Jun 8, 2022 - News

Denver's "pay as you throw" plan advances

Illustration of a pattern of trash cans.

Illustration: Allie Carl/Axios

People may soon start paying for trash pickup in exchange for free recycling and composting services.

Why it matters: Denver residents currently don't pay for trash pickup.

Details: The rates proposed by the city would give people three options, ranging from $9 a month for a 35-gallon bin to $21 a month for a 95-gallon bin.

  • Right now, recycling is free and picked up every two weeks. Composting costs $9.75 a month and is collected weekly.

Driving the news: A proposal for the new fee system was approved by a Denver City Council committee Tuesday.

  • The new fees aim to improve the city's diversion rate — basically, the amount of waste that gets recycled or composted.
  • They could cover recycling and composting bins for all residents.

Yes, but: Denver's current trash collection process is far from perfect.

  • New trash routes started on Jan. 1, but the rollout was rocky.
  • The city, which has roughly 180,000 customers, recorded 19,975 missed collection calls since Jan 1., according to agency spokesperson Nancy Kuhn.

What they're saying: "I have overwhelming opposition to this in my district," Council president Stacie Gilmore, who represents the Green Valley Ranch and Montbello neighborhoods, said about the proposal during Tuesday's meeting.

What's next: The full Denver City Council will consider the plan for a final vote, though a date is not yet set because members want to make tweaks to the final bill.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Denver.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Denver stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Denver.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more