Waste Reduction

Frisco Waste Reduction Business Grant

In late January 2024, the Town of Frisco launched a new Waste Reduction Business Grant to encourage Frisco businesses to innovate around waste reduction. This is in response to the unanimous passage by Frisco Town Council of two ordinances intended to reduce waste. These ordinances, which aligned with State law around waste reduction, included a ban on Polystyrene to-go containers most often used in restaurants; the elimination of single use plastic water bottles; a request-only requirement for single-use to-go items, like paper napkins, packaged condiments, plastic utensils, and more; and a requirement to have paper bags with 100% recycled materials.

Ban on Use of Polystyrene To-Go Containers

Ordinance 23-18 places a ban on the use of polystyrene to-go containers, including hinged boxes, trays, bowls, and cups. This plastic reduction requirement goes into effect on January 1, 2024. If a business purchased expanded polystyrene products before January 1, 2024, then they may continue to use any remaining inventory until that inventory is depleted.

Ban on Plastic Water Bottles

Single or multi packs of bottled water in plastic containers that are under one gallon may no longer be sold or supplied by a business in the Town of Frisco, as outlined in Ordinance 23-18. Businesses will need to source water packaged in containers that are more recyclable, such as water in aluminum cans, glass containers, or paper/wax cartons.


  • In cases of emergency or other situations when the Town finds that relying on single-use plastic water bottles is necessary to protect public health, safety, and welfare, and no reasonable alternative would serve the same purpose, including lack of potable water due to a natural disaster or disruption to the Town’s water treatment system

Skip the Stuff

As outlined in Ordinance 23-18, any single-use to-go items, including plastic utensils, packaged condiments, paper napkins, stirrers, straws, and lids, must be provided by request only and not automatically supplied without a customer asking. This plastic reduction effort is effective immediately.

  • Restaurants may provide a self-service station for customers to select their own to-go items, as listed above.


  • Meals provided as part of a social service to vulnerable populations, including meals provided by school systems, homeless shelters, and programs that deliver meals to elderly.
  • Specific supplies used by third party delivery services, including cup lids, spill plugs, and trays, that are used to prevent spills and deliver food and beverages safely.

Bag Fee Updates

Ordinance 23-19 updated the Town of Frisco bag fee program to be more consistent with the State of Colorado PPRA. Single-use plastic bags are still banned and the changes to the program are outlined below:

Retained Bag Fees

The recently passed ordinance changes how much of the bag fee a business can keep. Under the previous ordinance, 50% of the disposable bag fee may be kept by a business, up to a maximum amount of $100 per month. The new ordinance allows businesses to instead keep 40% of the bag fee that they collect with no maximum, and the other 60% will be remitted to the Town of Frisco. The minimum remittance is $20 per quarter (under the old ordinance there was no minimum). If a business has less than $20 to remit, they will keep the remittance until they have over $20 and remit within that quarter.

Just Paper Bags with 100% recycled materials

Under the old ordinance, businesses were only permitted to provide (with a $.25 bag fee) paper bags made from at least 40% post-consumer (PCR) recycled materials. Under the new ordinance, paper bags need to be made of 100% post-consumer recycled materials, and a $.25 bag fee would still need to be charged. Businesses with stock remaining of 40% PCR paper bags as of September 1, 2023 when this new requirement went into effect, may continue to distribute these bags to customers until they run out of this stock and would still need to charge a bag fee.

Use of Bag Fee

Under this new ordinance, the Town of Frisco will be able to use the bag fee for more purposes, including to plan, promote, or implement any recycling, composting, or other waste reduction programs and related outreach and education, including funding of the new Frisco Waste Reduction Business Grant.

Recycling in Summit County

The Town of Frisco and Summit County are dedicated to responsible waste management. As a community, we are always looking for innovative and sustainable waste reduction and diversion opportunities to do our part in protecting our natural environment. Help us make positive impacts with waste diversion by exploring more info below!

There are two major resources for waste disposal in Summit County: the Summit County Landfill and the SCRAP (Summit County Resource Allocation Park) – which oversees the recycling operations. The SCRAP accepts the following hard-to-recycle items:

  • Appliances
  • Electronics
  • Household hazardous waste
  • Motor oils/antifreeze
  • Scrap metal
  • Tires
  • Wood/yard waste

High Country Conservation Center (HC3) is a great local resource for information on recycling, waste disposal, green building initiatives, efficient and renewable energy and other important conservation topics.

