Why Recycle Electronics with Eco-Cycle
Televisions, computers and most other electronics can contain a host of toxic substances such as lead, cadmium, mercury and arsenic. These toxic substances could contaminate groundwater when landfilled.
Why recycle electronics with Eco-Cycle?
Eco-Cycle requires that our electronics partner be a Certified e-Stewards Recycler to process and recycle all electronic equipment. e-Stewards is the world's most rigorous environmental and social justice criteria for recycling e-scrap. This means we will not work with processors who export hazardous electronic scrap to developing countries. Your electronic scrap (e-scrap) will be safely processed within developed countries and will also be kept out of landfills, incinerators and prison recycling operations.
Why is there a fee?
There is a fee for recycling most electronic items, the exceptions being desktop CPUs, laptops, and mobile phones. Electronics processors must first disassemble all items before they can recycle them, a labor-intensive process that often requires handling toxic substances. The funds are also used to offset the cost of collection, storage and marketing of the materials.
Will the public always have to pay for recycling materials like this?
Not if we can help it. In other countries, manufacturers (including U.S. multinationals) are required to pay for recycling their toxic product rather than putting that burden on customers, government or non-profits.
Eco-Cycle is part of a coalition working to create similar "take-back" programs in the U.S. If U.S. companies participate in Take-Back programs abroad, why not here? Until businesses begin to design products for recycling and disassembly and offer free "take-back" programs, recyclers like you, local governments like the City of Boulder, and nonprofits like Eco-Cycle will continue to bear the cost of doing the right thing.
Watch the Story of Electronics to learn more about how electronics manufacturers need to take greater responsibility for the recovery and greener design of their products.
What happens to your CHaRM materials?
The CHaRM collects books for recycling and reuse. Reused books support a whole network of good in our community through our CHaRM Book Reuse Program.
Children and Charities: Books are shared with more than 40 local charities to promote literacy in at-risk populations. The books are made available for children to take home at locations including Attention Homes, Boulder County Headstart, Casa de la Esperanza, Samaritan House, People’s Clinic and Emergency Family Assistance Association.
Local Schools: Books are given to preschools and 34 schools that participate in Eco-Cycle's Green Star Schools program.
A Local Book Reuse Company: An expert sorts through the books for valuable text and reference books to sell.
Eco-Cycle: The book reuse company splits the book sale profits with Eco-Cycle to help support the CHaRM.
Big Durable #2 Plastics
Big durable #2 plastics are responsibly recycled in the U.S. and made into recycled plastic railroad ties. This very durable, long-lasting product can be used in place of virgin hardwood lumber railroad ties injected with creosote. Hardwood lumber takes a very long time to regrow, and creosote contains several toxic and carcinogenic chemicals, which can leach into the environment through contact with soil or water.
Bike Tires & Tubes
Bike tires and tubes are sent to Green Guru, a Boulder-based company that uses them to make upcycled bags and other gear.
Cooking oil is used by a local manufacturer, Sustainable Oil Service, to create biodiesel.
As of Nov. 15, 2016, electronics and plastic appliances are recycled on-site through a new program from Eco-Cycle and Blue Star Recyclers that employs people with autism and other disAbilities. Trained as recycling technicians, these workers disassemble electronics at the CHaRM Facility in our newly retrofitted warehouse. Learn more at www.ecocycle.org/charm.
Because electronics are being disassembled on-site, we can now guarantee chain of custody and data security on-site. The CHaRM is in progress to be certified to the e-Steward standard, the strictest environmental standard in the industry.
After the retardant is safely discharged, the metal cylinders are recycled.
Ink Jet and Laser Jet Cartridges
Plastic Bags and Plastic Bubble Wrap
Small Plastic Appliances
Textiles and Paired Reusable Shoes
Toilets, Sinks and Urinals
#6 White Block Foam
Here’s the list of our local recycling and reuse partners
Atlas Metals • 303-825-7166
Diversified Imaging Systems • 303-817-9303
Star Industrial Supplies • 303-295-7737
The CHaRM depends upon partnerships with innovative local companies to expand the list of materials we can accept for reuse or recycling. If you have an idea for a recycled product to make out of a new or existing category of materials, please contact us.
CHaRM: Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials
IMPORTANT CORONAVIRUS NOTICE:
The Eco-Cycle/City of Boulder Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM) is OPEN Mon-Sat, 9am-5pm
COVID Protocol: Change in Mask Policy
After reviewing the latest guidance from the CDC, state, and county public health departments, Eco-Cycle and Resource Central will no longer require masks outdoors for people who are fully vaccinated. This includes customers of the Eco-Cycle Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM) and Resource Central’s Materials Reuse Yard. However, we ask that unvaccinated customers continue to use masks outdoors for their own safety.
