Rinse Recyclables with Care

When you’re recycling an item, how clean should it be? The short answer is “pretty clean.”

If there has been food or drink inside, rinse it well enough to remove all the residue. If you think it might not smell so sweet after a couple days, please give it another rinse before recycling it.

If a recyclable is greasy, scrub out the grease first. If that’s not possible, throw it away. Oily pizza box? Tear out the oily parts and recycle only the clean cardboard left over.

If you’ve picked up an aluminum can along the trail, good for you! Before you toss it in the recycle bin, please make sure it’s free of dirt and, say, soda sludge.

Why does this matter? Enough dirty recyclables, and the entire bin can be considered contaminated. When that happens, Lake County cannot sell the bin’s contents for recycling—and every item inside, clean or not, must be dumped in the landfill. That’s why it’s so important to recycle with care!

For more information, please explore the recycling tips on C4Leadville.org, or ask a member of the Recycling Center team at the Lake County Landfill. Thank you for recycling with care!

Lake County Recycles with Care


Recycle with Care Tip:  When in Doubt, Keep It Out

You may have heard the recycling advice “When in doubt, keep it out.” This little reminder is important—but why?

When a recycling bin is filled with a certain percentage of contaminated items, recycling companies are no longer able to use that load to make new items. Then the companies that buy these items for recycling reject the entire bin. The only thing left for Lake County to do is to dump that bin into the landfill.

Contamination doesn’t have to mean dirty items. It can also mean the wrong kind of items. Here are some examples of contamination:

  • Metal lids in the Glass container
  • Steel cans in with aluminum
  • Paperboard in the Mixed Paper bin
  • Plastic in the paper
  • Diapers, needles, Styrofoam in the Plastic bin
  • Pyrex or other non-container glass in the Glass bin
  • Leftover milk in milk jugs
  • Grease on pizza boxes

You get the point! Tossing in an item that you hope can be recycled is called aspirational recycling. While the intent is good, aspirational recycling can cause a large number of recyclables to be thrown away.

Please watch C4Leadville.org for information on how to recycle with care, or ask a member of the Recycling Team at the Lake County Landfill. And when in doubt, leave it out!

Recycling at the Community Field and on CR 10 are back!! Please help keep these clean of trash and contamination. If you see someone putting the wrong item in the bin consider educating them.

Thank you Lake County Public Works! And nice job on the new concrete pad!

There’s a new bin for tin cans too!

Our mission is to inspire stewardship of our natural resources by creating educational opportunities and lasting community infrastructure in Leadville and Lake County, Colorado.