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The original item was published from 3/8/2023 4:05:18 PM to 4/1/2023 12:00:01 AM.

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Glenwood Springs News / Noticias de Glenwood Springs

Posted on: March 8, 2023

[ARCHIVED] City Council Approves “Pay as You Throw” Proposal

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Staff to enter contract negotiations and make preparations for implementation.

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Glenwood Springs City Council has approved the transition to a single hauler collection system for residential trash and recyclables. The city will contract with one hauler to collect trash and recyclables from single-family households and multi-family residences with less than seven units that have cart collection (residences with dumpster service will not be included in the program). Trash service will be volume-based with pricing tied to the size of your trash cart (also known as “Pay as You Throw” or PAYT). The less you waste, the less you spend. Recycling will be included as part of the service bundle for every household.

“The benefits of this program will be significant for the residents of Glenwood – fewer trash trucks on our roads, safer and less congested streets, less routine truck damage to streets, less tailpipe emissions, increased access to proper recycling, and in most cases, reduced costs,” said Glenwood Springs Mayor Jonathan Godes. “Making this move clearly makes sense to improve quality of life, promote stewardship of our landfill, and observe best practices for managing waste.”

Next Steps

Staff have conducted a competitive procurement process to identify a contract hauler. All haulers currently providing residential collection in the city were invited to participate. City Council directed staff to begin negotiation for a five-year contract with Mountain Waste and Recycling (MWR), whose proposal was the most responsive to the city’s requirements for efficient service and reasonable cost. City Council will review final contract terms in April.

Program implementation will take several months with enrollment anticipated to begin in July and services beginning in November. This summer, the City will work to enroll Glenwood residents in the program including selecting cart sizes and setting up billing information. Staff will also work with those residential haulers whose current service will stop in November to remove existing carts prior to delivery of new carts under the PAYT system. After services begin, residents will be able to change the size of service for free during the first two months.


The City completed a Waste Composition Study which showed that approximately 70 to 80% of materials currently going into the South Canyon Landfill could be recycled. Under PAYT, Glenwood residents will have convenient access to single-stream recycling, increased education around recycling, and a financial incentive to recycle over putting recyclables into the trash. Further, the City will be able to prevent contamination through the ‘oops tags’ system and better reporting of recycling collection metrics.

In addition to reporting on the composition and destination of recyclables, the city’s contractor will perform a quarterly audit of one zone of the city to measure recyclable contamination levels. This will help the city and MWR analyze outreach efforts, develop educational materials, and evaluate landfill diversion.

The Recycle Center in Glenwood Springs will remain open and continue with normal operations. This will help individuals unable to participate in PAYT to continue to recycle and allows an alternate option if households have overflow. The Recycle Center will also continue to have a food scrap bin for households looking to further divert food waste by composting.

Program Features

There will be four basic options for trash service levels – large, medium, small, and super-saver. Every resident will have recycling service provided every-other-week as part of the bundled service. The super-saver trash service option will be collected every other week and will be priced comparably to taking two to three bags of trash to the Recycle Center every month, but with the convenience of curbside pick-up.

The three other trash service level options will be picked up weekly: small (about 32-gallon cart), medium (about 64-gallon cart), and large (about 96-gallon cart). The small cart holds approximately two tall kitchen bags, the medium holds about five bags and the large holds up to seven.

Wildlife-resistant cart options will be available for trash service, and the city’s contractor will service some existing wildlife carts (to be determined on a case-by-case basis). Recycling carts will be available in all three cart sizes for collection every other week (recycling cart size will not change the bundled price). Trash and recycling cart sizes may be changed at any time after the initial role out period (delivery fees may apply).

Estimated prices are available for review on the project webpage but are not final. The city will announce pricing later this year. For most residents, these prices are comparable – and in many cases, are much lower – than fees charged by haulers operating in Glenwood Springs today. For some who don’t recycle currently, this price savings also comes with the new recycling service built into the bundled package.

A unique aspect to the Glenwood PAYT program will be the option for an “Out of Town” gap in service. While there is no opt-out option for applicable residents, accounts will be able to request temporary holds in service for a minimum of three and maximum of four months.

There are still aspects of yard waste collection outside of the PAYT program to be further refined, such as the option for yard waste collection in a centralized location in town (which is expected to occur at least every other week from spring through fall), but these details will be worked out in the contract negotiations with MWR.

For questions, contact Public Information Officer Bryana Starbuck at bryana.starbuck@cogs.us or 970-384-6441. Additional information is available on the project webpage at www.cogs.us/PAYT.

Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Law

In 2022, the State of Colorado signed the Producer Responsibility Program for Statewide Recycling Act (House Bill 22-1355) into law. This state statue sets up a Producer Responsibility Organization that requires companies that sell printed paper and packaging in the state to fund collection, transportation and processing costs associated with recycling those materials. While exact program and funding details are not yet finalized, this program is expected to largely defray the cost of the recycling portion of the City’s new collection program. By implementing PAYT now, Glenwood Springs optimizes our position to be prepared to access these funding mechanisms when they are ready in 2026/2027.

About PAYT

The program aims to reduce truck traffic on our streets, reduce wear and tear on roads, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve access to proper recycling, and reduce our reliance on expensive expansions of the South Canyon Landfill through creating an incentive for residents to increase recycling efforts. To support these objectives, a city-wide residential trash and recycling program utilizing volume-based pricing also known as “pay as you throw” will be implemented in late 2023. 

Pay as You Throw (PAYT) means the price of trash service will be based on how much trash you produce, so the less trash you produce, the less the service costs. Because the program will include bundled trash and recycling service for one price, it also provides an accessible method for diverting recyclables - instead of landfilling them to all city residents in single-family homes and multifamily residences less than seven units that receive cart collection service.


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