By Mekialaya White

DENVER (CBS4) – The City of Denver is looking to expand its residential waste services to provide weekly recycling and compost collection for all customers. To cover the costs of these services, including labor and regular equipment replacement, Denver is proposing a fee based on the trash cart size that residents would select. City leaders say the goal is to have residents recycle and compost more of what they throw away and divert/reduce the amount of trash Denver sends to the landfill.

(credit: CBS)

The Department of Transportation & Infrastructure briefed a city council committee on the proposal on Tuesday. DOTI Public Information Officer Nancy Kuhn tells CBS4’s Mekialaya White the goal is to introduce an ordinance change this spring that would allow the proposal to move forward.

The proposal shows 74% of Denver’s waste goes to the landfill and 50% of trash is compostable.

The proposed monthly rates for residents are as follows:

• $9 for 35 gallons
(Holds 2 to 3 tall kitchen bags)

• $13 for 65 gallons
(Holds 4 to 5 tall kitchen bags)

• $21 for 95 gallons
(Holds 7 to 8 tall kitchen bags)

Kuhn says the proposed rates are lower than the regional average and no other cities or haulers offer a discount program for low-income households.

(credit: CBS)

“This proposal takes direct action on climate change. The more waste that ends up in the landfill, the more methane that is produced as that material decays over decades. The production of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas, hampers Denver from reaching its climate action goals, which residents have asked the city to rapidly advance,” Kuhn told White.

If Denver City Council approves the proposal, DOTI will do additional outreach to residents via direct mail and contracted work with community-based organizations.

Mekialaya White