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Glenwood Springs’ trash pick-up switching to ‘pay as you throw’ with free recycling pickup

The city of Glenwood Springs plans to switch to a single-trash hauling company and will begin charging more for larger bin sizes — but will start collecting recycling for free.

The program aims to reduce the amount of recyclable waste going to the South Canyon Landfill and delay any expensive expansions needed in the future.

“The composition of our trash going into the landfill has been between 70 and 80% recyclable material,” said Liz Mauro, Glenwood Springs landfill manager. “We’ve gotten the message that the current system isn’t really working for people to recycle.”



Full decisions on the switch are still in the early stages, and has not been voted on by city council. Staff predicts the switch will roll out in 2023, with a multi-month trial period for people to decide on their bin size and exchange them if they need different sizes. 

Ideally, if people are recycling more, they will be trashing less. 



“Glass is one of the few materials that we actually can recycle fully right here inside Colorado, which is why it’s so important to buy it and recycle it,” Mauro said. “Yeah, 8% of the trash going into the landfill is glass, 10% is metal, plastics are 16% and paper is 21%, which is huge. So, we have a lot of paper that’s going in the landfill that’s not getting recycled.”

The program aims to reduce truck traffic on our streets, increase correct recycling, reduce the number of recyclables being thrown away and incentivize overall waste reduction, according to a press release from the city. 

The more trash produced, the more people pay. This will be decided on what bin size people choose to pay for. The bigger the bin, the more people pay, the release states.

The program will include both trash and recycling service for all city residents in single-family residences and multi-family residences with less than seven units.

To choose the single trash company, the city will have a bidding process later this year to decide which company to use. 

The city website claims this switch will reduce heavy truck traffic by 60% on city streets, and it will also reduce wear and tear on city streets. 

Mobile-home parks will be included but will be given a 12-month delay for contracts that are already in place. This change will not include complexes that share large dumpsters.

In preparation for the request for proposals process, the city wants to hear from residents. Share comments on trash and recycling needs in the community now through October at an upcoming pop-up event, or visit http://www.cogs.us/PAYT.

Pop-up Events

Stop by a pop-up event to learn more about the upcoming change to city-wide trash and recycling service.

  • Thursday, Sept. 29, Community Center, 4:30-6:30 p.m.
  • Friday, Sept. 30, City Market, 9-11 a.m.
  • Saturday, Oct. 1, Community Center, 5:30-7:30 p.m.

Share your comments on trash and recycling needs in the community now through November in the PAYT Comment Form.


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