Boulder's curbside pickup for flood debris starts today

Trash must meet requirements for curbside pickup

BOULDER, Colo. - The City of Boulder has hired a contractor to conduct curbside collection of flood-related debris starting Thursday.

The City announced Tuesday evening that Denver-based Swingle Inc. was contracted to do the work for a period of three weeks. Residents are asked to place damaged carpeting, drywall, appliances, trees and branches at the curb for collection.

Because the Federal Emergency Management Agency is helping to pay for the debris collection, the items collected must adhere to these specific requirements:

- Storm-related debris only

- Debris should NOT be placed in plastic trash bags

- Debris already in plastic bags must be opened to allow FEMA verification of storm debris

- Do not place household trash with flood debris

Household hazardous waste such as paint, pesticides and chemicals must be taken to the Hazardous Materials Management Facility at 1901 63rd St.

Mud and electronics are not included in the curbside collection program, but the city says residents can place appliances at the curb as long as they are separate from the other items.

Electronics may also be taken to Eco-Cycle's Center for Hard to Recycle Materials drop-off site at 5030 Old Pearl St. For more information, visit

7NEWS toured Eco-Cycle Center on Tuesday.  

It's at this facility where household appliances, electronics and other hazardous items are held and processed for recycling. There's refrigerators, computers and televisions of all sizes and styles.

"All kinds of just stuff," said Eco-Cycle Executive Director Eric Lombardi.

As residents clear out flood-damaged electronic equipment, the city is temporarily footing the bill for processing these items.

"Maybe we've doubled in the number of computer recyclings. We've tripled in our scrap metal," said Lombardi.

Under state law, homeowners can't simply throw these items in the trash. The risk to the environment is too great.

"These things are like a soup of chemicals of metals and things," Lombardi said. "And when they go into the landfill they get crushed. And there will be water in the landfill that will leach the chemicals out. And those chemicals will find their way in the groundwater eventually."

The appliances and electronics here will be taken to plants in Denver. In just weeks, this plastic, metal and glass will be ground into raw materials -- to create the next generation of products. 

Residents can also take flood debris to Western Disposal’s transfer station located at 5880 Butte Mill Road. It is open Monday through Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fees will be waived for residential flood debris disposal at the transfer station by City of Boulder residents.

The curbside debris collection routes will divide the city into four zones and pickup is planned for each zone at least twice between Sept. 26 and Oct. 18. The zones are defined as:

- Zone 1: North of Iris, West of Foothills Parkway -- start date Thursday, Sept. 26

- Zone 2: South of Baseline, West of Foothills Parkway -- start date Saturday, Sept. 28

- Zone 3: South of Iris, North of Baseline, West of Foothills Parkway -- start date Tuesday, Oct. 1

- Zone 4: East of Foothills Parkway in city limits -- start date Thursday, Oct. 3

Apartments, condominiums, multi-family housing complexes and commercial sites are exempted from the curbside pickup program.

For more information about curbside cleanup or route schedules, please contact the city information line at 720-564-2196, available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

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