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Town of Carbondale Trash & Recycling Program

Sign Up Now (Only for those within the Carbondale town limits)

On Tuesday, March 19, 2019, the Board of Trustees approved a single trash hauling contract to provide residential trash and recycling service within the Town of Carbondale. Below are some frequently asked questions and answers related to the new residential trash and recycling service.

Since fall 2017, the Carbondale Trustees have discussed offering trash hauling services at 15 Town Board meetings open to the public. At these meetings public input was gathered, and considered every step along the decision-making process. Public input was also gathered via on-line survey, at the Farmers Market, during First Friday festivities, and at an open-house meeting at Town Hall.

From this the Trustees identified 3 goals for the way Carbondale manages solid waste/trash. The 3 goals identified were:

  • To reduce the impact of trash hauling services on our streets,
  • To decrease wildlife interactions with bears and other wildlife, and
  • To do our part as a community to reduce the amount of trash going into landfills.

This environmentally friendly initiative, will be implemented this summer! Citizens can enroll in trash hauling services in 2 ways:

Sign-ups must be completed by June 28th, or citizens will be auto enrolled in the medium sized trash service and medium recycling. New services will begin October 1, 2019.

Commercial clients and multi family units of 8 or more are not eligible for this program.

Here are some frequently asked questions and answers related to the new residential trash and recycling service. If you have additional questions please email or call the Town of Carbondale Trash Hauling Services Department direct at 970-510-1202.

Additional information:

Map & Collection Days

Zone A is east of Highway 133

Zone B is west of Highway 133


Container Sizes

*If you chose the wrong container size for you and the lid doesn’t close on trash day then you will be assessed a $25 fine per incident.



We are committed to doing our part for the planet by providing affordable, convenient recycling services.

What We Recycle:

Properly sorted materials ensure that we can process your recyclables. We Accept:

  • Newspapers (including inserts)
  • Mixed paper
  • Phone books
  • Steel or tin cans
  • Aluminum foil
  • Plastic milk jugs
  • Corrugated cardboard (FLATTENED)
  • Chipboard (cereal and tissue boxes)
  • Plastic (#1 – #7) plastic bottles or tubs (if it’s not labeled it can’t be recycled)
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Pie tins
  • Magazines
  • Office paper
  • Brown paper bags
  • Aluminum (do not crush)
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Detergent bottles (Tide)
  • Bulk or junk mail

Things to Keep Out of Recycling Bins

Please, NO PLASTIC BAGS. We cannot accept them, and they gum up the processing machines. Even if other recyclables are put inside a plastic bag, we still cannot take them. Plastic bags among otherwise recyclable materials can cause us to have to dump the entire batch of recyclables into the landfill instead of taking the load to the processing facility.

  • NO Plastic bags!!!
  • NO Packing material (bubbles, plastic, foam…etc.)
  • NO shredded paper
  • NO Food
  • NO Broken glass & dishes
  • NO Styrofoam
  • NO Scrap metal
  • NO Light bulbs
  • NO Caps and lids
  • NO Pizza boxes with food stuck to them
  • NO Freezer food boxes (wax prevents recycling)
  • NO Hazardous waste
  • NO Electronics (call for electronics options)
  • NO “To Go” plastic containers
  • NO Plastic egg cartons
  • NO Plastic plates, forks, spoons or knives
  • NO Six pack holders
  • NO Oils, paints, or batteries
  • NO Hazardous or biohazardous waste products such as needles or syringes
  • NO ceramics or Pyrex containers
  • NO Windshield glass

We cannot recycle things like: bowling balls, couches, radios and electronics, clothing, chain link fencing, most athletic equipment, or houseplants. If you have furniture that’s in relatively good condition, consider donating it to Habitat For Humanity of the Roaring Fork Valley, taking it to a nearby thrift store, listing it on local internet sites where people sell and trade goods, or giving your well-used couch to a person in college whose front porch is uncushioned.

