August 14, 2018

Implementing the Single Hauler Trash Program

After two years of public discussion, exploring and evaluating options, and community feedback, City Council a few months ago decided to transition to a single hauler pay-as-you-throw trash hauling system. If you live in a single family home or in a multi-family home with seven or fewer units, your home will be part of the new system, which provides you with extremely convenient trash hauling service, great prices, and unlimited curbside recycling. HOAs with an existing contract can opt-in if they choose (and I’m pleased to say my own HOA will be doing so).

If you live in a single family home or in a multi-family home with seven or fewer units you should have received a brochure from EDS (the local trash hauler that won the contract) explaining the new program and the various options you can select from. One important piece of news: you can swap your new trash can for free within the first 90 days of the program, so you can make your best guess now and then change if it turns out a different size would work better. The new program is scheduled to start September 1. If you have any questions (and I know that brochure was a bit confusing), you can call Chris Naber on the City of Golden staff – he can help you figure out whatever questions you may have. His number is 303-384-8183.

As Councilor Sloan mentions in the South Golden Reader, we’ve received a lot of community feedback on the single hauler trash program: “Some are against the concept; others are neutral, raising questions about implementation issues; and most are very favorable. Here’s a great example of the last category, written by long-time resident Alice Atkins:

My Top 6 Reasons Why I Like the New Pay-As-You-Throw Trash Hauling in Golden

  1. I save a lot of money. My most recent invoice for second quarter trash hauling with my current hauler was just over $80; for an entire year that’s $320. With the PAYT program, I’ll pay about $18.50 a quarter (for the 32 gal trash cart) or about $74/year. That’s a $246 annual savings!
  2. Single stream recycling. While we already recycle, our current hauler requires that we put light cardboard, paper, and plastics/glass/metal in three separate bins which each have to be taken to the curb for pick-up and returned. PAYT is single stream recycling and will take corrugated cardboard. Single stream will save me time, is more efficient, and will eliminate trips to the dump. Some current haulers only limited items for recycle. PAYT will take virtually all my recyclables.
  3. Fuel surcharge fixed for a year. The fuel surcharge is figured into the monthly rate and is set for a year, not variable as is currently the case with my existing hauler.
  4. Ease of participation. PAYT makes it easy for all to participate: a) as the monthly cost is low, b) if a resident needs assistance in getting containers to and from the curb, there is a carry out/carry back service, and c) not all existing haulers offer recycling or if they do, for some, the price is exorbitant.
  5. Making a contribution to the environment. With the PAYT program I feel that I’m making a contribution to ameliorating the environment and helping to create a sustainable living community in Golden.
  6. Pride. I’m proud of our City Council’s leadership on this issue in voting to undertake the program on behalf of the city and its citizens. I’m proud to live in a town that cares about the future as well as what it leaves behind.”

Recycling Your Old Trash Cans

The City is working with EDS, the local trash hauler that won the citywide contract beginning this fall, to come up with a good plan for collecting and recycling old trash cans at no cost to residents.  Because the new EDS contract includes trash bins they will provide to Golden residents, many may want to get rid of their old ones.  The City will let everyone know by email, the city’s web site, and through the Informer once the details are figured out.

If you have other questions about the new trash hauling program or the new curbside recycling program, you’ll probably find most of what you need on the new trash/recycling program web page.

Golden Adopts New Coordinated Trash Hauler/Recycling Program

At last week’s meeting the City Council adopted a new single hauler trash program for single family homes and multi-family buildings with seven or fewer units. I don’t think I can write a better overview of the issue and the decision than Councilor Sloan did, so I’ll just share what she wrote:

After years of study, listening, and deliberation, City Council unanimously approved a single-hauler trash program.  The ordinance and implementing resolutions adopted a single-hauler trash program and authorized a contract with local company EDS Waste Systems to provide trash and single-stream recycling services to most Golden single-family homes and multi-family residences of 7 or less attached units.  (For those in HOAs with existing trash contracts, participation is optional). 

The importance of the decision was underscored by the volume and nature of comments at the public hearing, in person to individual councilors, by telephone, in e-mails, and through the City’s e-comment function on cityofgolden.net.  Those in support of the ordinance (the majority) emphasized the local and global benefits of increased recycling; safety, noise, and road-maintenance advantages flowing from reduced trash-truck traffic; and the generally lower rates obtained through a negotiated group rate.  Those in opposition expressed concerns about an increased governmental role in trash hauling and changes in their current arrangements. Many on both sides gave ideas for future improvements to the plan. 

