Composting - Three Cart Pay-as-you-throw Program

What is the PAYT program?
The City's PAYT program is a three-cart volume-based system that encourages recycling and composting of waste. The program rate structure incentivizes customers to recycle and compost as much as possible.

The City of Lafayette currently provides a PAYT program to approximately 55% of the city, assisting residents to divert waste away from landfills. This program has been successful in positively affecting our diversion goals and reflecting our community’s sustainability values, but we can, and desire, to do even more!

City Council approved a waste diversion goal of 45% by 2021 and 85% by 2046. It’s important for Lafayette residents to support these goals in order for us to meet them, and we’re looking at ways to help make that happen.


What are the benefits of a PAYT program?

  • Help support our community’s sustainability goals:
    • Council approved waste diversion goals of 45% by 2021 and 85% by 2046 as a reflection of our community sustainability values.
  • Be a good steward for the environment:
    • Less waste = fewer landfills, which protects the beautiful Front Range landscape that we all value.
    • Recycled or composted waste can be used to create new materials without using virgin resources.
    • Fewer trash trucks in neighborhoods lessens traffic, reduces road damage, and decreases noise and air pollution
  • Contribute to good community financial management:
    • The more waste we divert, the longer it is before we need new landfills. Future landfills will be located farther away and result in higher hauling prices.
  • A City-wide program could reduce costs for homeowners
    • A larger customer base provides economies of scale which can result in lower prices
    • By choosing to recycle and compost more, individual households can reduce the cost of waste carts

What is the PAYT program?
The City's PAYT program is a three-cart volume-based system that encourages recycling and composting of waste. The program rate structure incentivizes customers to recycle and compost as much as possible.

The City of Lafayette currently provides a PAYT program to approximately 55% of the city, assisting residents to divert waste away from landfills. This program has been successful in positively affecting our diversion goals and reflecting our community’s sustainability values, but we can, and desire, to do even more!

City Council approved a waste diversion goal of 45% by 2021 and 85% by 2046. It’s important for Lafayette residents to support these goals in order for us to meet them, and we’re looking at ways to help make that happen.


What are the benefits of a PAYT program?

  • Help support our community’s sustainability goals:
    • Council approved waste diversion goals of 45% by 2021 and 85% by 2046 as a reflection of our community sustainability values.
  • Be a good steward for the environment:
    • Less waste = fewer landfills, which protects the beautiful Front Range landscape that we all value.
    • Recycled or composted waste can be used to create new materials without using virgin resources.
    • Fewer trash trucks in neighborhoods lessens traffic, reduces road damage, and decreases noise and air pollution
  • Contribute to good community financial management:
    • The more waste we divert, the longer it is before we need new landfills. Future landfills will be located farther away and result in higher hauling prices.
  • A City-wide program could reduce costs for homeowners
    • A larger customer base provides economies of scale which can result in lower prices
    • By choosing to recycle and compost more, individual households can reduce the cost of waste carts

Q&A

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  • Hi Tony, I was wondering if you found out the answer to the question I posted after the last meeting? (Regarding HOAs who already have an existing contract) Toni Mench

    Mtmench asked 7 days ago

    Hello,

    Apologies for the delay in replying, but we've had to engage in some internal discussions first. At the November 19 City Council meeting, Council gave me direction to continue researching a few items related to the expansion (possibility of even smaller carts than 32 gallons, alternative arrangements for HOAs that have group collection, compost education, and cost comparisons), with an emphasis on option 1. 

    Since the precise mechanism we will use to address each of these items is still being determined, the City Attorney recommended against taking a legal position yet. I should have all the research completed by around February, and will report back to Council then. At that time, we will also include a formal response from the City Attorney. Please note that City staff will work with the HOAs to ensure that the transition to PAYT is smooth.

