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

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

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

Guest Book

Share your thoughts about participating in the City's three cart program.
You need to be signed in to comment in this Guest Book. Click here to Sign In or Register to get involved

I live in Old Town so I currently have access to the 3-bin system. The services are amazing and I'm so grateful to be able to participate in an environmental solution with my waste. When organics go to the landfill, they emit methane which contributes to the climate crisis. When they go to the compost, they can heal our soils and grow new food! We also downsized to a 32-gallon trash bin since we divert so much of our waste to recycling and compost! I hope the City's system gets expanded so our HOA neighbors can participate as well.

rosiebriggs 12 months ago

Our HOA has a great contract with Waste Management (without the composting). We have 39 homes in our HOA community and the landscape company hauls away all the yard waste. The city's plan would increase our monthly trash/recycle by 96% per month. The food waste that these households would generate would be minimal since 14 of the homes are single occupant, the remaining are couples. About 9 of 39 homes are gone 2-4 months/year. Two of the residents have in-home care. The amount of food waste that is generated by our HOA is minimal. I've been composting with my bin from Eco-cycle for 12 years in this HOA. I started composting in 1982 after going to one of the Boulder County backyard composting information sessions. I use the compost for my containers for a "garden". The extra truck in our neighborhood would not offset the little food waste that would end up in the trash. We do not have room in our garage for another bin, nor would the households that have 2 vehicles. I've talked with Tony Raeker, the sustainability coordinator, he was not interested in the individual HOAs that have their own trash/recycle. Why should the non-users of a compost bin have to subsides the three cart system? He stated it was too difficult to keep track of HOAs and the contracts. What about the businesses in Lafayette? The restaurants and bars generate a lot of food waste and recyclables. Glass is very great source of recyclables since the plant was built in Broomfield a few years ago to process glass.

CW 12 months ago

I am in favor of the compost program expanding to our neighborhood. It is essential that we do not continue to throw compostable items in the regular trash, and a good way to continue to be good ‘stewards’ of our earth and local community. I do hope that the trustees vote ‘yes’, and expand this program.

SabrinaP almost 1 year ago

I am highly in favor of the PAYT program. I lived in Louisville for 26 years and loved the ability to compost. I was dismayed when I moved to Anna's Farm that composting wasn't an option. I bought my own small composter, but there are still many things that I used to compost that I now need to put into the trash. I cringe each time. I feel that those who don't want to store a third bin in their garage don't have to participate, but that those of us who do want to do this for the environment should have the opportunity.

slahoda almost 1 year ago

I agree with Jmeagher, we don't have room to store a 3rd bin in our garage. Our HOA already has a great contract with Waste Management- very inexpensive to homeowners. I don't want to be on a city plan!

PamelaB almost 1 year ago

This program is a great call. I have lived with PAYT programs for the last decade and it really does provide a good incentive to both create less waste and divert more of our waste to recycling and compost. Ideally this would be something put upstream on manufacturers but in the meantime this is a good start.

Knudah about 1 year ago

I am very supportive of the PAYT program. We have had it since the City first instituted it. While it takes up additional space in my garage, it is so nice to be able to compost and minimize the amount of trash we have. I also appreciate being able to put garden clippings and leaves in it. I do not want to compost in my backyard so this is a really nice service.

Miller_EM1 about 1 year ago

I am a huge fan of the compost bin! I have been able to divert a lot of food waste and garden clipping to the compost bin. I have tried to compost before but this makes it so easy.

Bob about 1 year ago

While I can appreciate the goals of this program, I not in favor of having to store 3 carts in my garage. Our HOA requires them to be stored out sight. I already have 1 garbage tote, 1 recycling tote and now a 3rd one for compost? I already have backyard compost and I don't have the need for this. Additionally this will more than double the costs of our current trash / recycling program.

jmeagher about 1 year ago