Lyons Ballot Question #4: Support Town-wide Curbside Trash, Recycling and Compost Collection
Under the new system, trash will be collected weekly, and recycling and composting will be collected every other week on alternating weeks. Households can choose from three trash cart sizes--32, 64 and 96 gallons--and will be charged $18, $34 and $44, respectively. All residents will receive a 96-gallon recycling cart, a 32-gallon composting cart, and collection service
at no additional cost.
To learn more about this ballot measure, read the Fact Sheet.
Questions about the ballot measure? Read our Frequently Asked Questions.
BENEFITS OF THIS SYSTEM:
- This system will save most residents money. Currently, residents pay between $25 and $30/month for recycling and trash collection. Under the contracted system residents could pay as low as $18/month, a 40% savings.
- This system’s rates for trash, recycling and composting are much lower than those in the City of Boulder, where residents do not have a contracted system.
- The new system includes a brand new service, biweekly compost collection of yard and food waste.
- More than 75% of waste in Lyons currently goes to the landfill. By providing convenient recycling and composting to all homes, residents can divert 50% - 60% of their waste from landfills. Instead, recyclable and compostable materials will be repurposed into new items.
- The new system will help fight climate change. Reducing waste, recycling and composting are some of the fastest, easiest and most cost effective actions we can take as a community to reduce carbon and methane emissions, increase carbon sequestration, and conserve water and energy.
VOTE YES ON BALLOT QUESTION #4
More than 70% of U.S. communities, including many on the Front Range, have a community-wide system for collecting residential trash. Lyons residents will benefit from the new convenient services and low prices – while helping to conserve resources and reduce climate change impacts!
To learn more about this ballot measure, read the Fact Sheet.
A: In 2010, the Town of Lyons passed a Zero Waste Resolution, stating its effort to strive for 90 percent recovery of discards through waste reduction, recycling, and composting in every sector of the Town, including businesses, schools, local government, community events, and neighborhoods. Single-hauler trash and recycling collection would move neighborhoods closer to Zero Waste by:
1) increasing recycling participation and access by providing most homes with convenient curbside recycling and composting services,
2) encouraging residents to recycle and compost more by charging households based on the amount of trash that they produce, and
3) increasing composting participation by providing curbside collection of yard waste and food scraps.
More recycling and composting will reduce the Town’s greenhouse gas emissions and support Lyons’ Environmental Sustainability Action Plan.
A: Most Lyons’ residents will save money, or get more services for a comparable price, under the program. Lyons’ residents currently pay between $25-30/month for recycle and trash pickup. Under the new program, residents will pay between $18- $44/month for trash, recycling and compost collection. This means all residents will get more services than they have now, and most residents will receive more services for a comparable or even lower rate.
An organized hauling system offers substantial economies of scale to the hauler because they can spread their costs out over a larger number of households within the service area. Many Front Range cities with a single-hauler contract have lower rates than other communities with an open subscription system.
A: Every resident has the option to opt out of the program. While residents would be strongly encouraged to participate, Colorado law preserves a resident’s right to choose their waste hauler, even if the town contracts with a hauler for a single hauler waste system. Therefore, Lyons residents would have the ability to opt-out of the single hauler waste collection. Based on experience in other CO cities, roughly 1-3 percent of people may opt out. All residents will be required to pay a small fee, even if they opt out. Residents are highly encouraged to recycle and compost, but are not required.
A: A single hauler contract will not put any extra burden on town staff. According to other small cities
and towns in Colorado that have a similar system, it only takes 5 minutes a month to integrate the hauler’s data into the town’s utilities billing system. There are 11 Front Range cities that contract for waste services including: Commerce City, Dacono, Edgewater, Frederick, Golden, Greenwood Village, Lafayette, Louisville, Lone Tree, Morrison, and Sheridan.
A: All single-family homes, duplexes and townhomes would participate in the organized trash and recycling collection, except households that are part of a homeowners’ association (HOA). HOA neighborhoods that already have a contract for trash services would be exempt. All apartment and condominium complexes with more than seven units would also be exempt because they are considered commercial properties under state law.
A: The single hauler contract will have a minimal to no impact on other haulers. The single hauler contract ONLY changes the hauling system for residential waste collection. That means that other haulers servicing commercial (business) properties and multi-family complexes (greater than 8 units) will be unaffected. Other local haulers also service other parts of Boulder County and the Front Range, and this part of their business would be unaffected. The selected hauler, Western Disposal, is a local hauler who has been servicing Lyons residents and businesses since the late 1970’s.
A: A town-wide RFP is a highly transparent and accountable process to drive competition between haulers and it allows the Town to set specific terms of service, including strong customer service. An organized curbside trash and recycling collection would be a contracted utility and not a monopoly. The Town already manages several services through this type of model. In fact, over 70 percent of U.S. cities have an organized curbside trash and recycling collection. Cable, electricity, gas and sewer are all examples of the Town negotiating services on behalf of all residents to get the lowest prices and the most efficient services. The contract is reviewed annually and there are provisions for the Town to address any concerns in service quality if any issues arise.
A: Customer service standards are commonly written into the contract. These standards will include fines that can be charged to the contracted hauler if they do not provide quality customer service or promptly respond to customer questions or concerns. Continued poor customer service can be considered grounds for early termination of the contract.
A: Yes, there are 11 Front Range cities that contract for waste services including: Commerce City, Dacono, Edgewater, Frederick, Golden, Greenwood Village, Lafayette, Louisville, Lone Tree, Morrison, and Sheridan.
A: Trash will be collected weekly. Recycling and composting will be collected every other week on alternating weeks. This is the standard service frequency in the U.S. and comparable to other city programs available around the Front Range.
A: Generally, anything that was once alive is acceptable in a curbside compost collection program. This generally includes:
Yard waste (grass clippings, leaves, twigs, branches)
Paper products (paper towels, paper bags, cardboard)
Fruit and vegetable trimmings
Dairy and eggs
Meat and bones (sometimes not accepted depending on the program)
Compostable plastics (bags and film, flatware, cups, to-go ware)
A: Carts will be provided in order to provide efficiencies and safety with collection trucks.
Q: Will there be different sizes of trash containers? Will residents be charged based on the size of the container, like a “pay as you throw” system?
A: Yes, the Town is using a volume-based pricing system. This is known as “pay-as-you-throw” in other communities. Residents will be offered several sizes of trash carts and charged based on the size of the cart that they choose. Smaller carts are less expensive than larger carts. This volume-based pricing system
is used in more than 9,000 communities across the U.S. and has been consistently shown to be an effective way to generate less waste that goes to the landfill.
Q: I already use the recycling drop-off center. Why is it important to give everyone curbside recycling?
A: Curbside recycling substantially increases participation in the recycling program. More households participate when they have a convenient curbside cart, and households recycle more materials per year in curbside programs compared to drop-off center programs.
A: Curbside composting will take everything you can’t compost in your backyard, including:
large twigs and branches
weeds (so seeds don’t go back into your yard)
non-recyclable papers (facial tissues, paper towels, bright & dark construction papers)
Questions about the ballot? Contact Dan Matsch, Lyons resident and Eco-Cycle Director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.