    Thank you,

    Tony 

  • Does the community/city residents have access to the post compost materials - either free or for a fee?

    coloradofox or Triciia asked 26 days ago

    Yes, after the compost is collected it goes to A-1 Organics, an industrial compost facility. Each spring our contracted waste hauler brings a couple of truck loads of compost back to the Public Works Service Center. We typically have two Saturdays where residents under the City contract can come and get free finished compost. It's quite popular, though, so that some days we run out of compost before the event officially closes.

    Tony

  • I went to the meeting this evening and want to be clear on one item. Under Option 1, the city requires each HOA to join the city contract by a future date (possibly 9/2021) In that scenario, the HOA who already has a signed contract that is beyond that date would not need to join the city contract until their current contract expires. Is that correct?

    Mtmench asked about 1 month ago

    Since this one is a legal question, I want to make sure I get the wording right with the City Attorney. I will be out of the office tomorrow, but I will try to get you an answer next week, after Veteran's Day. Apologies for the delay, but I want to ensure it's the most accurate answer possible.

    Thanks,

    Tony


  • Please add composting to Eagles Nest Drive in Indian Peaks- every neighbor I know wants this- it would reduce our waste tremendously.

    Amy Javernick Will asked about 1 month ago

    Thank you for your comment. We will pass it on to Council along with the other comments.

    Tony

  • Hi Tony and Lafayette PAYT: At the informational meeting last Thursday, you'd listed some of the other services that Republic/PAYT provides, and I wanted to make sure I had those all listed correctly. Can you clarify/correct my notes on this? The additional City PAYT services I had down included: 2 'large item' pickups per year per address - FREE of charge (were these 'on request', or specific dates?) Leaf pickup (?) in the Fall (vs. dropoff at the Avalon St facility) Yard waste pickup (1x or 2x per year, for large items/bundled waste?) 2 (or was it 4?) FREE bin-size swapouts per year (e.g. swap your 32 gallon compost for a 96 gallon for the summer, then swap back in the fall for winter) FREE compost available for pickup from the City at the Avalon St center Were there any other added services or benefits provided that I didn't get listed? If you have these listed somewhere, can you provide that link? Thanks!

    JoeP asked about 1 month ago

    Yes, all of the above is correct, except that the curbside clean-up is twice a year and the fall clean up, once. Customers may swap out cart sizes for free twice per year, after that it's $17.50 per change. I've also included a link to Republic Services' Lafayette program website. There you can find a full description of the services, dates they are provided, and any stipulations.

    Republic Services extra events and services

    Thanks,

    Tony

  • Our HOA is telling us it will cost us $40 per month over what we now pay. This does not seem likely to me. Is it possible to predict the costs so we can check for ourselves?

    sandy backlund asked about 2 months ago

    This sounds a little off to staff. Under the existing City program, if a homeowner has 96-gallon carts for each trash, recycling and compost (and the vast majority of customers have smaller carts for trash and compost), the total bill will be $41.20. Unless your current service is only $1.20 per month, and includes compost, it seems there's an error in their math. Please see this link as well, since we always openly publish our rates on the website: Residential Waste Collection Rates

    Also, since the program incentivizes recycling and composting, and switching to a smaller trash cart, many customers end up with a lower bill.

    Thanks,

    Tony

  • Why would a resident still be required to pay if they choose not to use the compost service? This makes many uninterested in signing up as they will incure costs for a potentially non-existent service. Similarly I would be very interested, if I were able to opt out of compost since then I could save on the on really costs. In the current proposal I would be throwing money away and paying for someone else's services.

    Js asked about 2 months ago

    Thank you for your comment. The intent of the program is to create an incentivized price structure to encourage greater diversion of recyclables and compost. Without this pricing structure, there's little motivation for a resident who doesn't have backyard compost to compost through their trash service. Our diversion rates must increase considerably to meet the community's zero waste goals.

    Additionally, in the existing program, even many homeowners who do have backyard compost continue to use the service as well to handle excess quantities, and receive free compost each year through the program. We will include your comment in our compilation of feedback for Council.

    Tony