The Boulder County Recycling Center prepares recyclable materials for shipment to recycling mills. The facility processes over 60,000 tons a year and has the capacity to process 100,000 tons a year.
Tours & Education
The facility provides visitors the opportunity to see all aspects of the recycling process by incorporating:
- Recycling Center Tours
- Video Library – Resource Conservation
- Outdoor amphitheater, viewing walkway and observation tower in the processing building, and interactive educational displays
Boulder County Recycling Center accepts and processes single-stream recyclable materials. Single-Stream Recycling means all recyclable containers and recyclable paper materials are combined in one bin.
Recycling Center Robotics
In 2020 the Boulder County Recycling Center installed two robotic systems equipped with artificial intelligence to help sort recyclable materials more quickly, efficiently, and safely.
These systems allow the Recycling Center to better serve residents and businesses, ensure more recyclable materials get a second life, and continue the resiliency and leadership of the county’s recycling center now and into the future.
The robotic equipment was funded in part by a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment’s Recycling Resource Economic Opportunity (RREO) Program, which promotes economic development through waste diversion in Colorado.
Over 200 ideas were submitted for the robot naming contest, and the public voted to name the robots: Sorty McSortface and Sir Sorts-a-Lot.
The robotic systems were developed by AMP Robotics in Louisville, Colorado, and use artificial intelligence to sort, pick, and place material with high speed and accuracy.
One robotic system sorts metals and plastics on the mixed paper line, and the other sorts PET plastic and cartons on the residue line.
Environmental Sustainability Features
The facility includes a public drop-off center, tipping floor, materials processing center for preparing materials for shipment, rail spur for shipping, and offices.
Environmental sustainability is maximized with special attention to:
- Daylighting (clerestory lighting) throughout the administration and processing buildings
- Use of sustainable and recycled materials
- Reuse of roof water for irrigation
- Innovative water polishing techniques to protect the wetlands
Native plant and xeriscape landscaping
Another aspect is the use of a rail spur to reduce truck traffic. Every boxcar filled eliminates four tractor-trailers. A secondary tip area where clean paper products from drop-off centers can be unloaded and fed directly to the baler. This reduces operator costs and enhances revenues for material suppliers.
Accepts Materials From
- Recyclable Materials can be dropped off by residents and small businesses at the public drop-off center, 24 hours and seven days per week.
- Recycling Rebates for Licensed Haulers – local haulers that deliver recyclables from residential curbside collections, Recycling Drop-Off Centers, and business recycling programs receive recycling rebates.
All materials are processed and shipped by truck or rail car to recycling mills.
Hazardous materials (such as latex paint, aerosol cans, anti-freeze, etc.) are accepted at the Hazardous Materials Management Facility across the parking lot from the Recycling Center.