Let's face it: Colorado Springs isn't exactly known for its adherence to the three Rs. (Well, there is Republicanism, radicalism and rotting infrastructure ...) But that doesn't mean you should shove everything into a trash can.
Bestway Disposal offers single-stream recycling for all the usual suspects: cardboard, plastics, aluminum, etc. And Waste Management's location on Fourth Street takes it all, too, 24-7.
For the more unusual stuff, here are some options:
Rocky Top Resources
1755 E. Las Vegas St., 579-9103, rockytop.us
Since you can't burn your brush in your fire pit, take advantage of Rocky Top's Care and Share program. What normally costs $4 to $12 per cubic yard is free to dispose of on Saturdays with a non-perishable food donation to our local food bank.
Snowy River Enterprises
4450 Mulligan Drive, Longmont, 970/535-0535, snowyriverenterprises.com
Americans scrap an average of 290 million tires a year, according to earth911.org. Snowy River turns used tractor tires inside out and resells them as livestock feeders. Biggest perk: It offers a pick-up service.
American Tire Exchange
5225 Peaceful Place, 229-4070,
According to Chris Houtchens of American Tire Exchange, Colorado produces an average of one scrap tire per capita per year. ATE processes between 200,000 and 500,000 tires annually, re-treading and selling about 20 percent and shredding the remaining 80 percent for use in civil engineering projects, such as leachate collection systems.
Batteries & bulbs
Check out Waste Management's mail-in recycling kits for fluorescent light bulbs and batteries. The bulb kit ($16.95) holds 13 13-watt fluorescent bulbs and comes with packaging and pre-paid postage.
435 Gold Pass Heights, 633-1462,
There are a myriad of places to drop or mail your old phone. Locally, donate to TESSA, a domestic violence prevention, intervention and treatment organization that either reprograms the phones for clients to use for 911 calls only or sends them for refurbishing. Donations can be made on-site or at Wal-Mart.
Animal rescue groups
Animal rescues county-wide are always looking for linens to use for animal care and bedding. A few that we know of: the Humane Society for the Pikes Peak Region, 9 Lives Rescue, Wild Forever Foundation and Front Range Equine Rescue.
Habitat for Humanity ReStore
411 Wahsatch Ave., 667-0840,
The reSTORE has changed the mantra to fit its philosophy: "Recycle, Reuse, Resell." Donate or purchase every type of building material here, from lumber and paint to kitchen cabinets.
Since 1994, this Colorado nonprofit has refurbished and distributed more than 8,000 bicycles to people in need. What it can't fix, it recycles. According to Recycle Bicycles' Bruce Lien, just about every part of the bike is recycled.
The Environmental Protection Agency's eCycling campaign supports several of the following programs in its aim to increase the national recycling rate to 35 percent:
Recycle any Dell product for free at your local Staples store.
Check out Toshiba's Trade-In Estimator: For my five-year-old iBook G4, I could get $107. Once you accept the rebate estimate, Toshiba mails you packaging and postage for free. Even if you don't get a cash-back offer, it's an easy way to recycle everything from old cameras and mobile phones to car receivers and GPS units.
Guaranteed Recycling Xperts
2780 Delta Drive, 633-4343,
GRX offers free recycling of Sony, LG, Zenith and Goldstar products and it accepts other brands for a small fee. The 10-year-old company recycled 10 million pounds of electronic waste in 2008.
Electronics Recycling Center
601 S. Wahsatch Ave., 219-3996, commonworks.net
Run by a nonprofit called CommonWorks, ERC provides adults with developmental disabilities job training and life skills. It requests small, tax-deductible donations to offset recycling costs and pay staff.