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Local Recycling Resources for Earth Day

Friday, April 22, 2022 Leave a Comment

This Earth Day, we're once again reminded how essential it is—more so now than ever—to take care of our planet. Today we share some recycling resources to keep our community green and help the Earth.

Ridwell and The Happy Beetle

Do you want to recycle everything but can't put it all in the bin? Recycling services Ridwell (Seattle-based) and The Happy Beetle (Denver-based) not only recycle difficult items for you, they also pick everything up right from your front door! Styrofoam, damaged clothing, batteries, plastic film, electronics, wine corks, baby food pouches, and even seasonal items such as Christmas lights - both services keep these items out of the landfill.

They're both subscription-based and you can choose your pickup frequency. See what Ridwell takes as opposed to what The Happy Beetle takes. Ridwell's prices are location-based, so enter your ZIP code to learn more - they pick up every other week. The Happy Beetle picks up either monthly or quarterly, so which you choose may depend on how much stuff your household generates that could be recycled.

The Front Porch did a nice article on these two companies in 2021 if you'd like to know more.

The City of Denver

Denver does a fantastic job of picking up our big purple recycling bins every other week. Use of these bins is not what the city would like it to be, so the city has a new plan that's currently being considered that would charge residents for regular trash but make recycling pick up a weekly occurrence and would make composting bins free and give one to every household (right now this service costs about $100/year and is only by request). They hope to make this happen by 2027, which gives us time to adjust our habits. About 30,000 households currently have compost bins - learn more and sign up for composting here.

For now, we can make sure everything that can go in our purple bins gets recycled. Do you know what can and can't go in the bins? The full list is here, and the Denver Post put together solutions to some common recycling mistakes that we make. We can do better!

The city also offers seasonal services such as LeafDrop in the fall, Treecycling and Holiday Light Recycling during the holidays, and GrassCycling and a free Mulch Giveaway in the spring. They also work with Denver Public Schools to recycle and compost at 170 schools, serving more than 90,000 students.

Retail Stores

Most grocery stores have bins for clean plastic bags, including King Soopers, Safeway, Target, Walmart, and others. King Soopers even has a new Terracycling plan for its hard-to-recycle packaging.

Several stores have mini-recycling centers that accept other non-purple-bin items, so dropping off your recycling is easy and convenient. Here are a few we know of:

Target:  plastic bags, glass, plastic bottles, aluminum, MP3 players, cellphones, and ink cartridges

Walmart:  plastic bags and bottles

Home Depot:  rechargeable batteries, cardboard, CFLs (compact fluorescent light bulbs), and lead acid battery cores

Lowe's:  plastic bags, CFL bulbs, rechargeable batteries, and cellphones; also plastic planter pots and cases in the garden center

Best Buy:  TVs (some have a small fee), cables, DVD players/VCRs, headphones, computers and peripherals, tablets/ereaders, monitors (for a small fee), ink cartridges, phones (any kind), calculators, chargers, shredders, fans, vacuums, and more

Ace Hardware:  batteries, paint, light bulbs (varies by store - call to check)

Other Recycling Resources

You can always drop off other recycling as you're out and about. Sometimes people will let their neighbors know when they're going to a recycling center in local Facebook groups and offer to take things for others (holiday lights, for example). These are the centers closest to Central Park:

     Metal:  Denver Metal Recycling, 820 S. Monaco Pkwy Suite 276, Denver, CO 80224

     Electronics:  Genesis Electronics Recycling of Colorado, 2045 S Valentia St. Unit 15, Denver, CO  80231

     Computers with life left:  PCs for People, 6035 E 38th Ave, Denver, CO 80207

Know of other great local resources? Let us know in the comments!