or carpool as a group! Making one trip saves everyone time and money, and limits the emissions resulting from multiple trips.

CHaRM is always looking for help doing outreach and orienting customers during their visit. We will reward you with a free facility fee pass for each time you volunteer. Please reach out to [email protected] to learn more!

Contact us to learn about special bulk rates for businesses, setting up a business account that offers invoiced drop-offs instead of payment taken at the window, hard-to-recycle hauling services for businesses, and free staff recycling trainings.

CHaRM can get very busy, especially on Saturdays. If you have a big load of materials for us or don’t want to wait in line, please try to come on a weekday before noon to ensure you have the time and space you need to unload.

While we so appreciate your commitment to recycling hard-to-recycle materials, the environmental impact of shipping the items will probably outweigh the environmental benefits of recycling them.

Please check with your local county or state for options closer to home.

Tours are available by request where possible for groups of 10 people or fewer. Tours are conducted outdoors and masks are required at all times for unvaccinated individuals. Contact [email protected] to learn more!