It’s my personal belief that the long-term effects of the single-hauler program will be overwhelmingly positive for Golden residents.  But in the short run, participation in the program may require adjustments to long-entrenched expectations of having all trash whisked from the curb to a landfill. A welcome packet with details about the program will be in your mailbox soon.  For earlier information, visit www.cityofgolden.net/solidwasteandrecycling, call a knowledgeable and friendly city staff member at 303-384-8183, or call/e-mail a city councilor. 

I’ll just add to Marjorie’s comments that we made some substantial changes to the original proposal in response to those concerns. For example, the final version of the plan allows HOAs with existing contracts to choose whether they want to participate or not. Another example: people who own multi-family buildings with 7 or fewer units were concerned about having to provide individual trash and recycling bins for every unit, so we changed the final contract to allow for dumpsters and other alternatives.

Citywide Trash Hauling Under Consideration: Lower Cost & Fewer Garbage Trucks

The city has spent the last couple of years looking at a wide range of options for how we manage trash hauling in Golden. We heard from a huge number of community members on the issue, expressing a wide range of opinions. The majority of the comments have expressed support for moving to a citywide contract for several reasons, including reduced cost for the service, reduced wear and tear on our streets (each pass of a garbage truck does 1,200 car trips worth of damage), improved air quality and reduced environmental impacts (one truck driving by your home instead of 5-10), less solid waste headed to the landfill, making recycling a lot easier, and adding a composting option. Based on this feedback, the city issued a Request for Proposals and evaluated all of the submissions. City Councilors indicated a preference for the one with the lowest price, so staff has been negotiating with them on a contract. Thursday night City Council will decide whether to finalize that contract.

The contract we are considering this week would only apply to single-family homes and to multifamily homes of seven units or less. Homes that are part of HOAs with trash hauling contracts wouldn’t have to participate but they’ll have the option of doing so (and many will probably choose to do so because it’s such a good deal).

Although the majority of comments have been supportive, we’ve also heard some concerns about the proposal:

a) What will a citywide contract do to the cost of trash hauling? Because the contract covers such a large number of homes, we were able to negotiate a terrific deal. The cost for most community members would go down.

The basic deal: Single family homes and homes in multifamily building of seven units or less (not including HOAs) will receive unlimited curbside recycling. You’ll then select one of the following options:

  • Option 1: 32-Gallon supersaver $5.50/ pay-per-bag stickers ~$2.65 (when you’re out of town or don’t use much trash)
  • Option 2: 32-Gallon container – $6.75/mo
  • Option 3: 64-Gallon container – $11/mo
  • Option 4: 96-Gallon container – $16.75/mo

This cost will be included on your water bill, so you will no longer have to pay for your trash hauling service separately. It also includes semi-annual tree and brush pickups, composting pickup options, and unlimited single-stream curbside recycling (including plastics #1-7, phone books, cardboard boxes, junk mail, newspapers, metal, and glass).

b) What effect will a citywide contract have on the local trash hauling company? In addition to their reputation for high quality service, EDS – the local company – had the lowest bid. The contract we are considering this week is with EDS.

c) Will market competition put pressure on the trash hauler to provide good service and a good price? Because we will renew the contract on a regular basis, we are getting the best of both worlds. The haulers have to compete on price and service on a regular basis, and on every contract cycle everyone in Golden benefits from being able to negotiate with such a large number of homes. In addition, if the trash hauler with the contract ever fails to meet our expectations for quality or customer service we can dump them.

d) Will HOAs have to participate, given that some have been able to negotiate decent contracts on their own? In response to these comments, City Council adjusted the proposal so that HOAs could elect to participate if they wish or elect to negotiate on their own. I’m guessing that most will eventually become part of the citywide system because it’s such a good deal.

5) Do other communities handle trash hauling in this way? As Councilor Fisher reported in his newsletter earlier today, a bunch of communities across Colorado use a similar system. These include Grand Junction, Thorton, Northglenn, Commerce City, Louisville, Lafayette, Denver, Durango, and Longmont. Nationally, it turns out that it’s quite common for cities to either use contracts like ours or to actually provide trash hauling as a municipal service (which we aren’t considering).

City Council will make a final decision on this proposal at Thursday night’s meeting. If you haven’t weighed in yet, please do so. You’ll find the proposal in the City Council packet (agenda item #11), and you can comment simply by clicking the “e-comment” button right next to the agenda item or by sending an email to City Council (citycouncil@cityofgolden.net). You can also speak during the public hearing on Thursday night (a little bit after 7 p.m.).

