Denver aims for no-fee composting service citywide

DENVER -- Expanding Denver's little-used composting program is one of the city's top priorities for 2017-18, and the goal is to eventually remove the fee.

The city's 2017-18 policy and budget vision includes the goal of removing the fee for residential composting citywide and rolling out residential composting barrels citywide with opt-out option.

Currently, Denver offers a subscription-based composting program in parts of the city, charging a $9.75/month fee. There is about a 10 percent participation among those eligible for the service.

However, the city plans to increase routes in 2017 from five routes to 11, covering nearly every home.

Eventually, the city plans to remove the fee and provide every home with a composting barrel.

"Fifty percent of what households throw away is organic," said Charlotte Pitt with Denver Solid Waste Management. "If we took 50 percent out of the waste stream, we would certainly see some savings on our trash-hauling side." 

Pitt said there will be some up-front capital costs, including equipment like as trucks and containers. However, she said in the end, the hope is for the program to be cost neutral because of the shift in the amount of trash.

For more information on Denver's compost collection program, click here.

Currently in Colorado, Boulder, Lafayette and Louisville require residents to pay for composting services.

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