Town News

High Country Conservation Center to Host Public Forums for Proposed Changes to Trash and Recycling Services

Local towns and the Summit County government are considering changes to trash and recycling services and are requesting public input to ensure that these changes work for our community. The aim of the proposed changes, known as Pay as you Throw (PAYT) and Universal Recycling Ordinances (URO), is to increase the recycling rate in Summit County by incentivizing recycling for those who have individual trash service as well as increasing access to recycling for those who have shared trash service.

High Country Conservation Center is hosting three virtual forums to help residents and businesses understand the proposed ordinances, answer questions, and seek public input.

Public Forum Details

For Summit County Residents

When: Thursday, January 13, 2022 at 6:00 pm
Where: Zoom

Thursday, January 20, 2022 at 6:00 pm
Location: Zoom

For Businesses and HOA/Property Managers

When: Wednesday, January 19 at 10:00 am
Where: Zoom

About the Ordinances

Pay as you Throw (PAYT)

Pay as You Throw (PAYT) will apply to residents who have curbside trash collection with an individual bin. PAYT will incentivize recycling by including recycling with trash service and by allowing residents to choose the size of their trash bin. The less residents throw away, the less they will pay. This is similar to a water bill, which is billed by the amount of water used.

  • Residents will be offered three different bin sizes for trash collection, with the smallest bin costing the least.
  • Residents will continue to use the same trash/recycling providers that they currently utilize.
  • Estimated program start is in early 2023.

Universal Recycling Ordinances (URO)

Universal Recycling will ensure that everyone in Summit County has access to recycling and applies to businesses or residents that share a dumpster for trash and/or recycling service. Universal Recycling will require that all businesses have recycling collection if they already have trash collection.

  • For businesses that have a liquor license – including restaurants and bars – glass recycling collection will also be required. Recycling collection will need to be 50% (by volume) of trash service.
  • There will also be additional requirements for public spaces and hotels.
  • Estimated program start is early 2023 with a phase-in period during the next 18-24 months.

*Please note: these programs will not apply to residents who do not have trash service at their homes.

Why are these changes being proposed?

Despite the introduction of recent programs, such as opening the Silverthorne recycling center, creating a public marketing and outreach campaign, adding glass recycling stations throughout the community, offering free food scrap drop-off for residents, and providing free mattress recycling, the county’s diversion rate remains approximately 20%, far below the state and national averages. At this rate, the Summit County landfill will close by 2056. Pay as You Throw and Universal Recycling Ordinances have been shown to dramatically increase recycling in communities and will help meet the countywide goal of 40% waste diversion by 2035.

More Information

For questions about the programs or the upcoming public forums, please email the High Country Conservation Center or please visit HighCountryConservation.Org.

Learn more about the ordinances