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Oct 26

Landfill - Recycling

Posted on October 26, 2022 at 10:38 AM by Nancy Oakland-Potter

Q.  Unsure if this is accurate, but I've had 2 people tell me that the city is presently taking the recycling, baling it, and putting it in the landfill. Is this true, and if so how can I discontinue my recycling charge? If unable to, is there a precedent or legal venue other than future litigation that allows the city to charge for a service they are not providing (outside of Laramie allowing themselves by self-legislation)? Can I just put trash in both bins so only one truck is needed weekly?


A.  The City of Laramie collects single stream recycling and drops it off at our Recycling Center.  The recycling is baled for shipping efficiency and transported to a materials recovery facility (MRF) in Denver, CO.  Keep in mind that our Recycling Center is a drop off facility and we don’t sort any of the single stream materials.  In 2021 we collected and shipped out 2.8 million pounds of single stream recycling, keeping it out of the landfill.  When our recycling gets to the Denver MRF, the bales are broken apart and combined with recycling from numerous Colorado communities.  These mixed recyclables are sorted, baled and then shipped out for further processing to eventually be made into new products.  Unfortunately, as with other communities we do have some contamination in the recycling program.  Contamination occurs whenever someone bags their recycling (recycling needs to be loose for sorting), puts the wrong materials in the cart or intentionally uses their recycling cart as a trash can.  In our recycling center if we see large amounts of contamination we remove and dispose of it.  Any contamination we miss is separated out in Denver and disposed of in their landfill, incurring extra charges to us.  The vast majority of our recycling is recycled and is NOT landfilled.  The process of proper recycling starts at home to avoid the landfill.  The best way to find out what items can be recycled is to download our free app, “Laramie Waste & Recycling” or visit our website:   Both options have a “Goes Where?” tool where you can look up hundreds of different items.