Masks remain a requirement in any indoor space at 6400 Arapahoe Road, regardless of vaccination status, including Resource Central’s warehouse and showroom and inside the CHaRM/Blue Star Recyclers warehouse. Please put your mask on prior to entering these enclosed areas. Eco-Cycle’s office remains closed to the public at this time, but our hotline at 303-444-6634 is open Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm.
Times are changing but the safety of customers and staff remains our top priority.
Please Observe Covid-19 Protocols: Given the high degree of customer/staff interaction at the Eco-Cycle/City of Boulder Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM), the CHaRM now has strict safety protocols to serve the community while limiting exposure between and among customers and staff.
All visitors to the CHaRM will be required to:
Observe 6-foot distancing areas marked off around drop-off bins
Stay in your car to wait your turn until customers in front of you have cleared the area around a drop-off bin you wish to use
Unload your own vehicles (please bring help if needed, as our staff has been directed to maintain a 6-foot distance)
Place electronics you're dropping off for recycling in the very back of your vehicle (trunk or truck bed) so they can be easily accessed by our staff while maintaining a safe distance. Vehicles not adhering to this requirement will be asked to exit the CHaRM yard, relocate their electronics, and come through the line again.
Please read signs guiding you through our new transaction processes
We look forward to seeing you and serving your hard-to-recycle needs! Please visit www.ecocycle.org/charm for a full list of materials accepted, as well as prices. Please email email@example.com or call 303-444-6634 with questions.
6400 Arapahoe Rd, Boulder, co-located with Resource Central
CHaRM hours are Monday - Friday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Saturday: 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.; CHaRM is closed on Sundays)
CHaRM is an outdoor facility. In the event of extreme weather, call us at (303) 444-6634 before you visit to find out if the CHaRM is open. We care about your safety and our employees!
Accepted payment methods
Credit cards only (no Diner's Club cards)
There is a $3 facility fee for every vehicle entering the CHaRM to recycle hard-to-recycle materials. >> View all CHaRM Guidelines and Fees
>> Need hard-to-recycle collection pick-up at your business? Check out our CHaRM on the Road commercial hauling service
Before you recycle that item... try to fix it at an upcoming U-Fix-It Clinic!
MAP OF CHaRM AND BOULDER'S
What is the CHaRM?
CHaRM opened in 2001 and was the first facility of its kind in the nation. It collects unusual materials like electronics and plastic bags for recycling and reuse.
The CHaRM is funded in part by city of Boulder trash tax dollars.
CHaRM is undergoing a sea-change for its 20th anniversary! While we’ll continue to provide the same hard-to-recycle services you know and love, CHaRM and next-door neighbor Resource Central are making some improvements to the facilities, and construction is underway through July 2021. CHaRM should remain open for regular business hours during this time, but we will be sure to announce any unexpected closures here, as usual. In addition, we’ll be changing the fee structure to reflect the rising costs of doing business. Starting June 1, the fee structure will be enforced as follows:
Note that the facility fee of $3 will apply to all material drop-offs aside from scrap metal, and several item fees will change as well to better meet the needs of the operation. Additionally, CHaRM is discontinuing the facility fee waiver for electric vehicles starting June 1, and the Frequent CHaRMer program is actively being phased out in favor of a new loyalty program currently in development.
If you have any questions about the upcoming changes, please don’t hesitate to reach out by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
PLEASE NOTE: Eco-Cycle charges a $3 fee for every vehicle coming to the Eco-Cycle/City of Boulder Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM) to recycle materials. The fee is in addition to the recycling fees that apply to specific materials like electronics, bike tires and porcelain.
Please pay with credit card ONLY with a self-pay system (NO cash or checks will be accepted at this time).
Free of charge:
Computer towers (CPUs), laptops
CRT (not flatscreen) TVs, rear-projection TVs, Monitors
NOTE: Broken CRT glass is classified by the EPA as hazardous waste, and requires extra handling and documentation.
Other electronics, including flatscreen TVs, audio equipment, mobile phones, fax machines or any other item with a battery or cord
Optional Hard-drive Shredding service (please request). Bulk hard-drive shredding IS available. Please call 303-444-6634 for more information.
Ink Jet and Laser Jet
Plate Glass Windows and Doors
Please note: Resource Central, which is co-located at 6400 Arapahoe Rd. with CHaRM, accepts some windows for reuse. Check their website for donation guidelines.
Includes windows, patio doors, shower doors, picture frame glass, glass tabletops, glass block, tempered glass, insulated glass
Cracked and broken panes are OK
Window without jamb
Window with jamb
Patio door without jamb
Patio door with jamb
NO mirrors, Pyrex (food containers, microwave dishes, measuring cups), canning jars, or bottles and jars.
