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Save the Date: The Mulch Giveaway & Compost Sale on Saturday, May 5, 2018

Denver residents looking to start the garden and landscaping season off right won’t want to miss Denver Recycles’ Annual Mulch Giveaway & Compost Sale on Saturday, May 5, 2018 from 8 AM to 2 PM! The main event site, located at the Havana Nursery (Smith Road & Havana Street), will have mulch available for free and compost available for purchase at significantly reduced prices. There will also be four satellite sites for “dig-your-own” mulch located around Denver.

image of Mulch Giveaway Banner


  • This is a one-day event and your only opportunity to purchase compost directly from the Denver Composts program. Don’t miss out!
  • Compost will only be available at the Havana Nursery site (10450 Smith Rd., just south of I-70 on Havana St.), and only while supplies last. Compost will be available in pre-bagged (1.25 cubic feet) quantities for $3.75 per bag and in bulk for $35.00 per cubic yard. Complimentary compost loader service available for bulk compost purchases. There is no “dig-your-own” compost option. Limit of 20 bags or 3 cubic yards per vehicle.
  • Free mulch will be available at the Havana Nursery site and at four additional “dig-your-own” mulch satellite sites, while supplies last.  Complimentary mulch loader service available at the Havana site only.
  • The four “dig-your-own” mulch sites are as follows:

Veterans' Park (Iowa Ave. & Vine St.)

Bear Creek Park (South of Dartmouth Ave. on Raleigh St.)

Sloan’s Lake Park (Sheridan Blvd. & 17th Ave.)

Fred Thomas Park (Quebec St. & 26th Ave.)

Compost is a great soil amendment that can be used to improve soil in new construction projects, landscape renovations, backyard gardens, container gardens and even houseplants. Compost is widely recognized for its ability to improve soil structure, reduce water needs, and add soil nutrients and beneficial microorganisms. The compost sold at this event is made in part from leaves collected from last fall's LeafDrop program and from the organic materials collected through the Denver Composts program.

The mulch for this event is made from ground up Christmas trees collected through the Treecycle program and from storm debris branches. Mulch can be applied to landscapes to control weeds, retain soil moisture, and protect shallow-rooted plants.


  1. Residents must bring their own pitchfork or shovel for loading mulch, and bags or containers for transporting mulch.
  2. Residents must bring their own tarps to cover loads of mulch or compost in trucks and trailers.
  3. Commercial vehicles are prohibited from taking or selling the mulch and compost offered at this event.
  4. The Mulch Giveaway and Compost Sale is for Denver residents only.

The Mulch Giveaway & Compost Sale is sponsored by the City and County of Denver’s Department of Public Works’ Denver Recycles program and Denver Parks and Recreation, in partnership with A1 Organics.  For more information about this event and other Denver Recycles programs, please visit us at or call 311 (720-913-1311).

The Three Easy Steps for Proper Cardboard Recycling

Online shopping is growing faster than ever.  In 2017, online shopping increased 16% over 2016 and projected to continue growing. As Americans continue to purchase a wide variety of online goods, this growing appetite for one-click shopping translates into lots and lots of cardboard boxes arriving on Denver doorsteps every day.

Fortunately, cardboard boxes are recyclable, and Denver Recycles is happy to accept cardboard in its purple recycle carts. However, the growing quantity of cardboard delivered to Denver homes has made managing this material for recycling a little more challenging.

To ensure that cardboard from your home is properly and efficiently recycled, simply follow these three easy steps:

STEP 1: Remove packaging from inside cardboard boxes, and flatten boxes completely. This only takes a minute! Keep in mind that not all packaging found inside cardboard boxes is recyclable – check the Denver Recycles guidelines before making a decision on how to manage the packaging found inside cardboard boxes.

STEP 2: Reduce the size of cardboard to pieces no larger than 2 ft. by 2 ft.

STEP 3: Place cardboard inside your purple cart, or stack cardboard neatly beneath the cart lid so that the lid is open no more than 45 degrees.

image of steps to properly setting out extra cardboard

It is also important to remember the following:

¨  Your purple cart is your collection container. Only materials inside your cart will be collected for recycling. Cardboard that is left on top of the lid or outside of your purple cart will not be collected. Cardboard stacked against your cart may even result in your cart not being emptied on collection day.

  • Clean pizza boxes are accepted in purple carts. However, greasy pizza boxes do not belong in recycle carts but are accepted in Denver’s green compost carts. Not signed up for the Denver Composts program? Learn more and sign up for compost collection service at or by calling 311.
  • Following our cardboard recycling guidelines not only maximizes space and prevents cardboard jams inside your cart, it also maximizes the efficiency of Denver’s recycling program overall.
  • Denver Recycles does offer the option to upsize existing 65-gallon recycle carts to the larger, 95-gallon cart size, and the ability to deliver a second recycle cart to homes needing even more capacity.
  • Cardboard and all other single-stream recyclables are also accepted at the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off for no charge.

