Montezuma County Landfill

Deborah A Barton, Landfill Manager
26100 County Road F
Cortez, CO  81321-8104
(970) 565-9858
FAX (970) 565-9309

Special Wastes
Special Wastes Request and Approval Form

By definition and intent, all material that is disposed of at the county landfill is a solid waste. However, some materials can be separated and handled differently. Such material as this would include construction/demolition debris, non friable asbestos, electronic (e.g. computers, cell phones, etc), compostables, appliances, dead animals, tires, and petroleum contaminated soils.  For unusable items or for special waste consideration, individuals should contact the landfill office for more information or they may download "Special Wastes Request for Disposal/Characterization" two page form to verify the material can be accepted by the landfill.

All large appliances are placed in the metal and appliance area. Appliances that are freon or ammonia based require a certification statement, Freon Compliance Statement Form.  Hot water heaters, stoves, washers, and dryers are placed directly into the metal pile. for more information about appliances, refer to Freon and appliances.

All dead animals brought onto site are placed into a separate disposal area for prompt burial. Individuals arriving on site will be directed to the end of the pavement and a member of the landfill staff will meet them to complete the offloading and burial of the dead animal(s).  Individuals no longer have direct access to the disposal location.

Asbestos - Friable
These are the dusty, small pieces of asbestos containing material which will easily release fibers when crushed by hand.  This type of material requires a special permit from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), Air Quality Division to remove and dispose.  We do not have a permit for this hazardous material and therefore cannot accept friable asbestos because it contains potential air contamination from the small particles released to the air and lodging in lungs.  For further information, contact CDPHE in Denver at 1-303-692-3273.

Asbestos - Non-Friable
Non friable asbestos materials have a binder that holds the asbestos fibers within a solid matrix and will not allow asbestos fibers to release easily unless mishandled, damaged, or are in a badly worn or weathered condition.  To make sure that the material is non friable, a sample can be obtained and sent to a laboratory for analysis and determination.  See the attached information on collecting asbestos samples or contact a local asbestos inspector to have a sample taken.  Usually old floor tiles, tile shakes, and pipe insulation is non friable, meaning it does not have small pieces that easily break down into dusty little particles which can lodge in lungs resulting in the incurable disease of Asbestosis.  Although non friable material can be brought to the landfill for disposal, individuals are required to first obtain approval by completing a Non Friable Asbestos Manifest and making arrangements for delivery date/time. This material will only be accepted Monday-Friday from 8 am to 3 pm with one work day notice. 

Batteries - Lead Acid
Lead acid batteries (car batteries, tractor batteries, truck batteries, lawn mower batteries, etc.) cannot be disposed of at the landfill. Batteries that are found are placed to the side and sent to Belt's Salvage for recycling.  Some stores have an exchange program where if you buy a new battery, they will accept an old one in for their handling.  At times a credit is given for the return of old batteries, often times referred to as a "core charge".

Batteries - Rechargeable
Rechargeable batteries (cell phones, toys, cordless phones, cordless tools, etc) should not be disposed of in the landfill. The landfill has a contract with the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation (RBRC) to accept small rechargeable batteries (up to one pound).  Full boxes are sent RBRC for recycling at no charge to customers.  If you have an APC power backup for your computers, the company will work with customers who wish to recycle their batteries in exchange for obtaining a new battery.  Go to for more information on their recycling program.

This is the organic and vegetative (plant) material which can easily decompose making a soil-like product or soil amendment. Because composting can be done with a low input of resources, the county landfill has a small composting operation. Grass clippings, leaves and garden waste are placed in the compost pile directly. Tree limbs, branches and similar cuttings are placed in a branch pile which are chipped and then placed into the compost pile or on landfill areas. No bags (plastic or paper), no wire, no trellis (metal or wood), no landscape timbers, no household trash, or anything that is not vegetative is to be placed there (See Construction & Demolition Debris below).

Construction & Demolition Debris
This material is from construction or deconstruction projects such as wood or asphalt shingles, treated wood, wood paneling, insulation (non-asbestos), dirt, concrete, drywall, siding and similar material. A discount is available Monday through Friday for clean C&D (no household, paper, plastic bags, food waste - see Compost above). Signs are posted with a more detailed list of acceptable and unacceptable material!  Pictures of contaminated C/D materials.

Contaminated Soils
The county landfill is able to receive, treat and utilize petroleum and other non hazardous contaminated soils on site. Effective 1 October 2005, the landfill determines the acceptability of such material. Any individual or company having a need to dispose of Petroleum Contaminated Soil (PCS) no longer has to obtain approval from the Grand Junction Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment Office.

The big news in the solid waste field is the disposal of old computers, monitors, copiers electronic accessories and TVs or e-waste. Colorado has banned these items from all landfills and transfer stations in the state. In 2002, the Colorado Office of Energy Management helped fund a special turn in event for Southwest Colorado including Montezuma & Dolores Counties. A second turn in event was held in February 2004.  Since then, the landfill hosts biannual collection events in the Spring (typically April) and the fall (late October or early November) of each year to provide an outlet for all our community members - businesses, institutions, residents - to properly recycle and dispose of their obsolete e-waste.  Natural Evolution of Tulsa, Oklahoma is the vendor that the county uses and they are certified under ISO 14001, R2, and E-Steward standards.

Fluorescent Lights (including Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL))
Fluorescent lights should not be thrown away in the landfill.  Special disposal buckets or boxes which are prepaid to send the materials to a hazardous materials vendor can be obtained from local resources.  The landfill has buckets and boxes available for residential customers only to bring their UNBROKEN lights for collection and disposal.  Customers are cautioned to not break the light bulbs as they do contain mercury. There is a recommended donation fee of $1 per 4 foot lamp or $2 per 8 foot lamp to help offset the cost of hazardous waste disposal (charges are approximately $2.50 per 4 foot lamp and $4.00 per 8 foot lamp). Commercial, industrial and institutional (CII) customers who have fluorescent light bulbs should contact a local electrician or the landfill for sources of disposal containers.

Paints are considered a liquid waste and cannot be accepted at the landfill. Old paint can be painted onto scrap wood, carpet, or cardboard. When dried, the painted material and empty paint cans/containers can be placed into the trash for normal disposal. Cans with old latex paint can be opened and the paint will dry to a gel like state (provided no water has gotten into the can). The gel in the cans can be thrown into the trash for disposal at the landfill as normal trash.

Split or quartered tires are accepted as regular solid waste and charged by weight.  As of 1 July 2007, whole tires from residential sources were banned from Colorado landfills.  Locally, all tires are placed in a storage area and sent to a tire recycler when a full load is available.  For further information about waste tires contact Scrap Tire Management Council.

Used Oil
Used oil is considered a liquid waste and cannot be accepted at the landfill. One alternative is to take the used oil to a local oil change store or a store that sells motor oil for their recycling efforts.  Another alternative for very small quantities of oil, is to put cat litter or sawdust on the spilled oil until it is absorbed. Then place the litter in the trash for disposal at the landfill. This option is intended for households only.

Unusual or Unknown Materials
If you have a question, call your hauler or the landfill. We will try to get you an answer.

Effective Date: 1 September 2013