Free recycling drop-off centers are located in Frisco, Silverthorne, Breckenridge, and Blue River.

For more details on what can and cannot be recycled in Summit County, please check out the Summit County Recycling Guide, read HC3’s recycling guides, or search using HC3’s Recycling Robot widget to confirm your item’s recyclable status.

  • REDUCE your consumption and waste production.
  • REUSE items as much as you can before replacing them (up-cycle or re-purpose!)
  • RECYCLE and compost whenever possible.
  • “Wishcycling” happens out of good intentions – we want to recycle everything we can and support sustainable efforts! But don’t be fooled – not all materials can be recycled, and they could contaminate our recycling streams. Read HC3’s recycling guides for what’s accepted in Summit County.
  • #1 plastics are not created equal – we only accept plastic bottles, tubs, and jugs. Find out more about why Summit County does not accept plastic clamshells and berry containers at the drop sites or in your single stream.
  • Remove screw caps from plastic bottles to ensure the safety of facilities workers.
  • Glass and aluminum can be infinitely recycled with no loss to quality or purity. When buying new, aim to choose products in packaging that can be reused – like glass or aluminum over plastic.
  • Common items NOT recyclable in Summit County: Styrofoam, plastic clamshells, plastic blister packs and misc plastics, single-use coffee cups, paper towels, tissue paper, shredded paper
  • Reusable water bottles are an easy way to reduce single use plastic waste. There are so many reusable products available, from personal use silverware to reusable sandwich and snack bags. If you can, opt for items that can be washed and reused rather than purchasing items that are limited to single use. Consider keeping to-go containers in your car for leftover meals.
  • Be conscious of your water use! 75% of water waste happens in the bathroom, so consider limiting your showers, upgrading to low flow (high pressure) appliances, and turning off the water when not actively in use.
  • Don’t be afraid to start a conversation among peers to develop new ideas on repurposing items or organizing community recycling or clean up efforts. Saving the planet starts at home!
  • Share recycling strategies and consider getting your kids, friends, and neighbors involved. Keep sustainability at the forefront of your mind and conversations.

Pay as You Throw & Universal Recycling

Frisco Town Council adopted a Pay as You Throw and Universal Recycling Ordinance (PAYT and URO) in March 2022 to make recycling easier for residents and businesses. PAYT and Universal Recycling programs are in place in more than 7,500 communities in the US, and many of these communities have landfill diversion rates between 30 and 38% as a result of these efforts! PAYT and Universal Recycling in Frisco will help reach Summit County’s community-wide goal of increasing landfill diversion to 40% by 2035, in comparison to our current diversion rate of only 20%. The ordinance went into effect on April 1, 2023 with some key dates for compliance listed below:

Pay as you Throw (for residents)

  • October 1, 2023 = 90% participation
  • December 1, 2023 = 100% participation

If you live within Frisco town limits and have curbside trash collection, you’ll be able to choose the size of your trash bin. The smaller your bin, the lower your bill. Recycling will be included and you can choose your own service provider.

Universal Recycling (for businesses & multi-family HOAs)

  • June 2024 = 50% participation
  • June 2025 = 100% participation

Over the next two years, all businesses and multi-family HOAs within Frisco town limits must add onsite recycling service. You can choose your own service provider, and HC3 can help with free site visits and support.

Please use the below drop-down menus to find out more information.

To support goals outlined in the Summit Community Climate Action Plan and stated by the Zero Waste Taskforce, the Town of Frisco began collaborating with surrounding jurisdictions and High Country Conservation Center (HC3) in 2021 on a revised recycling policy. Frisco Town Council adopted the Pay as You Throw and Universal Recycling Ordinance (PAYT and URO) on March 22, 2022 to make it easier for residents and businesses to recycle and help reach Summit County’s community-wide goal of increasing landfill diversion to 40% by 2035. The ordinance went into effect on April 1, 2023 with a goal to have 90% of residential bins distributed by October 1, 2023 and 50% commercial customer compliance by June 1, 2024.

This ordinance and the upcoming waste diversion changes resulted from an extensive stakeholder outreach process. Summit County’s 35-member Zero Waste Task Force, represented by local waste haulers, large and small businesses, local government staff, and residents, met four times to create an updated recycling program to meet Town of Frisco’s specific needs. HC3 and Town of Frisco hosted three public forums in January 2022, each tailored to residents, business owners, and HOA representatives. HC3 also distributed a survey to gain feedback on the proposed programs and used the results to make improvements.

