Recycling in Denver
Since I moved to Denver, I’ve explored my options for recycling while living in an apartment. In 2022 Denver voters approved an initiative requiring recycling at businesses and at apartment buildings with more than 7 units. It’s unclear when Denver will begin enforcing this rule, but my building, which has over 100 units, would be among the first apartment complexes to implement it.
Until that happens, my best option is to drop off recycling and composting at a drop-off center. Instead of the City and County of Denver’s facility near Cherry Creek State Park, which would require me to take a bus, a train, and then another bus, I chose Sustainability Recycling in Arvada. I can take one bus that lets me off a few blocks from the drop-off center, walk there, and then walk back to the bus stop. Sustainability employees tell me I’m the only walk-in customer. They charge $3 for recycling—and their list is pretty extensive, including hard-to recycle materials such as block styrofoam—and $2 for composting (no more than 5 gallons at a time).
One of the hard-to-recycle items covered by the $3 fee is cigarette butts—one of the most common forms of trash just about anywhere on the planet. I love it! They also accept items for reuse, such as glasses and pairs of shoes. A few of the HTR items, such as bike tires, cost extra.
Another thing I love about Sustainability is that they employ people with disabilities. They’re an organization worth supporting.
Recycling in Kansas City, 2016–2021
The house where I’m staying has curbside recycling (all plastic containers, lids on; milk and other plastic-lined cartons; almost all types of paper; metal cans and foil and tins). NO plastic bags, Styrofoam, or glass. Glass bottles ONLY can be taken to Ripple Glass locations throughout the city. See the bottom of this page for items that may be recycled at local Whole Foods stores.
Bridging the Gap runs several recycling centers with the help of volunteers. A Household Hazardous Waste facility, run by KC Water Services, is located at the Deramus recycling center.
Check with Recycle Spot for more information about recycling in Kansas City, Missouri.
Here’s a recycling drop-off center I found through Recycle Spot, located in Grandview, Missouri.
Waste Management (which acquired Deffenbaugh Industries) lists recycling and yard waste services on its site. On the page linked to here, look under Residential in the navigation bar for information about recycling and composting. WM even offers recycling by mail of things like batteries.
The Surplus Exchange provides electronic recycling in the Kansas City metro area. Whole Foods may also offer e-cycling events.
Electronics of all kinds, including cell phones
Plastic bags (clean and dry)
Large #2 plastics (laundry baskets, for example)
Styrofoam blocks for packing
Clothing and other fabrics and shoes (but no underpants!)
Compostables (corn-plastic packaging, food waste, compostable plates and flatware)
Construction Reuse (via Craigslist)
Cabinets and countertops from my kitchen: the contractor removed them whole, and then a man who wanted to install them in a mountain cabin picked them up.
- CDs and DVDs and VHS tapes and cassettes (at Sustainability in Arvada, Colorado, or mail to Green Disk)
- Scrap metal: search online or, in KC, look at RecycleSpot
- Styrofoam peanuts (any UPS Store)
- Plastic pots for plants (check whether your local garden center will accept any pots for reuse or recycling; if not, try your local recycling center)
- Kitchen plastic, such as plastic bags for chips (Terracycle, via the Kitchen Separation Box)