Includes plastic shopping and newspaper bags, ziplock bags, dry cleaner bags and bubble wrap
MUST be clean, dry, and empty of all food, receipts, etc. with tape and stickers removed
NO plastic food wrap or packing peanuts
Accepted with plastic bags in plastic bag bin
Must be clean and dry
NO packing peanuts, other foam
#6 White Block Foam
NO shipping labels on foam, packing peanuts, "Styrofoam" (polystyrene) cups, “to-go” boxes, meat trays or any other food-grade styrofoam, moisture or tape
Electric and battery-powered appliances
NO vacuum bags, glass (coffee pots, blender carafes, etc.), or food/liquid residue.
Have appliances that are mostly metal? See scrap metal listing.
Please note that we will weigh your materials on-site and give you a total fee based on weight at that time.
• Large plastics such as Big Wheels® and plastic play structures, plastic lawn furniture, plastic watering cans, laundry baskets, clean plastic buckets (no residue), crates, rigid backyard kiddie pools and plastic trash containers.
• Must be the size of a five-gallon bucket or larger but must also be less than 3 feet by 3 feet (can be cut to meet these dimensions).
• In some cases, these plastics may not be marked with a #2, so look for them to be opaque with a matte finish and hollow inside. They are made with a mold, so will likely have a seam where two halves were joined.
• Non-plastic parts must be removed, including straps, padding and fabric.
• NO flower pots without a #2, inflatable pools or other inflatable plastics, water beds, chew toys, CD jewel cases, small toys such as action figures, etc.
• NO insulated plastic coolers
• Mattress (standard spring or futon mattress, any size)
• Box spring (any size)
• 100% foam mattress toppers, any size
• Mechanical bed
• NOTE: We can no longer accept bed bug-infested mattresses at the CHaRM
• NO mattresses or box springs with mold
• Any Condition
• Includes integral parts such as seats, pedals, handlebars, wheels, etc. and metal accessories such as baskets and Pannier racks
• NO other accessories or sporting goods
• Puncture-resistant or slime tubes should be kept separately
• NO automotive or other tires
• Computer and Office Manuals
• Hard-Bound Books and Paperbacks
*Call for quantities one pallet and larger
• Residential quantities only (maximum 10 gallons); for larger quantities see our A-Z Recycling Guide listing for Cooking Oil
• Includes canola, corn, vegetable, olive, and sesame oils
• NO motor oil or any oil used for purposes other than cooking.
• Paper materials only
Eco-Cycle provides a locked bin for residents and businesses to drop off documents for shredding at the CHaRM. A mobile shredding company comes every other Friday to shred the papers. We do not offer certificates of destruction. Call 303-444-6634 for more information or visit www.ecocycle.org/charm.
Small quantities of paper that is already shredded is also accepted as compost at the CHaRM. The facility fee will apply.
• NO glass, rebar, tile backing material, or other non-ceramics.
• Clean concrete -- must be free of aggregate, metal, rocks and dirt -- accepted in small quantities: less than small pickup truck bed size
• NOTE: Concrete is NOT accepted at local hard-to-recycle events.
• Plastic foam, rubber foam and jute mats
• NO badly soiled or smelly mats
• NO Tatami or other grass mats
Items at least 50% metal, including appliances
• Items without Freon
• Items WITH Freon (Items with Freon include refrigerators, air conditioners, dehumidifiers and freezers)
• Cables and wire
IF YOU HAVE EMPTY TANKS AND CYLINDERS: CHaRM accepts helium tanks. Bring them to the CHaRM but do NOT place them in the scrap metal bin. Please let the person at the CHaRM window know what you have and they will direct you to a special collection area at CHaRM.
NO O2, CO2, or Acetylene tanks. For O2, CO2, and Acetylene tanks, please contact local welding supply stores.
NO oil or fuel in motors
NO TANKS WITH ANY LIQUID OR GAS. Please remove all gas caps from mowers or other related equipment.
NO PROPANE CANISTERS OF ANY KIND. See our A-Z Recycling Guide listing for Propane canisters for more information.
Electronics are not scrap metal but can be recycled at the CHaRM for a fee.
Single-stream recycling is accepted at the CHaRM. Learn more about what's accepted in single-stream recycling.
CHaRM accepts food scraps, soiled paper and Zero Waste event supplies. Click here for full guidelines.
- Carpool: Pool your materials together with your neighbors’ and friends’, so you only have to pay one facility fee.
Zero Emission Drop-off: Bicyclists and all-electric vehicles with CHaRM materials are not charged a facility fee. (Fees to recycle specific materials, such as electronics, bike tires and porcelain, will still apply.)