Weekly recycling starts in January for all Denver solid waste customers! Weekly composting will roll out this summer. Denver is expanding services to make it easier for you to reduce what goes to the landfill and protect the environment. The city is charging existing customers based on the size of their trash cart, so go small and save more.
If you need financial assistance, apply now for an instant rebate.
- $9 per month
- Small 35-gallon trash cart — holds up to 3 kitchen trash bags per week
- Recycling and compost carts (any size)
- $13 per month
- Medium 65-gallon trash cart — holds up to 5 kitchen trash bags per week
- Recycling and compost carts (any size)
- $21 per month
- Large 95-gallon trash cart — holds up to 8 kitchen trash bags per week
- Recycling and compost carts (any size)
What services are included in the new fee?
- Weekly trash, recycling and compost collection service for all customers
- Monthly large item pickup
- Cherry Creek Recycling Dropoff
- Seasonal programs including LeafDrop, Treecycle, Mulch Giveaway, Recycle Your Holiday Lights and others
Isn't trash service already paid for by property taxes?
The cost of Denver’s trash collection services is not fully covered by the property taxes paid by its 180,000 trash customers. The cost of collection services is covered by the City’s General Fund, which includes all residential property taxes, including residents who don’t receive city trash collection services, property taxes from commercial properties who also don’t receive city collection services, and sales and use tax revenue paid for by everyone in Denver, including visitors.
The volume-based trash fee initiative shifts the cost of collection services to the residents receiving the services, eventually freeing up General Fund dollars for programs and services that benefit all residents. Moving to a volume-based pricing system will also allow for enhanced and expanded services such as weekly recycling and composting collection.
When can I downsize my current trash cart?
If you don't currently have compost service, we recommend waiting to downsize your trash carts until compost service begins, so you know what size is best for your household. Your invoice will automatically reflect a credit until composting service is available for your residence.
Request a cart exchange on Pocketgov
- Select Category: Trash/Recycle/Compost Collection or Cart Issue
- Select Upsize/Downsize Cart
You can also manage your cart when you create your account through Denver Utilities Online, or by calling 311.
The city is moving to a “pay-as-you-throw" model and will offer customers the option to exchange their current trash cart size for a small, medium, or large one. Your new bill will depend on the size of your trash cart. The smaller the trash cart, the lower the fee.
When will this fee start?
Billing will begin January through March. Invoices will be sent quarterly. Property owners will receive a letter in the mail before their first invoice with their parcel ID and account number to log in to Denver Utilities Online to create an account. As composting service rolls out citywide beginning in the summer, customers will receive a monthly "Phased Service Roll-out Credit" on their quarterly bill until their compost cart arrives and they can divert more of their trash.
Access your Denver Utilities Online account
How are the trash carts different?
- $9/month – Smallest trash cart (35 gallons), holds 2-3 trash bags
- $13/month – Medium trash cart (65 gallons), holds 4-5 trash bags
- $21/month – Large trash cart (95 gallons), holds 7-8 trash bags
Who will be charged this fee?
The fee applies to the approximately 180,000 households that receive trash collection services from the City and County of Denver, specifically, single-family homes and residential buildings with up to seven units.
What’s the credit on my invoice?
As composting service rolls out citywide beginning in the summer, customers will receive a $3 monthly "Phased Service Roll-out Credit" totaling $9 on their quarterly bill, until their compost cart arrives and they can divert more of their trash.
Customers who were previously part of the composting program will continue to receive compost collection service and will not receive the credit.
If I order a new cart, when will I begin paying the new amount?
Cart size requests will be completed as quickly as possible. Customers that request a new cart, but receive an invoice before receiving their new cart, will only be responsible for the cost of the new cart they requested and can look out for an updated invoice. If the invoice is paid for the larger cart, there will be a credit on the next bill. Customers can track these changes and manage their account through Denver Utilities Online or wait for the updated invoice.
If residents are filling up their current trash cart, we recommend waiting for compost service to begin before downsizing. In the meantime, customers will receive a credit of $3 per month, so $9 total, on their quarterly bill until their compost cart arrives and they can divert more of their trash.
Ready to exchange your cart?
Is there a discount for low-income households?
Yes. Denver will be one of only a few cities in the United States that provides a discount on trash services for low-income households. Eligibility for the instant rebate will be based on household income and the number of people in the home, according to the Area Median Income table(PDF, 144KB). Customers will be able to register for the instant rebate before the new service begins. Renters are eligible to apply for the rebate as well.
Check eligibility and apply now
How can I pay?
After setting up your account on Denver Utilities Online, you will be able to enter your credit/debit card or bank account information to pay online.
Pay by Check/Mail
Instructions for paying by mail are included on your invoice.