For more information about recycling guidelines, the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-off, and all other programs and services offered by Denver Recycles, visit or call 311 (720-913-1311).

Make Yours A Healthy Home - Schedule A Hazardous Waste Collection Appointment

Make Yours A Healthy Home logoHow healthy is your home? The average U.S. home generates about 20 pounds of household hazardous waste per year. Many common products, such as garden chemicals, adhesives, various cleaners and automotive fluids, have toxicity levels that make them dangerous to people, pets, and the environment if stored or disposed of improperly.

Cut your risk of exposure to toxic chemicals in your home and schedule a Household Hazardous Waste Collection appointment. Scheduling an appointment is easy, and it only takes a few minutes to prepare your items for collection.

Here’s a quick list of items accepted in the Denver Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program and items that you should NEVER put in the trash or pour down the drain, toilet, or storm sewer:

Automotive Fluids, Batteries, Chlorine Bleach, Cleaners, Corrosive Chemicals, Drain Openers, Fluorescent Bulbs & Tubes, Fertilizers, Gasoline, Glue Adhesives & Hobby Chemicals, Herbicides, Insecticides & Pesticides, Mercury & Lead, Mercury Thermometers & Thermostats, Motor Oil & Used Filters, Acid & Bases, Latex & Oil-Based Paint, Paint Thinner & Stripper, Polishes & Wood Preservatives, Pool Chemicals, Rust Remover, Stain, Spray Paint, Varnishes & Waxes, and Weed Killer.   

Denver residents are eligible for one collection appointment per calendar year. To schedule a collection appointment, call 1-800-HHW-PKUP (1-800-449-7587). Please note that there is a $15 co-payment and to make an appointment, a resident must have a minimum of three different types of material from the accepted materials list included above.

For more information about Denver’s Household Hazardous Waste collection program and all other programs and services offered by Denver Recycles, visit or call 311 (720-913-1311).

When in Doubt, Double-Check or Throw It Out!

image of woman confusedHave you ever thrown an item in your recycling cart and thought “is this recyclable?

If you’re ever unsure if a material belongs in your purple recycle cart or your green compost cart, it’s best to double-check or just throw it in the trash. Even though our goal is to recycle and compost as much as possible it’s important to remember that quality is just as important as quantity.

Here’s why quality counts when it comes to the materials going into your recycle and compost carts:

  • Sorting non-recyclable material from the rest of your recyclables is difficult for the recycling facility. It’s labor and time-intensive, and it’s costly.
  • Non-recyclable items in your cart can damage sorting equipment and reduce the quality of other recyclables in your cart.
  • Separating non-compostable items from the rest of the compostable materials collected in your green cart is nearly impossible.

Quick Tips for Recycling and Composting Correctly:

  • Read up! Know what to recycle and compost by reviewing Denver’s recycle and compost guidelines online. A quick review goes a long way!
  • Be a star recycler, not a wishcycler! We all probably know at least one wishcycler, which is a person who places items in their recycle cart because they wish the items were recyclable, think the items might be recyclable or think the items should be recyclable. To all the wishcyclers out there, even the best of intentions do not make up for the fact that some materials just don’t belong in Denver’s purple or green carts. When in doubt, throw it out.
  • Practice makes perfect. Fortunately, Denver Recycles has a fun and interactive way for you to put your skills to the test. The Denver Recycles Waste Sorting Game is available on the Denver Recycles website and the Denver Trash and Recycling app!

For more information about Denver’s recycling and composting programs, and all other services offered by Denver Recycles, visit or call 311 (720-913-1311).

Glass Recycling in Denver – Keeping it Local

Ever wonder what becomes of your glass bottles and jars recycled through Denver’s recycling program? Denver Recycles is pleased to report that most (85%) of the glass bottles and jars recycled in Denver’s purple carts are turned into new glass bottles right here in Colorado. We like to call this bottle-to-bottle recycling, where a waste product can be turned back into the same product. The other fifteen percent of glass collected in purple carts that is broken into pieces too small to be recycled into bottles is put to good use in other ways, such as being recycled into products like sandblasting abrasives and swimming pool filter media.

image of pie chart of glass recycling in Colorado

(Image Credit:

The Local Path of Your Glass:

By the time a glass container is put into a purple cart, emptied into a recycling truck, transported around town, dumped onto a tipping floor and then sorted from the other materials, it’s typically broken into small pieces. This can represent a significant challenge to recyclers, since the small, broken pieces of glass find themselves mixed in with other small pieces of materials.

Thanks to a new, state-of-the-art waste glass processing plant opened by Momentum Recycling in 2017, Denver’s glass can now be more easily recycled into new bottles. With the help of advanced cleaning and sorting technology, Momentum Recycling can remove all non-glass impurities, and then sort the glass pieces by size and color to prepare glass pellets, (also known as glass cullet) for local bottle manufacturers here in Colorado.

photo of what glass looks like before and after being processed

While Denverite’s don’t generate enough glass to meet the needs of the local bottle manufacturers (who produce over two billion bottles per year in Colorado!), the local supply of clean, recycled glass cullet does significantly reduce the environmental impact of bottle manufacturing by reducing the need for virgin materials and reducing the energy required for the manufacturing process.

