Pay-as-You-Throw & Single Hauler
The Town of Erie is currently ranked lowest in the region for recycling and composting numbers. Without major change, the Town will not achieve increased diversion rates anticipated in the Sustainability Master Plan or reach the goal to divert 50% of refuse from the landfill by 2026. To help support these diversion goals, the Town of Erie is exploring a Pay-as-You-Throw model and a Single Hauler option for areas of Town which are not currently under contracts with hauling companies through their HOA. This contract would also cover Town of Erie government facilities as well.
Pay-as-You-Throw (PAYT) is exactly that - a system where your rate of pay is connected to the amount of refuse sent to the landfill. More trash landfilled = higher cost. More trash recycled or composted instead of landfilled = less cost.
Click the images above to expand and read more details about each individual topic.
As of Aug. 19, 2022, the Town posted a Request for Proposal inviting hauling companies to apply for this new contract. The RFP closes on Sept. 30, 2022. The contract will be awarded to the winning hauling company and will give them enough time to organize pickup logistics and bins for this new service area. The service area will include those neighborhoods not currently in an HOA contract (Old Town, Erie Airpark, and Northridge) as well as all Town-owned facilities. Service is anticipated to begin January 2023.
HOAs are not currently required to switch into this new Single Hauler contract, but will have the opportunity to opt in prior to the RFP being awarded if they desire.
The Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment supports a PAYT Model as a "proven (way) to reduce trash going to landfills, and increase recycling and composting." Click on the image below for the State's position on the option:
- Why would Erie want to organize a single hauler system?
Since 2013, the Town’s Community Survey results have shown consistently strong support for the Town to organize curbside waste, recycling, and composting collection services for residents. Survey results show support between 65% - 86%, depending on how the question was asked biennially for the past nine years.
On November 2, 2021, staff presented to the Board of Trustees the results of an extensive community engagement campaign and provided them with recommendations for Waste Diversion Programs & Polices. A single hauler contract for residents who are not represented by a HOA was identified as one of the most impactful actions to take to increase waste diversion, provide access and equitable service rates, lower traffic and therefore tailpipe emissions, and increase service levels and public safety.
- Why does Erie have a Pay-As-You-Throw system?
Since the 1920s, communities that have implemented a Pay as You Throw (PAYT) system have realized benefits of fair and equitable fees for service, increased recycling and composting, and less trash being buried in the landfill. PAYT charges for only what you throw out and provides financial incentives to compost and recycle more, creating less landfilled trash. The EPA recognizes the PAYT model as encompassing environmental stability, equity, and economic stability. As of 2018, more than 7,000 cities and towns across America operate under a PAYT model; many examples can be found in local municipalities such as Loveland who have had PAYT since the 1990s.
- How do the fees for this program work?
Your monthly price depends on the size of your landfill cart. Recycling collection, organics collection, annual large item pickup, and yard waste pickup are all included in the base service price. In other cities and towns that operate under the same PAYT model, customers will receive one 96 gallon recycling cart and one 32 gallon organics cart as standard, however, if you would like a smaller 64 gallon recycling cart or a larger 96 gallon organics composting cart your monthly price will not be affected. These details will all be determined during the contract negotiations with the Town in Fall 2022.
- How much will this new service cost?
This will be determined by the hauler during the contract negotiations with the Town in Fall 2022. The Town will grade the bids through a triple bottom line matrix based on social, environmental, and economic merits. The more homes that sign up for this service, the more affordable it becomes.
- How will I be billed for service?
The Town will either add the new waste collection service to your existing monthly utility bill or the hauler will charge once per month. This will be determined during the contract negotiations with the Town in Fall 2022.
- I am in a Homeowner’s Association, is my house included in the program?
If your HOA contracts with a waste company to provide service to all of the households within your neighborhood, you are not included in the city program, although your HOA may voluntarily opt into the program at any time. If your HOA does not provide waste collection, your household is included in the program.
- I am in a homeowners association or a multi-family complex, and not enrolled in the Town’s waste program. How does this affect me?
Multi-family buildings with eight residential units or more are not required to participate in the Town waste program, although they can voluntarily join. In March 2020, the Town of Erie Board of Trustees approved Ordinance 15-2020 to expand the Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) rate system to all residential areas in Erie. This ordinance affects waste haulers who operate in Erie. All waste haulers are required to submit documentation showing compliance as part of the Town’s licensing regulations, which provide for the following:
Curbside service with pricing based on volume, with a 32-gallon minimum size and increasing increments (e.g. 32-, 64-, and 96-gallon sizing).
Provision for unlimited recycling service to be included in the total monthly cost.
Curbside composting collection is offered to all residents.
All haulers who provide hauler service to Erie residents must be licensed in Erie. Additional licensing requirements such as reporting of overall diversion of materials, equipment standards, and proof of insurance.
- Can I still contract with another company for service?
Yes, residents may hire any waste hauler licensed to operate within the Town. However, if your household is included in the Town waste program, you will still be billed at the minimum level of service.
Other Communities with PAYT
There are currently 23 communities in Colorado that have a PAYT structure including:
- Fort Collins
- Manitou Springs
- Mountain Village