Going Green
Home Owners > Home Owner Overview > Going Green > Recycling


Douglas County Composting to Recycling Options
From composting to recycling options, County residents now have access to a new Recycle/Reuse Resource Guide containing an A-to-Z list of recycling locations accepting everything from automobile tires and printer cartridges to athletic shoes.

The Resource Guide is not all inclusive and is subject to change as listed options may be added or eliminated. As a result, it is recommended that the company/organization providing services be contacted prior to any planned delivery of items for recycling or prior to responding to any Guide listing.

Single Stream Recycling
Single stream recycling is the process in which materials are collected and mixed together with no sorting required by individual recyclers. So cans and bottles can be recycled together with newspaper, cardboard, etc. In a commingled or single stream system, all recyclables for collection are mixed but kept separate from other waste. This does require public education on what materials are recyclable.

Items okay for single stream recycling, Highlands Ranch:
  • Aluminum (do not crush cans), pie tins (please clean food out of pans), and aluminum foil
  • Paper, paper products, brown paper bags, chipboard (cereal and tissue boxes) and cardboard
  • Plastic (#1-#7) plastic bottles, tubs, and milk jugs
  • Glass bottles and jars
  • Milk and orange juice cartons

Items not okay for single stream recycling, Highlands Ranch:
    • No Styrofoam
    • No plastic silverware or plates
    • No plastic bags
    • No paper towels or napkins
    • No #7 PLA compostable containers
    • No six pack holders
    • NO clamshell or “to go” plastic containers
Communities with single steam recycling site advantages such as:
  • Increased participation by residents. Recycling is perceived as being easier if people do not have to think about sorting before they recycle.
  • Increased amount of recyclables collected, often initially doubling previous rates although often eventually settling down to a 20-30 percent increase,
  • Higher rates of diversion from landfills,
  • Reduced collection costs.
Highlands Ranch Benefits:
  • The more you recycle the more Pro Disposal gives back to the HRCA

Computer/Electronics Recycling
Properly and safely dispose of old electronic components that contain materials that are very harmful to our environment. Get rid of all that old computer clutter and do your part for a clean, safe environment! The HRCA hosts annual computer recycling events. 

The Big Five most common curbside recycled materials :
Aluminum Cans

The aluminum can is the most valuable beverage container to recycle and it is the most recycled consumer product in the U.S. today. Recycling aluminum cans provides environmental, economic, and community benefits to communities and organizations across the country.

Glass Bottles

Glass is one of the most popular materials to be recycled today, both because of the purity of the ingredients and the quick turnaround of recycling. Your glass containers actually begin their life as readily-available domestic materials, such as sand, soda ash or limestone. Similar to paper, glass comes in a variety of colors, and this does come into play in the recycling process.


According to the Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), approximately 35 percent of the municipal solid waste stream (MSW) is made up of paper and paperboard products. Paper makes up the largest portion of the municipal waste stream, and also one of the most recovered materials.


Plastic recycling affects a range of products, from drink containers to shopping bags to pipes. Plastic is almost always the product of petroleum, a non-renewable resource. This makes recycling plastic even more important. Curbside programs often make recycling plastic containers easier than other plastic products. You’ll likely be unable to recycle plastic bags, packaging and styrofoam at the curb. This material is very recyclable at a qualified center, use Earth 911’s recycling locator to find one.


Steel is an extremely valuable metal that is present in many of the containers and devices we use on a daily basis. While steel is the dominant material in the cars we drive and the beams of the buildings we work in, for the average person recycling steel will involve the proper disposal of steel cans and scrap metal. Steel is the most recycled material in North America, and it can be recycled infinitely and turned into new steel products.

Facts from Earth911.org.