Denver Composts Expands in 2015!

Denver Recycles is excited to announce that the Denver Composts program is doubling in size in 2015, bringing cart-based composting to double the number of participants!  
That’s right - with two new routes adding to the two existing routes, the Denver Composts program is now accessible to more neighborhoods and more participants than ever before.  Since organic material is the single largest item that is thrown away by Denver households, this expansion will help to keep tons of material out of our landfill (literally, TONS!). 

While the program is expanding, its growth is slow and compost collection service is not yet offered citywide. To find out if your home is eligible for this fee-based collection service, simply visit, or call 311 (720-913-1311). 

Similar to Denver’s recycling program, Denver Composts is a cart-based program. Unlike recycling, however, Denver Composts is fee-based, and Denver residents in eligible compost areas pay a monthly rate of $9.75 for the weekly collection of organic materials. If your household doesn’t generate enough material to fill a green cart each week, consider sharing the service with your neighbors.  

Materials collected in the green compost carts include yard debris, food, and non-recyclable paper such as food soiled paper, napkins, and paper towels.   The contents of the green compost carts are taken to a commercial processing facility and turned into a soil amendment know as compost. 

As the single largest stream of materials thrown away by Denver households, organic materials make up more than 50 percent of what is taken to the landfill. Regardless of whether your home falls within the Denver Composts service area, backyard composting is still a great way for all Denver residents to reduce the amount of organic materials sent to Denver’s landfills

If your home already has backyard composting and you’re eligible for the collection service, the Denver Composts cart is a great supplement, and can take the materials that don’t go in your backyard system. Whether you live in a house or in an apartment, there’s a compost system that can work for your home. Keep an eye out for the 2015 schedule of free FREE Learn to Compost Classes classes offered by Denver Recycles and Denver Urban Gardens. The full list of classes will be available at

Recycle Your Christmas Tree with Denver’s Treecycle Program

It’s as easy as 1,2,3!

Recycling your Christmas tree is as easy as 1, 2, 3 with Denver Recycles/Solid Waste Management’s annual Treecycle program, which runs January 5 through January 16, 2015.

By recycling your tree through the Treeycycle program, you can help keep trees out of the landfill, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help create mulch that is available to Denver residents for free at the annual Mulch Giveaway in the spring.

 Here’s how to recycle your Christmas tree:  

1.    Remove all decorations and the tree stand. NO artificial or flocked trees. Real evergreen trees only!   

2.    Set your tree out for collection during the first two full weeks of January. Your tree will get picked up by a special tree collection truck for recycling.   

3.    Reclaim free mulch made from your tree at the Treecycle Mulch Giveaway and LeafDrop Compost Sale on Saturday, May 2, 2015.  

Please note, collection days and set-out locations depend on your trash service type. Manual & Cart customers should set trees out at their trash set-out locations by 7 a.m. on their trash collection day during the week of January 5 or the week of January 12. Dumpster customers should set trees in the alley by 7 a.m. on either Monday, January 5 OR Monday, January 12 for collection sometime during the respective week.   

Do not place trees in carts or dumpsters. Trees placed in dumpsters are mixed in with other trash and do not get recycled. Instead, trees should be placed at least 2 feet away from dumpsters and other obstacles for collection by the special tree-only collection truck. 

Last year, Denver residents recycled more than 20,000 trees. Participate in this year’s Treecycle program and help us recycle even more!  

For more information about Treecycle, the Treecycle Mulch Giveaway and LeafDrop Compost Sale, or other Denver Recycles programs call 311 (720-913-1311) or visit   

Apply Now to Become a Master Composter

Are you interested in becoming an expert in composting and recycling and then sharing your knowledge in the community?  If so, apply now to become a Master Composter!  Selected volunteers will learn all about composting and recycling through hands-on sessions that cover a range of topics, including how to compost at home, the role of organic material in soil health, and the importance of resource conservation.  Once trained, Master Composters share conservation information with the public at free “Learn to Compost” classes, schools, community events and outdoor markets.  Becoming a Master Composter is a great way to enhance your knowledge of composting and waste reduction, contribute to your community, and meet lots of new and interesting people!  