Helpful Tips on Recycling Certain Products

Not sure whether the item is recyclable or not? Here are some quick rules of thumb to consider for each type of material many would consider recyclable:

Plastics: Only recycle plastic bottles and tubs. This is typically a #1 through #7 plastic and only pertains to the bottles and tubs. Here are some examples of plastic bottles that are okay to recycle:

  • Soda, water, and juice bottles
  • Liquid detergent and other cleaning supply bottles
  • Condiment bottles (ketchup, mustard, etc)
  • Milk jugs and orange juice jugs (no paper cartons)
  • Shampoo bottles and liquid soap dispensers
  • Peanut butter jars (please rinse out)
  • Butter and yogurt tubs

Steel: Please make sure any aerosol cans are completely empty. This includes containers such as shaving cream and hairspray cans. Labels are okay.

Office Paper: All types of office paper are accepted. If you can tear it, we can take it. All colors are fine as well. Don’t worry about paper clips, staples, tape, and sticky notes. These are all okay in the mix. NO TYVEK (polyethylene fiber) plastic or overnight mailing folders.

Bulk or Junk Mail: This material is okay as well. Do not worry about any stamps or staples or sticky notes in this material, either. Remember, if you can tear it, we can take it. Again, NO TYVEK (polyethylene fiber) plastic or overnight mailing folders.

Magazines, Catalogs, Phone Books: Please discard plastic bags around these items and items such as CDs and magnets. Everything else is okay.

With Single-Stream Recycling You No Longer Have to Sort

We currently provide Single-Stream recycling as a part of our recycling program from Aspen to New Castle. Silt and Rifle Remain on Dual-Stream recycling and will transition to Single-Stream recycling in the future.

Single Stream recycling allows all recycling to be placed in one container with sorting done at the recycling plant. This makes it easier for anyone to make recycling part of their daily routine.

With Dual-Stream recycling, residents use one container for paper and another container for all other recyclables.

Video: How Single-Stream Recycling Works →

Recycling Costs

This area of the country poses transportation challenges when it comes to recycling. There are no local processing centers, which means we have to transport loads of recycling materials at least 60 miles to the nearest sorting center. Additionally, these locations charge a fee to deposit recycling materials, which is based on weight. The more we bring to recycle, the more it costs. Much of the material collected in the Roaring Fork Valley must be sent to other cities where it is further prepared for ultimate re-use or taken to manufacturing facilities directly. All of these factors affect the cost of our recycling service. 

Learn more about the Challenges of Recycling

Mountain Waste is fully committed to doing our part for the planet by reducing waste and recycling by providing affordable convenient recycling services to customers throughout the area.

Roaring Fork Recycling guide

How to Prepare your Recyclables

Here is how the processing facility wants each of us to prepare the recyclables:

  • FIBER: newspaper, office paper, uncoated cardboard (flattened), cereal/food boxes, telephone books, magazines, & junk mail
  • CO-MINGLE (everything else that is accepted by the materials recycling facility): aluminum and steel cans, #1 — #7 plastic bottles/containers, and glass bottles



Please, please, please, DO NOT PLACE YOUR RECYCLABLES INTO PLASTIC BAGS for collection. The plastic bags cause damage to the sorting equipment at the MRF and can contaminate the load, and an entire batch of recycling can end up in the landfill.

Plastic bags can be recycled at many retail locations such as WalMart, supermarkets, or Ace Hardware.







Hazardous Material

Items You Can Not Throw In the Trash

Strong household cleaners like bleach, pesticides, solvents and corrosive chemicals should never go in the trash. Chemicals should always be treated with extreme care because of their potentially harmful impacts to the land, water and humans they come into contact with. If you’re not going to use them up, take them to a household hazardous waste drop-off for safe disposal.

Although small, batteries like AAA, AA, C, D, button cell, 9-volt, and others, contain large amounts of cadmium, mercury, and lead. Tossing your batteries in the trash sends them to the landfill where their casing can disintegrate, releasing their chemicals, sometimes in large amounts.

