Summit County has a program to improve both the volume and the value of recycled glass. Due to recent industry changes in the way recycled glass is processed, glass is no longer accepted in curbside single-stream recycling. Please bring your glass to one of the Recycle Drop Sites.
Find a Local Recycler
There are several private recycling collection services available to residents and businesses in Summit County though. Please call them directly for estimates and rates.
The High Country Conservation Center offers free waste audit and recycling consultations to residents and businesses. For help starting or improving upon a waste reduction and recycling program please contact us at 970.668.5703 or email email@example.com.
Bring your Glass to a Recycling Drop Site
To Learn more about Summit County’s NEW glass recycling program click here to check out the guidelines.
Summit County Recycling Drop Off Locations
Frisco Recycling Center – Next to the Colorado State Patrol at the County Commons, off Highway 9 just south of Frisco; open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Breckenridge Recycling Center– 284 Coyne Valley Rd; open 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.
Dillon Recycling Trailer – Dillon Town Hall parking lot, U.S. Highway 6, turn on to Lake Dillon Drive, ¼ mile on left (cattycorner to the Dillon Post Office). Open seven days a week 7am – dark, for more information call Dillon Town Hall 970.468.2403.
Summit Cove Mobile Recycling Trailer– A mobile recycling trailer is stationed in the north parking lot at Summit Cove Elementary School. You can drop off mixed glass, paper, and containers for FREE the first week (Monday through Sunday) of every month at the Summit Cove recycling trailer.
For more directions, please contact the High Country Conservation Center at 970-668-5703.
When you bring your glass to any of these Recycling Drop-sites you can be assured that your glass is being recycled “bottle-to-bottle” in Colorado. All the glass collected at these sites are brought to the Rocky Mountain Bottling Company in Golden Colorado where they are made into new Miller-Coors Bottles.
For answers to your recycling questions, please contact High Country Conservation Center (HC3) at 970-668-5703.
If you have questions about our new glass recycling program, don’t worry, you are not alone. Below are some answers to frequently asked questions. If you do not find what you are looking for do not hesitate to contact us via email or by calling 970.668.5703.
Check out the Ask Eartha Blog for some great articles about glass recycling in Summit County.
⇒ Ask Eartha: Start a recycling program at your work
⇒ Ask Eartha: Glass recycling questions
⇒ Ask Eartha: Recycling can make your head spin
⇒ Ask Eartha: Final Article in Series on Local Recycling Issues
Does this new program apply to me?
If your recycling is currently picked up from your home or business (collected “curbside” as “single-stream”), this change applies to you. Please bring your glass to one of the free, recycling drop-off centers in Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillon or Silverthorne.
What is curbside single-stream recycling?
Also known as comingled or unsorted recycling, single-stream recycling allows customers to throw all of their recyclables into one bin that generally is collected at the curb by a local waste hauler. Single-stream recycling typically increases recycling rates because its ease encourages more community members to participate. For this reason, single-stream collection is often the service of choice for condos, townhomes and multi-family units.
What happens to glass in curbside single-stream?
After single-stream materials are collected, they are transported to a recycling processing center — the Material Recovery Facility (MRF) at the Summit County Resource Allocation Park near Keystone or the Waste Management MRF located in Silverthorne. Materials are compressed, bailed and shipped to Front Range facilities to be sorted, then shipped to manufacturers around the country to be made into new products.
During the bailing process, glass breaks into shards, or “cullet,” that become embedded in other recyclables causing major contamination issues. The cullet diminishes the value and recyclability of all the materials in the single-stream process, particularly paper and cardboard. More important, glass cullet is extremely difficult to recycle after going through the single-stream process because of additional contamination from ceramic, leaded glass and other non-glass items.
It makes it nearly impossible with today’s technology to reuse the glass to make new bottles, which is the key to the whole program.
What happens to glass collected at drop-off centers?
Summit County’s “Bottle-to-Bottle” program is a “source-separated” recycling system in place at drop-off centers in Breckenridge, Frisco, Dillon, Summit Cove and Waste Management in Silverthorne. Source-separated recycling asks participants to place their glass, paper, plastic, cardboard and metal recycables into separate containers. It’s the ideal way to recycle because all materials stay “cleaner” and yield the highest value to our local recycling programs. Source-separated glass is true “bottle-to-bottle” recycling because glass collected at the drop-off centers goes directly to MillerCoors’ Rocky Mountain Bottle Co. in Golden to be made into new bottles.
Participants can recycle clear glass and mixed glass (brown and colored glass) in separate containers at the Frisco and Breckenridge recycling centers. Why do we collect two types of glass? Coors has traditionally used brown glass for its products and has been willing to pay more for it. Since Miller has joined forces with Coors, the company now has a higher demand for clear glass bottles. By collecting these commodities separately, we are able to increase the value of the products, ultimately benefitting the entire recycling program.
We’ve been adding glass to single-stream for years, what’s changed?
Glass contamination is actually a major problem for all communities collecting glass in single-stream. There is a national trend toward single-stream collection, and cross-contamination through glass collection is a growing industry concern. It is likely you’ll see additional communities removing glass from single-stream in the near future.
Bottling companies used to take single-stream cullet but contamination rates have skyrocketed, increasing operating and equipment costs for both the processor and the manufacturer. Bottling plants have stopped taking single-stream cullet and are now demanding “clean,” source-separated glass.
Will anyone pick up glass from my home or business?
Please contact your local waste hauler to determine whether separate glass collection is available as a service. This change also supports the need for new glass-collection programs, so consider starting your own business!