No prior composting experience is required; however, program participants must be able to commit to attend 40 hours of instruction in compost science, compost bin construction, worm composting, urban gardening, recycling, solid waste management and community outreach.  Participation in facility tours and work sessions at the compost demonstration site is also required.  In exchange for 40 hours of training each program participant performs 40 hours of outreach by teaching others about composting and recycling practices. 

Applications for the 2015 program are being accepted now through December 17th, 2014.  Approximately 30 enthusiastic and committed volunteers are selected each year for the program.  Training classes are held about once a week for ten consecutive weeks starting in late February.  Classes are held on Monday evenings, a few Saturday mornings and one Friday field trip day in April.  Please review the 2015 schedule at  If you are interested in the program, and can commit to the published schedule, please call Judy Elliot of Denver Urban Gardens at 720-404-0621 to learn more and to start making Denver a greener place to live.   

The Denver Master Composter Program is a joint project of Denver Recycles and Denver Urban Gardens.  Learn more at and  

Recycle & Compost Tips for the Super Bowl!

Are you hosting a Super Bowl party on February 1st? 

  • Score a touchdown for the environment by making your party green! Remember to RECYCLE your plastic bottles/trays/tubs, aluminum cans, cardboard paperboard and other acceptable recyclables. 
  • As a reminder - All Styrofoam, plastic wrap, plastic bags and plastic utensils should GO IN THE TRASH.
  • For Denver Composts customers (those with green carts), remember to COMPOST all of your food scraps, napkins and paper towels. For backyard composters, keep the meat and bones out!

Tips for Properly Managing Household Hazardous Waste

The EPA estimates that each household stores as much as 100 pounds of harmful chemicals. Since Hazardous materials such as fluorescent lights (tubes or CFL bulbs), thermometers, batteries, loose sharps, liquid paints, thinners, and other hazardous liquids should never go in the trash or in your purple recycling cart, it’s important to know how to properly dispose of this material and also how to reduce the amount of this unwanted material that is generated. 

For Denver residents, disposing of unwanted hazardous material is simple- the City of Denver’s Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program can help you safely and conveniently dispose and recycle these items. Denver residents may use this appointment-based program once per calendar year for only a $15 copayment. To schedule a collection appointment, call 1-800-HHW-PKUP (1-800-449-7587) or visit for program details. 

To safely manage household hazardous materials and reduce the amount of household hazardous waste generated in your home in the first place, consider the following tips: 
  1. Buy only what you need. Reduce the amount of chemicals you bring into your home, and use up the chemicals you currently have before purchasing more. Avoid stockpiling chemicals that you are not using, that have expired, or that are in poor condition and follow the manufacturer’s label for proper disposal. 
  2. Read your labels. Understanding the chemical characteristics will allow you to properly handle, store and dispose of chemicals. Labels inform consumers of incompatibility with other products to avoid cross contamination.
  3. Keep hazardous materials in their original containers to prevent accidental mixing. Container labels should be securely affixed and missing labels should be replaced. Properly label all transfer containers with the contents to avoid cross contamination. To avoid accidental ingestion, chemicals should never be transferred to containers that originally contained food (such as soda bottles or milk jugs). 
  4. Ensure all lids are sealed and containers are in good condition. Containers should be in good condition and lids properly secured to prevent spills and the release of vapors.  
  5. Go Green! Use alternative non-toxic products instead of hazardous chemicals whenever possible. For example, a baking soda and vinegar combination can be used to clear clogged drains. 

Editor's Note:

The Denver Recycles’ Roundup is a periodic news column sponsored by Denver Recycles, a program of Denver Public Works/Solid Waste Management. It includes updates on seasonal and ongoing activities related to the City and County of Denver's recycling programs. Editors are invited to publish all or part of the column; however, we request that you run major edits by our staff to ensure accuracy of the information. Questions may be directed to Denver Recycles.