Car Batteries
Like small batteries, lead-acid car batteries, as well as lithium batteries, should not go in the trash either because of their contained chemicals. Televisions Old tube, LED, LCD, OLED televisions should not be put in trash cans or dumpsters either.

contain toxic chemicals like lead, mercury, nickel, cadmium, and more. These chemicals are detrimental to human and environmental health, and they need to be dealt with safely

Computers & Monitors
Most computers and monitors are considered hazardous waste. They’re chock full of toxic chemicals like arsenic, lead and cadmium. Also consider that throwing away your computer, with your hard drive in tact could put your personal information at risk.

Cell Phones & Other Electronic Devices
Cell phones, printers, VCRs, telephones, and radios don’t belong in a landfill. Most cell phones and other electronics contain precious metals and plastics that can be recycled to save energy and resources that would otherwise be required to mine or manufacture these materials. When placed in a landfill, these materials pollute the air, contaminate soil, damage animal and plant life ancan impact our food supply and drinking water.

Although microwaves aren’t considered e-waste, parts of old microwaves can still be hazardous because they use a capacitor that contains a residual electrical charge. Taking old or broken microwaves to scrap metal or recycling companies can lessen their impact on the environment.

Refrigerators should not be thrown in a dumpster because of the refrigerant they contain Freon.

Hazardous Materials
You should never throw commonly known hazardous materials like asbestos, pesticides, contaminated soils or absorbents in the trash. These materials are dangerous when exposed to the soil or water. Take extreme care when disposing of these hazardous materials.

Medical Needles & Sharps
Medical waste, as well as needles and sharps, should never be thrown away in a normal trash. They can contain bacteria and diseases that shouldn’t have a chance to come in contact with anyone after disposal. Medical waste should be put in special containers like a “sharps disposal container.” Unused or Expired Prescription Drugs Prescription drugs should not be thrown away because their chemicals can leach into the soil and water supply, where they can wreak havoc with the environment.

Paint and Solvents
There is a large amount of oil and chemicals in most paints — that’s the main reason you shouldn’t throw them away in the dumpster. Paint becomes a problem for the environment when it leaks and contaminates the water supply. Empty paint cans can usually be tossed as well dried paint. If you still have fresh paint, find a way to dry it such as mixing it with cat litter. When it’s dry, you can throw it away.

Propane Bottles or Cylinders
Compressed gas cylinders and combustible gas cannot be placed any trash container.



To reduce overall household trash and divert hundreds of pounds of landfill waste each year.

What Can I Compost?

  • Food
  • Paper
  • Plants

Bring it in – Buckets should be kept indoors during bear season (April – October) and only brought out to the curb on the morning of collection day. Do not leave buckets outdoors overnight.*

Bag it – collect compost materials in small bags (paper or compostable) every couple of days, then close the bag and place inside bucket. This will help reduce the smell and slow the rate the food products break down.

Freeze it – place meat, cheese, fish or other ‘stinky’ items in a compostable or paper bag and put into the freezer. Then, put the frozen material into the collection bucket on the day it will be picked up.

Layer it – place layers of paper products in between layers of food products to slow down the decomposition and trap odors.

Clean it– giving your compost collection bucket a rinse each week and a wash when it needs it will help to keep it smell-free and unattractive to bears. Spraying cleaning solution or diluted bleach on the lid will also help keep it unattractive.

Go vegan – keeping meat and dairy out of the compost collection bucket will reduce the attraction to bears by reducing the odors. However, be sure you are disposing of these items safely in the regular trash. Bagging them and freezing them are still a good idea when you choose to place meat and cheese into the trash instead of the compost during bear season.

Super Saver Info

This is a service for only a few people that have very little trash each week.

Details: $16 – 32 gallon container – collected every other week – holds 2 bags of trash which is less than 1 bag of trash per week. This option saves you $36/year.

**The perils of choosing this option is that is if your lid doesn’t close on the day of collection a $25 fine per episode will be assessed by the Town of Carbondale. So if you go over twice in a year then you have already surpassed the savings from choosing this option.**


Thisha McBride
Office Hours: Monday through Friday 9am to 4pm