- Make your check payable to “Manager of Finance”
- Write your account number in the memo line of your check
- Fill out the payment slip on your invoice and mail it in with your check.
- Send in a stamped envelope to:
City and County of Denver
P.O. Box 735644
Dallas, TX 75373-5644
How does billing work for multi-unit buildings?
Owners of multi-unit buildings will receive a service charge for each unit in the building. A unit with no trash cart assigned will be charged the minimum, $9 monthly fee. We encourage multi-unit buildings to share carts when possible.
Will I pay less if I opt out of composting and recycling?
Customers who want only trash service can request to have their composting and/or recycling carts taken away, but this will not change the amount they pay for collection service, which is based on the size of their trash cart. We encourage customers who are new to composting to try the service for at least a few months to see if it can work for their household.
Learn about Composting
Small multi-unit buildings that contract with private haulers for trash services are still subject to the trash service fee.
Will I pay less if I share carts with neighbors?
Neighbors (particularly in duplexes or multifamily complexes) may share carts, but each resident will continue to pay for collection. The resident with the carts will be charged for a small, medium or large trash cart; other residents will need to pay at least the minimum fee of $9/month. Fees have been set based on the cost of collection services at all eligible homes, and all eligible residences must pay the fee or be covered by a rebate.
Who is responsible for this new bill?
Property owners, not tenants, are responsible for this new invoice. If payment is not made, the property will become eligible for a lien, similar to nonpayment for the Wastewater Storm Drainage bill.
I am a landlord, can my tenant pay the bill?
Yes, property owners may assign tenants as the “bill-to” contact on the account so that the renters are able to log in and submit payment online. Tenants can also pay via check. Please be aware that if a tenant fails to pay, the property will be subject to a lien after $200 and 90 days past due.
I am a renter, what choices do I have?
We encourage renters to tell their landlord what size cart they want to use. If a landlord requires a renter pay for trash service and the renter needs financial assistance doing so, the renter can apply for the instant rebate program. Renters requiring other kinds of financial assistance can apply for financial aid from the Temporary Rent and Utility Assistance program.
In January, the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure will begin weekly recycling collection service. Customers can set out their recycling cart, as needed, on a weekly basis on their regular trash collection day. January through March, billing will begin based on the size of person’s trash cart. Starting in the summer, the city will expand weekly compost collection for all City and County of Denver customers.
Denver is well behind the national average in the amount we recycle and compost – let’s change that. Currently, Denver only sends about 26% of its waste to a recycling or compost center. With weekly recycling and compost, we can cut what we send to the landfill in half.
What goes in the compost cart?
Yard debris and food scraps go in the compost cart, among other items.
In fact, nearly half of what goes into people’s household trash is compostable, so by utilizing a compost cart for yard debris and food scraps instead of throwing it in the trash, most households will be able to downsize to a smaller trash cart and pay a lower fee.
What do we do about illegal dumping that fills my trash cart or contaminates my recycling and compost carts?
Please call 311 or submit a complaint online to report illegal dumping as quickly as possible so that the City can send someone out to inspect the situation. One way to avoid illegal dumping is by storing carts properly between collection days, out of the right of way and on your property.
How can I reduce my waste in order to reduce my monthly fee?
There are many ways to reduce household waste. We strongly encourage residents to Refuse, Reuse, Reduce and then Recycle and Compost:
- Refuse, Reduce, and Reuse: Small steps, such as refusing single-use bags at checkout, opting out of junk mail, and filling reusable water bottles, help to prevent waste before it starts. Learn more about waste prevention.
- Prevent Food Waste: The average Denver resident wastes 4.2 pounds of food each week, much of which is preventable. Find tips and inspiration to cut down your food waste.
- Donate: Give ‘stuff’ another chance by donating instead of trashing it. Learn more here and search the Recycling Directory for donation options near you.
- Recycle: For waste that can’t be prevented in the first place, recycling is a great option. Find the full recycling program guidelines.
- Compost: Almost 50% of what Denver throws away is compostable material including food scraps, yard debris, and non-recyclable paper such as paper towels and napkins. Check the Denver Composts guidelines for a complete list of acceptable materials.
Not sure what items should go in what container? Test your sorting skills virtually with the Denver Recycles Waste Sorting Game!
When you are ready to downsize your cart, visit your account online to request one.
Please open a request online for:
- Cart size requests
- Missed collection or service issues
Open a Request
Select Category Trash/Recycle/Compost Collection or Cart Issue.
Do not submit multiple requests, as this slows processing times.
Submit questions about your invoice, billing amount or payments through Denver Utilities Online.
After you log in, select Submit a Billing Question from the I Want to… menu on the left.
If you have a question about volume-based trash pricing in Denver, please submit your question here.
Click here to view form.