Special Waste Disposal
Federal, state, and local laws limit the types of waste that can be placed for collection by the city. Items that should not be included in routine trash collection include toxic, explosive, hazardous, or extremely flammable materials, materials contaminated with contagious diseases, and dead animals. The Sanitation Division of Public Works provides special collection services for construction waste, furniture and appliances, tree limbs, freight packaging, and other materials that are not allowed under the routine trash collection service. Fees will be charged on the customer's monthly utility bill according to the amount and type of materials that are collected. To schedule a special pick up, call 970-240-1480 or 970-240-1400.
Local businesses and organizations provide recycling services for some types of special waste. Helpful disposal information is provided below for certain types of waste.
When funds are available, the city schedules special events for the collection of household hazardous waste. No events are scheduled at this time.
Special Guidance for Businesses
It is important for business owners to be informed about waste handling and disposal regulations that apply to their operations. Business owners are encouraged to visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's (CDPHE) website for the latest waste disposal regulations, resources, and information.
Electronic devices contain lead, chromium, cadmium, mercury, and other toxic materials. When discarded in a landfill, toxic substances from these devices can leach into the soil and groundwater.
Colorado residents are no longer allowed to place electronic devices in the trash, under the Electronic Recycling Jobs Act (SB 133). Instead, e-waste must be taken to a recycling facility. The Act includes television sets, computers, computer monitors, peripherals, printers, fax machines, laptops, electronic tablets, DVD players, VCRs, radios, stereos, video game consoles, and video display devices with viewing screens greater than four inches diagonally.
Information about the disposal of residential and commercial/business electronics and computer waste is available on the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment website.
Household hazardous waste includes products that contain toxic, corrosive, highly reactive, or flammable materials. According to the EPA, items such as batteries, household cleaners, and paint are considered to be hazardous.
Improper disposal of household hazardous waste can be a serious detriment to yourself, your community, and the environment. Throwing these materials away, dumping them down the drain, and storing them improperly can lead to water contamination, environmental damage, risk of explosion, and other dire consequences.
Household Hazardous Waste Events
The City of Montrose partners with Montrose County to host Household Hazardous Waste Events, usually each summer, to provide a convenient, low-cost disposal option for Montrose residents. Event information is posted on this webpage and announced through official communications channels as soon as the next event date is scheduled. The most recent HHW event was held on August 28, 2021.
Alternatives to Disposal
The city of Montrose recommends that residents try alternatives to disposing of household hazardous waste.
- Buy only what you need – Reducing the quantity of hazardous materials you purchase will reduce the amount that is left over from a project. For example, try getting a smaller bottle of pesticides for your front yard garden in order to reduce the waste.
- Try alternatives to hazardous materials – Several household items (vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice) work very well to scrub surfaces, deodorize, and clean glass. The EPA has some handy tips for using these items to clean your home.
- Use it! – There is no better disposal for a product than using it for its intended purpose.
The following businesses provide convenient, local e-waste recycling services:
- City of Montrose Public Works (1221 6450 Rd., 970-240-1400) - Only electronics with glass screens. City residential customers only. See the Recycling page for restrictions
- Montrose County Landfill (67999 Landfill Rd., 970-249-8078) - $0.45 fee per pound
- Office Depot (2201 S. Townsend Ave., 970-240-3859) - Fee for shipping box
- Recla Metals (136 S. Maple Ave., 970-249-7922) - Monitors and TVs are not accepted.
Other E-waste Disposal/Waste Reduction Options
- Donate it - If an electronic item is still usable, consider donating it to a friend, neighbor, or charity that could put it to good use. Before donating electronics to a charity, be sure to confirm with them that they will accept the item.
- Sell it - Selling electronic items frees up storage space around your home and puts money in your pocket. At the same time, it allows someone else to use the item without purchasing new equipment that will eventually add to the e-waste stream. Electronics tend to lose value quickly - the longer they are stored, the less they are worth.
- Purchase wisely - Research electronic purchases and buy quality products that are more likely to last. Better quality translates into lower cost over the lifespan of the item and helps reduce e-waste.
While not considered to be hazardous waste, leftover paint can be a toxic substance in landfills. Paint waste must be dried before it is considered to be non-hazardous. It can then be safely thrown in the trash. Paint can be dried more quickly by mixing sand into the wet paint and allowing the mixture to harden.
Alternatives to Disposal
Swap paint – Donating unused paint to a project is a cost-effective and gratifying way to ensure that paint does not go to waste.
Purchase wisely – By measuring the right amount of paint for a specific job, you can cut your costs and lower the amount of unused paint a project can produce. A paint calculator is an effective tool to estimate how much paint you will need.