Citywide Trash Hauling Under Consideration: Lower Cost & Fewer Garbage Trucks

The city has spent the last couple of years looking at a wide range of options for how we manage trash hauling in Golden. We heard from a huge number of community members on the issue, expressing a wide range of opinions. The majority of the comments have expressed support for moving to a citywide contract for several reasons, including reduced cost for the service, reduced wear and tear on our streets (each pass of a garbage truck does 1,200 car trips worth of damage), improved air quality and reduced environmental impacts (one truck driving by your home instead of 5-10), less solid waste headed to the landfill, making recycling a lot easier, and adding a composting option. Based on this feedback, the city issued a Request for Proposals and evaluated all of the submissions. City Councilors indicated a preference for the one with the lowest price, so staff has been negotiating with them on a contract. Thursday night City Council will decide whether to finalize that contract.

The contract we are considering this week would only apply to single-family homes and to multifamily homes of seven units or less. Homes that are part of HOAs with trash hauling contracts wouldn’t have to participate but they’ll have the option of doing so (and many will probably choose to do so because it’s such a good deal).

Although the majority of comments have been supportive, we’ve also heard some concerns about the proposal:

a) What will a citywide contract do to the cost of trash hauling? Because the contract covers such a large number of homes, we were able to negotiate a terrific deal. The cost for most community members would go down.

The basic deal: Single family homes and homes in multifamily building of seven units or less (not including HOAs) will receive unlimited curbside recycling. You’ll then select one of the following options:

  • Option 1: 32-Gallon supersaver $5.50/ pay-per-bag stickers ~$2.65 (when you’re out of town or don’t use much trash)
  • Option 2: 32-Gallon container – $6.75/mo
  • Option 3: 64-Gallon container – $11/mo
  • Option 4: 96-Gallon container – $16.75/mo

This cost will be included on your water bill, so you will no longer have to pay for your trash hauling service separately. It also includes semi-annual tree and brush pickups, composting pickup options, and unlimited single-stream curbside recycling (including plastics #1-7, phone books, cardboard boxes, junk mail, newspapers, metal, and glass).

b) What effect will a citywide contract have on the local trash hauling company? In addition to their reputation for high quality service, EDS – the local company – had the lowest bid. The contract we are considering this week is with EDS.

c) Will market competition put pressure on the trash hauler to provide good service and a good price? Because we will renew the contract on a regular basis, we are getting the best of both worlds. The haulers have to compete on price and service on a regular basis, and on every contract cycle everyone in Golden benefits from being able to negotiate with such a large number of homes. In addition, if the trash hauler with the contract ever fails to meet our expectations for quality or customer service we can dump them.

d) Will HOAs have to participate, given that some have been able to negotiate decent contracts on their own? In response to these comments, City Council adjusted the proposal so that HOAs could elect to participate if they wish or elect to negotiate on their own. I’m guessing that most will eventually become part of the citywide system because it’s such a good deal.

5) Do other communities handle trash hauling in this way? As Councilor Fisher reported in his newsletter earlier today, a bunch of communities across Colorado use a similar system. These include Grand Junction, Thorton, Northglenn, Commerce City, Louisville, Lafayette, Denver, Durango, and Longmont. Nationally, it turns out that it’s quite common for cities to either use contracts like ours or to actually provide trash hauling as a municipal service (which we aren’t considering).

City Council will make a final decision on this proposal at Thursday night’s meeting. If you haven’t weighed in yet, please do so. You’ll find the proposal in the City Council packet (agenda item #11), and you can comment simply by clicking the “e-comment” button right next to the agenda item or by sending an email to City Council (citycouncil@cityofgolden.net). You can also speak during the public hearing on Thursday night (a little bit after 7 p.m.).

Jacob’s Golden Update: Jackson Street Corridor Improvements and Other News

Jacob’s Golden Update: February 23, 2010

1. Jackson Street Corridor Pedestrian and Bike Improvements
2. Bachman Open Space Purchase Moves Forward
3. Improving Protections for Mobile Home Park Residents
4. Beltway Briefing
5. CSM Projects Gain City Council Approval
6. TIGER Grants Announced
7. Golden’s New Community Bus: Open House on March 2
8. Jacob’s Golden Blog Roundup
9. Other Upcoming Events
10. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, February 25
[Read more…]

Jacob's Golden Update: City Council Adopts Permit Parking and Other News

Jacob’s Golden Update: January 29, 2010

1. DRCOG Approves “Jefferson Parkway” Toll Highway Proposal
2. City Council Adopts Permit Parking Near CSM
3. Moving Forward With Other CSM Agreements
4. Community Bus Neighborhood Meetings
5. Planning Commission Openings: Deadline February 18
6. Talking Trash: Trash Hauling and Recycling
7. Golden Public Works Earns Top Honors
8. Smith for Golden Blog Roundup
9. Other Upcoming Events
10. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, February 4