Denver Recycles will take all the glass we can get! Below are some quick reminders for properly recycling glass in Denver’s purple carts.

  • Denver Recycles accepts glass bottles and jars for recycling. No other glass is accepted in purple carts. Never put glassware, cookware, ceramics or window glass in your purple cart. These are considered impurities in the glass recycling process and are costly to remove.
  • Remove caps and lids. Denver Recycles does not accept metal bottle caps. However, large metal jar lids are accepted if they are removed from jars prior to recycling.
  • Check Denver Recycles’ Recycling Directory for how to recycle your discarded window glass. Again, Denver Recycles does not accept window glass for recycling in purple carts, but alternative recycling options for this item and 100s of other items are listed in the Recycling Directory.

To learn more about glass recycling in Colorado visit

For more information about Denver’s recycling guidelines, the Recycling Directory, and all other programs and services offered by Denver Recycles, visit or call 311 (720-913-1311).

Love & Denver Composts! 

February is here, and that means Denverite’s are purchasing more boxed chocolates and cut flowers this month than any other month of the year. If you find yourself buying flowers for a special someone, consider sharing the means to compost those flowers at the end of their life as well!  A green Denver Composts cart is a perfect supplement to any flower arrangement. After all, roses can be red, white or pink, but they’re always compostable (only after they’ve wilted, of course). Plus, nothing says “I care about you, and the environment” like flowers and a pretty, green compost cart.

graphic of roses plus green compost cart equals love

In all seriousness, participating in the Denver Composts program is a highly efficient way to manage food and yard debris at your home, and an equally great way show your love and appreciation for the environment. Now that the Denver Composts program is offered to all neighborhoods, Denver residents are encouraged to:

  • SIGN UP FOR DENVER COMPOSTS. The Denver Composts program is perfect for keeping food waste, yard debris and non-recyclable paper out of your trash. In turn, keeping compostable material of the landfill helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the resulting compost provides many benefits when applied to our local soils.  Compost collection service is provided by the City for a small fee, and the green cart is emptied weekly.
  • COMPOST CORRECTLY.  While you shouldn’t necessarily put chocolates in your backyard compost pile, the commercial-scale Denver Composts program can accept processed food (like chocolates!), dairy, meat and even animal bones. Review all that can be composted through the Denver Composts program at
  • SHARE THE LOVE. Share your love for composting with others by encouraging friends, family, and neighbors to sign up for the program, or, consider sharing your green cart. The more residents that utilize the program, the merrier!

In 2017, Denver residents composted over 6,000 tons (12,000,000 pounds) of food and yard debris, yet, nearly fifty percent of material in Denver’s trash could have also been composted. Help Denver Composts change this statistic!  Start composting or keep composting, and pass it on!

For more information about the Denver Composts program, please visit or call 311 (720-913-1311).

Resolve to Recycle Even more in 2018 — Here’s How

A new year is upon us, and as with tradition, it’s time to reflect, set goals, and make commitments for the new year.  This year, Denver Recycles encourages Denverites to make their 2018 New Year’s resolution to reduce their trash by recycling and composting even more! Doing so not only keeps our community and environment clean, it also supports Denver’s recycling and composting goal of keeping 34% of our waste out of the landfill by 2020. Currently, Denver recycles and composts about 21% of its waste. Let’s do better in 2018!

Here are some ideas for getting the year off to a great start: 

image of various cart and sizesGO GREEN. NEARLY 50% OF DENVER’S TRASH IS COMPOSTABLE.

  • Sign up for DENVER COMPOSTS! The Denver Composts program is now offered city-wide and is perfect for keeping food waste, yard debris and non-recyclable paper out of your trash (and out of the landfill). Compost collection service is provided by the City for a small fee, and the green cart is emptied weekly.
  • Compost Correctly: Learn how and what can be composted in the Denver Composts program at
  • Discover the Many Ways to Compost: Find out more about all your composting options, including backyard composting, at


  • Downsize Your Trash Cart: Your black trash cart comes in three sizes (35, 65 and 95 gallon). If you don’t need a big trash cart, there’s no reason to keep it. Downsizing to a smaller cart will save space around your home and encourage you to recycle and compost even more!


  • Maximize Recycling: Brush up on the list of materials accepted in the Denver Recycles’ program at This way, fewer recyclable items will mistakenly be placed in the trash. 
  • Increase Recycling Capacity: Increase your recycling capacity by upsizing to a larger purple recycle cart. Many residents have 65-gallon purple carts that can be exchanged for larger, 95-gallon purple carts.
  • Double Your Recycling Capacity: Double your recycling capacity by requesting a second recycle cart and recycling twice as much!

For more information about Denver’s Solid Waste services, or to upsize, downsize and request additional services, please visit or call 311 (720-913-1311).



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