Sep 12, 2023 - Climate

Denver set to approve $6.5 million contract for new trash bins

Illustration of a dollar sign formed by recycled plastic items.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

Denver wants to buy more trash bins to complete its pay-as-you-throw program.

Driving the news: The city is proposing an up to $6.5 million contract with manufacturer Toter to purchase bins for trash, recycling and compost.

  • The contract would run until June 2024 with an additional one-year renewal allowed annually until 2028.
  • Department of Transportation and Infrastructure spokesperson Nancy Kuhn did not specify how many additional carts will be purchased, though she tells us it's enough to complete the rollout of the city's new trash program.

Why it matters: Denver's new trash program started this year but has not been fully implemented in part because the city needed to get more compost bins.

  • The new system has generated $20 million in revenue so far this year, Kuhn tells us.

State of play: The roughly 180,000 customers who use Denver's trash pickup now pay between $9 to $21 a month.

Details: The program seeks to reduce waste sent to landfills by having people pay for trash while the city provides composting and recycling at no additional charge.

  • However, Denver officials said before the program started it would phase-in composting this summer.

By the numbers: Roughly 10,600 compost carts were sent to people in 10 neighborhoods this summer, Kuhn tells us.

Of note: People who haven't received their compost cart are getting a $3 monthly credit until their new bin arrives, Kuhn tells us.

What's next: A Denver City Council committee on Wednesday will likely forward the proposed contract for a final vote.

  • Montbello and Green Valley Ranch will be the next neighborhoods to get compost bins, though Kuhn says an exact start date for the rollout isn't set yet.

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