Waste Reduction

Recycling in Summit County

The Town of Frisco and Summit County appreciate your interest and dedication 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. Please continue reading for information about our current programs.

There are two major resources for waste disposal in the county: S.C.R.A.P (Summit County Resource Allocation Park) which oversees the actual recycling operations and the Summit County Landfill. Here you can dispose of:

  • Appliances,
  • Electronics,
  • Household hazardous waste,
  • Motor oils/antifreeze,
  • Scrap metal,
  • Tires, and
  • Wood waste.

High Country Conservation Center (HC3) is a popular 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.

If you have specific questions about what can/cannot be recycled in the County please view the Summit County Recycling Guide, read HC3’s recycling guides for more information, or search using HC3’s Recycling Robot widget to confirm your item’s recyclable status.

Remember to always Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (in that order) and Compost whenever possible!
Styrofoam is NEVER recyclable, so avoid it at all costs.
Don’t forget that single-use coffee cups, paper towels, and tissue paper are NOT recyclable; nor is shredded paper.
Screw caps should be removed from all plastic bottles to ensure the safety of plant workers in Denver.
If you have the opportunity to upcycle or repurpose an item, do so.
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.
Be aware of packaging on items if/when purchasing them new; always aim to buy things that can easily be reused.
Refillable water bottles and cups are an easy way to reduce single use plastic waste. There is a large array of products available, from personal use silverware to reusable sandwich and snack bags. Opt for items that can be washed and reused rather than purchasing items that are limited to single use.
Stay aware of your water use! 75% of water waste happens in the bathroom so limit your showers, upgrade to low flow appliances and/or turn off the water when not actively in use.
Share recycling strategies and consider getting your kiddos, friends and neighbors involved. Community starts at home and caring for our planet benefits us all. Keep sustainability at the forefront of your mind and conversations.
Contact HC3 for a complimentary home energy assessment to reduce your home’s energy use by completing suggested energy improvements to qualify for potential rebates.
The Summit County Landfill has a limited lifespan. Conscious efforts to recycle will help improve the landfill’s longevity and provide appropriate waste management options for an extended period of time.

Pay-as-you-Throw and Universal Recycling

To support goals outlined in the Summit Community Climate Action Plan and stated 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. Subsequently, the Frisco Town Council adopted the Pay-As-You-Throw and Universal Recycling Ordinance (PAYT and URO) in March 22, 2022 to make it easier for residents and businesses to recycle and to 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% 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 Futures recycling budget funds to implement PAYT in Frisco and Breckenridge. In addition to Strong Futures funding, the Town of Frisco has allocated $100,000 in the 2023 budget for PAYT / URO implementation. Pay-As-You-Throw 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, a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) policy is similar to a utility bill model in that a household will pay for waste removal services based on how much waste that household produces. PAYT will provide an economic incentive to reduce waste and recycle more by requiring haulers to offer a 80% minimum price differential between three trash bin size options (32, 64, or 96 gallon) and to automatically include recycling with the service.

  • Contact your local waste hauler to sign up for volume based 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 either in an approved enclosure or in a secured outdoor container and labeled by contents.
  • Place trash and recycling curbside only on days of scheduled pick up between the hours of 6:00am and 10:00pm. All materials must be contained within the appropriate 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 a low-income variance, should they wish to apply. Financial assistance will address only any increase in billing to comply with the PAYT ordinance.

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 need to:

  • 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
  • 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.

Financial assistance: Commercial financial assistance grants will be available. Applications will be posted here summer 2023.

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.

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.

Financial assistance

  • Town of Frisco commercial financial assistance grants will be available, and applications will be posted here summer 2023.
  • Strong Future Community Grant through High Country Conservation Center are available now through June 15, 2023 at 5:00pm. Find out more about these grants.

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.

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, have 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 section 1-14 of Town Code, Chapter 1.

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

March 22, 2022: Ordinance 22-04 adopted on second reading
Spring 2022-present: Town Staff has been working with HC3 and hauler companies to create implementation plan
February 1, 2023: Breckenridge received preliminary hauler pricing for PAYT internal planning purposes. Breckenridge’s pricing is not public at this time. Local hauling companies have indicated Frisco pricing would closely follow Breckenridge, and this will be updated soon.
April 1, 2023: Town of Frisco PAYT and Universal Recycling ordinance goes into effect.
October 1, 2023: 90% of new containers will be distributed to residential curbside pickup customers.
June 1, 2024: Group accounts must have volume based collection. Valet customers must have compliant recycling. At least 50% of the total number of Commercial customers must have compliant recycling collection.
June 1, 2025: 100% of commercial customers must have compliant containers and collection service

Food Scrap Program

Summit County residents can recycle their food scraps for free at four drop-off locations. Once you enroll, you will 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.

To learn more about composting opportunities visit Summit County’s guide to composting or register for the food scrap program through HC3.

Thank you in advance for your choosing to Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Compost!