**********

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Jacob’s Golden Update: City Council Adopts Permit Parking and Other News

Jacob’s Golden Update: January 29, 2010

1. DRCOG Approves “Jefferson Parkway” Toll Highway Proposal
2. City Council Adopts Permit Parking Near CSM
3. Moving Forward With Other CSM Agreements
4. Community Bus Neighborhood Meetings
5. Planning Commission Openings: Deadline February 18
6. Talking Trash: Trash Hauling and Recycling
7. Golden Public Works Earns Top Honors
8. Smith for Golden Blog Roundup
9. Other Upcoming Events
10. Next City Council Meeting: Thursday, February 4

**********

** Follow me on Twitter (username: jacobzsmith). **

[Read more…]

Vancouver's Ambitious Vision

The city of Vancouver, British Columbia is getting some attention for its new Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future city strategy and vision document.  Their new vision statement eloquently highlights the links between environmental and economic health:

We envision a bright green future that couples economic prosperity, health, and happiness with decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. We envision less pollution and cleaner air, less machine noise and more birdsong, less pavement and more green space, fewer sick days and healthier people. We want to send a clear and compelling message to the world: prosperity and environmental stewardship can be partners, not opposing forces. We can meet the challenge of climate change in ways that will improve the quality of life for our children, and our children’s children.

Their new city plan sets a high bar for community visions:

  • Create 20,000 new green jobs.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 33 percent from 2007 levels.
  • All new construction is carbon neutral.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings by 20 percent.
  • The majority of trips in the city (more than 50%) are by foot, bicycle, and public transit.
  • Reduce per capita solid waste going to the landfill or incinerator by 40%.
  • Every person walks within a five-minute walk of a park, beach, greenway, or other natural space.
  • Plant 150,000 additional trees in the city.
  • Reduce per capita ecological footprint by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat the strongest of B.C., Canada, and World Health Organization drinking water standards.
  • Reduce per capita water consumption by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat World Health Organization air quality guidelines.
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of our food by 33 percent.

In case you haven’t looked at it in a while, I inserted our own Golden Sustainability Initiative goals below.  Vancouver is definitely setting an ambitious bar, but the comparison is encouraging because ours goals, while they are ambitious, are pretty moderate by comparison.  The Sustainability Advisory Board will be reporting to City Council in the near future on their progress toward meeting our goals.  We’ll figure out where we are at and what adjustments we need to make to help the board, city staff, and community groups keep the ball moving forward.

Golden Sustainability Initiative Goals adopted Aug. 2007

Vancouver’s Ambitious Vision

The city of Vancouver, British Columbia is getting some attention for its new Vancouver 2020: A Bright Green Future city strategy and vision document.  Their new vision statement eloquently highlights the links between environmental and economic health:

We envision a bright green future that couples economic prosperity, health, and happiness with decreasing greenhouse gas emissions. We envision less pollution and cleaner air, less machine noise and more birdsong, less pavement and more green space, fewer sick days and healthier people. We want to send a clear and compelling message to the world: prosperity and environmental stewardship can be partners, not opposing forces. We can meet the challenge of climate change in ways that will improve the quality of life for our children, and our children’s children.

Their new city plan sets a high bar for community visions:

  • Create 20,000 new green jobs.
  • Reduce greenhouse gas emissions 33 percent from 2007 levels.
  • All new construction is carbon neutral.
  • Improve the energy efficiency of existing buildings by 20 percent.
  • The majority of trips in the city (more than 50%) are by foot, bicycle, and public transit.
  • Reduce per capita solid waste going to the landfill or incinerator by 40%.
  • Every person walks within a five-minute walk of a park, beach, greenway, or other natural space.
  • Plant 150,000 additional trees in the city.
  • Reduce per capita ecological footprint by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat the strongest of B.C., Canada, and World Health Organization drinking water standards.
  • Reduce per capita water consumption by 33 percent.
  • Always meet or beat World Health Organization air quality guidelines.
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of our food by 33 percent.

In case you haven’t looked at it in a while, I inserted our own Golden Sustainability Initiative goals below.  Vancouver is definitely setting an ambitious bar, but the comparison is encouraging because ours goals, while they are ambitious, are pretty moderate by comparison.  The Sustainability Advisory Board will be reporting to City Council in the near future on their progress toward meeting our goals.  We’ll figure out where we are at and what adjustments we need to make to help the board, city staff, and community groups keep the ball moving forward.

Golden Sustainability Initiative Goals adopted Aug. 2007