The Summit County Government has allocated Strong Future recycling budget funds to implement PAYT in Frisco and Breckenridge. Additionally, the Town of Frisco has allocated $100,000 in the 2023 budget for PAYT/URO implementation. PAYT programs have been successful in many other towns across the country including other municipalities with high visitation rates, such as Vail. In 2017, the PAYT policy was identified as a viable option for Frisco with medium to very high impact, potentially the largest material diversion of any program.

For individual residences with trash collection services, PAYT means you pay for pickup based on how much waste you produce – much like with a utility bill. PAYT programs incentivize us to reduce waste and recycle/compost more by requiring haulers to offer three trash bin sizes (32, 64, or 96 gallons) at different prices and to include recycling in their services. Simply put, the smaller your bin, the lower your bill!

  • Contact your waste hauler to sign up for PAYT trash and recycling services. If trash service is provided by a landlord or property manager, make sure they are aware of the Town of Frisco’s new requirements.
  • Store trash and recycling in an approved enclosure or in a secured outdoor container that’s labeled by contents.
  • Place trash and recycling curbside only on scheduled pick up days between the hours of 6:00am and 10:00pm. All materials must be contained within the container or are subject to overflow rates.

Economic hardship assistance

Individuals and families at or below 80% AMI who qualify for SNAP or other food assistance will also qualify for low-income assistance if there is an increase in billing to comply with the PAYT ordinance, should you wish to apply.

Group accounts

Representatives of group accounts are obligated to notify all individual customers of the volume-based service options and of the provision of recyclables collection service before entering into a group account contract with the hauler.

Note: The Town does not provide municipal hauling services and does not determine or control rates or dictate appropriate levels of service.

Universal Recycling requires that businesses and multi-family properties have ample recycling collection service in addition to any existing waste pickup. Multi-family properties are required to have 50% recycling volume to trash unless otherwise exempt.

Property managers must

  • Work with haulers to determine the recycling requirements for the property.
  • Confirm storage area complies with requirements in the Town Code Chapter 180-6.17 Refuse Management.
  • Ensure all common area trash bins have an accompanying recycle bin that is labeled with approved signage.
  • Conduct tenant training annually and within 30 days of move-in and maintain records of trainings.

Group accounts

Representatives of group accounts are required to notify all individual customers of the volume-based service options and of the provision of recyclables collection service before entering into a group account contract with the hauler.

Commercial properties are required to have 50% recycling volume to trash unless qualified for an exemption.

Business owners need to

  • Work with their hauler or have their landlord/property manager work with a hauler to determine the recycling requirements for the business.
  • Confirm storage area complies with requirements in the Town Code Chapter 180-6.17 Refuse Management.
  • Ensure all common area trash bins have an accompanying recycle bin that is labeled with approved signage.
  • Conduct employee and contractor training annually and within 30 days of new hires and maintain records of trainings.
  • For businesses with a liquor license, separate glass recycling and glass bins must also be available in common areas adjacent to trash and recycle bins.
  • Hotels and motels must include recycle bins in any rooms available for overnight lodging.

Group accounts

Representatives of group accounts are required to notify all individual customers of the volume-based service options and of the provision of recyclables collection service before entering into a group account contract with the hauler.

Haulers are integral to the success of waste diversion efforts. Haulers are responsible for reporting, compliance deadlines, and customer communications. By providing residents with volume-based service options, commercial entities with recycling, and composting where appropriate, haulers help incentivize diversion and discourage waste.

  • Refer to Town Code Chapter 124 Sections 26-27 for a complete list of requirements.
  • Maintain a business license in good standing subject to annual reporting.
  • File a complete annual report at time of business license renewal.
  • Ensure deadlines for compliance are met.

HC3 will have public outreach events around Pay as You Throw, and currently has resources with frequently asked questions around this change and how it will impact trash service customers. HC3 will also offer technical assistance such as site visits, staff trainings, bin labels/signage, grant funding, and help answer any general questions.

Variances and waivers are available for commercial customers, including multi-family properties from the Town Manager for a maximum two-year period for the following reasons:

  • Extreme space constraints
  • Unsafe to service recycling container, meaning that it is significantly less safe to service than the customer’s Trash Container
  • Compliance would violate another Town of Frisco code or regulation, or state of federal regulation, if required to separate Recyclables or Glass for collection.
  • Lack of generation – less than one large recyclables container (for recyclables or glass) is collected once per week
  • Multi-family properties with over 70% Short Term Rental units on average over the calendar year may reduce recyclables container volume capacity to equal 25% of trash container capacity

Education-first approach to enforcement

To help residences, HOAs and business get the hang of the new policies, Town of Frisco and HC3 Staff will address any noncompliance by first doing outreach and education. If non-compliance persists, additional enforcement actions may be required as detailed in Town Code Chapter 1 Section 14.

