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Recycling Information

The City of Thornton is proud of its one-container recycling program, making it easier for city residents to do the right thing for our shared environment.

3 Easy Steps to Be a Pro Recycler - English Version

3 Easy Steps to Be a Pro Recycler - Spanish Version

Recycling Drop-off Locations

Recycling drop-off bins are located in the parking lot areas at these locations.  Locations are subject to change without notice.

  • Thornton Municipal Service Center – 88th Avenue & Colorado Boulevard, open Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
  • Infrastructure Maintenance Center - 12450 Washington Street. Use the north entrance with access on 126th Avenue, east of Washington Street, open Monday-Friday, 6 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Items accepted for recycling at these drop-off locations include:

  • Flattened cardboard
  • Magazines
  • Office paper
  • Junk mail
  • Phone books
  • Paper board (cereal boxes, soda boxes, paper towel rolls, etc.)
  • Brown paper bags
  • Newspapers and inserts
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Aluminum cans
  • Steel cans
  • Empty aerosol cans
  • Plastic containers 1-7
  • No Plastic Bags
  • No Trash
  • Only Eligible Items

Items NOT accepted for recycling at these drop-off locations include:

  • Grocery or plastic bags
  • Scrap metal
  • Electrical cords, light strands
  • Shredded paper
  • Styrofoam
  • DVD cases, CDs, Cassettes
  • Plates, dishes, pots and pans, drinking glasses
  • Cell phones
  • Televisions, computers, monitors
  • Paint cans
  • Medical waste
  • Construction debris
  • Textiles or clothing
  • Appliances
  • Grass clippings
  • Branches and yard waste
  • Auto parts
  • Toys
  • Liquids
  • Garden hoses

Household Hazardous Waste

The Veolia Colorado Recycling Center is available to Adams County residents year-round by appointment only. Fees may apply. Visit the Veolia website for more information on what Veolia can accept, hours of operation, and fees, or to make an online appointment.

Mattress Recycling - Spring Back Colorado

If you are trying to dispose of a mattress and/or box spring, please check out Spring Back Colorado Mattress Recycling. They make disposing of your mattress easy and simple. Drop your end-of-life mattress and/or box springs at the Denver warehouse or schedule a home pick-up. Visit the Spring Back website, or for more information, please call 720-515-1328. Fees do apply.

New in town?  Got boxes?

Thornton offers a one-time only, free pick up of cardboard boxes used for moving as a courtesy to new residents who are Thornton trash customers.  This service is by appointment only. All boxes must be flattened and stacked neatly on the curb by 7 a.m. on collection day.  NO styrofoam, bubble wrap or trash.  Courtesy pickups are scheduled on your normal recycling collection day.  Please email with your address to make an appointment.

Recycle Cooking Oil

The city of Thornton offers a cooking oil recycling program that is easy to use, environmentally friendly, and is offered year-round. This type of recycling is critical to our community because the recycled oil is used in the production of biofuels, keeping it out of area landfills and Thornton’s sewer system.

Residents can drop off used cooking oil in one-gallon, sealed plastic containers only at Thornton’s Infrastructure Maintenance Center, 12450 Washington Street, Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., excluding major holidays. Please use the front door entrance to the IMC building just off Washington Street.

This service is for residents only, and cooking oil from businesses and restaurants will not be accepted. 

Recycling FAQs

Does it matter if you toss leftover food scraps, grass clippings, or a bottle of old salad dressing into your recycle container?  Does anyone even notice?  Can it really cause an entire truckload of items to be rejected at the recycle center?  The answer is yes, yes, and yes!  Contamination is on the rise and can affect the cost of recycling for everybody.   Tossing all eligible recycling items into one container, (single-stream recycling), is one of the most common recycling methods today.  With the ease of this system, however, comes greater chances for contamination.   Contamination tends to change seasonally, and summer brings more yard waste, hoses, and food scraps that do not belong in the recycling stream.  Plastic bags are a constant issue for single-stream recycling and never belong in your container. What you toss in the container really does matter.  If you are un-sure of what items are eligible in the city of Thornton recycling container, please try using the Waste Wizard!