Report noncompliance so HC3 and Town staff may do targeted outreach to help out.

Single-use Plastic Ban

At the November 8, 2022 Town Council meeting, Environmental Programs facilitated a conversation about single use plastics and was directed by Council members to return with more information on water bottle bans, “skip the stuff” style ordinances, and clarification on requirements of the Plastic Pollution Reduction Act HB 21-1162 (PPRA). On March 14, 2023, Environmental Programs staff returned to Council and was then directed by Council to return with an ordinance. Town Council approved the adoption of Ordinance 23-18 on the second reading on August 8, 2023 which includes:

  • Effective immediately- ban on sale or provision of single use plastic water bottles and single use plastic cups in all municipal facilities, events conducted by the Town, and Town spaces being used for special events.
  • Effective immediately- requirement that all single use food service-ware items (including utensils, condiments, straws, stirrers, and napkins) to be provided by request only.
  • Effective January 1, 2024- ban on polystyrene (Styrofoam) to-go containers including hinged boxes, trays, bowls, cups, etc.
  • Effective July 1, 2024- ban on sale or provision of single use plastic water bottles under 1 gallon.

While implementation of most pieces of this ordinance will not go into effect until 2024, staff has worked diligently to create a complete package to accompany this ordinance, including a grant program to assist small businesses to implement reuse and waste reduction projects.

Food Scrap Program

Summit County residents can recycle their food scraps for free at one of several drop-off locations. Once you enroll, you’ll receive a code to access the food scrap bins. This code changes periodically to prevent trash dumping. You will be notified via email of code changes and program updates.

Call HC3 at 970-668-5703 with any questions or if you are interested in establishing a food scrap collection at your HOA or office.

  • The USDA estimates that 31% of food at the consumer level is wasted every year in the US, which equates to 133 billion lbs. of food ending up in landfills across the country every year! Learn more about why you should collect your food scraps here.
  • Reduce, Reuse, Recycle applies to our food, too!
  • REDUCE food waste – This saves you money and conserves delicate natural resources. Take some time each week to plan your meals so you buy only what you’ll eat.
  • REUSE leftover ingredients – Get creative! A quick Internet search will help you transform your leftovers into a whole new meal. Try a potluck of leftovers with your friends or neighbors.
  • RECYCLE food scraps by composting – Summit County has a free Food Scraps program for residents with 7 drop sites!
  • ACCEPTED: All foods. This includes: fruit pits and peels, meat, bones, coffee grounds, spoiled food, and baked or processed foods
  • NOT ACCEPTED: All paper, plastic, and ‘compostable’ products (bags, cups, utensils, coffee filters, tea bags) products are NOT accepted in the food scrap program. These products simply do not breakdown in our arid mountain environment and are lightweight which blow off the composting piles creating litter.
  • Remove those pesky produce stickers and rubber bands before composting.
  • You can buy High Country Compost straight from the SCRAP. Add nutrients to your lawn and garden and help your soil retain moisture, which is critical in our dry climate.

Plastic Bag Phase-Out & Single-Use Bag Fee

In August 2019, Town of Frisco adopted a single-use bag fee ordinance for both paper and plastic disposable bags, recognizing that the use of all disposable bags has significant environmental impacts on a local and global scale. The disposable bag fee program began January 1, 2020, was temporarily suspended due to COVID-19 restrictions, and resumed in July 2020.

On January 26, 2021, Council passed Ordinance 21-01 banning disposable plastic bags and paper bags with less than 40% post-consumer recycled material, and continuing the single-use bag fee of $0.25 for paper bags only. Effective September 1, 2023, the existing ordinance was updated with Ordinance 23-19 to specify that paper bags will be required to be made of 100% post-consumer recycled material. Restaurants are also included in this program, which is a departure from the original bag fee program passed in 2019, but will still be exempt from charging and remitting the $0.25 bag fee. An exemption also exists to allow retailers and restaurants alike to continue distributing existing inventory even if they do not comply with the new updates, understanding that all new inventory purchases must comply.