Universal Waste Collection in Broomfield

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Trash Truck approaching two trash carts

Update on City-Contracted Residential Waste Services / Universal Waste Collection

At the October 10, 2023 Council meeting, Broomfield City Council passed Resolution 2023-123 directing staff to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for City-Contracted Residential Waste Services (formerly “Universal Waste Collection”). The resolution moves Broomfield into the next phase of pursuing city-contracted services but does not enter Broomfield into a contract. Interested haulers will submit proposals to service single family homes and some small apartments (7 units or less). The city contract would include volume-based pricing (the smaller the trash cart, the lower the rate) and embedded costs for the recycling cart (the customer pays for trash and receives a recycle cart at no additional cost). Residents have the opportunity to opt-out of the city contract subject to an opt-out fee. The RFP will explore different service options for organics (compost) collection. It will also explore any cost differences for including HOAs compared to excluding HOAs. This program alone is expected to increase Broomfield’s waste diversion by 2 to 8%.

Staff will return to Council by the second quarter of 2024 for contract review and approval, and with the related residential recycling and composting ordinance Council requested at the April 18, 2023 study session. Detailed information about costs and services will be available at that time. Services would begin in the first quarter of 2025.


Universal Waste Collection in Broomfield

Learn more and provide feedback on Universal Waste Collection!

A Universal Waste Collection program would change the current residential waste collection system from many licensed haulers to a City and County of Broomfield managed contract consisting of a single hauler or a few haulers assigned to different parts of Broomfield.

The community expressed interest in the city exploring a single-hauler trash option in the 2021 Community Survey (61% of Community Survey respondents answered "yes" to "If you do not have current neighborhood trash services, would you be interested in the city exploring a single-hauler option?"). Broomfield City Council directed staff to explore a Universal Waste Collection program in Broomfield. As a result, Broomfield staff collected resident feedback via survey on the topic of Universal Waste Collection, gauging resident interest and their position of support and/or opposition.

During an in-depth study session on April 18, staff presented the Sustainability Update on Strategies to Reduce Residential Waste in Landfills: Universal Collection Program and Residential Recycling Ordinance memo to Council. City Council directed staff to pursue both a residential recycling ordinance and city-contracted services for residential trash, recycling and composting.

More information on next steps and timeline coming soon.

The recorded study session can be found here.

Background and Benefits

In early 2022, Broomfield’s Zero Waste Plan was completed and presented to Broomfield City Council at the July 26 Council Meeting. One of the main strategies identified in the plan is to implement a Universal Waste Collection program. A Universal Waste Collection program would:

  • Give more residents the opportunity to recycle
  • Change the current waste collection system from multiple licensed haulers to a single hauler or few haulers assigned to different parts of Broomfield.
  • Hold the preferred hauler(s) accountable for customer service levels.
  • Lower costs for residents who produce less trash.
  • Reduce road impacts and traffic.
  • Allow the city to obtain waste collection services at “bulk rate” prices for residents and guarantee transparent and standard pricing.

Currently, the City and County of Broomfield has no authority to address residents’ complaints of haulers’ poor service, price hikes or leaving residents without service. If the City and County pursues a Universal Waste Collection program, a bidding process would provide a fair, competitive, and transparent process that prioritizes expanded services at the best rate. The city could end the contract at any time and seek another bid if the city is unsatisfied with the service. The contract can set high service standards and charge the hauler fines for not meeting them.

Participation

The program will serve residents living in single-family homes and apartment/condominium complexes with 7 or fewer units, including residences in Homeowners Associations (HOAs). Individual households will be able to opt out of the program for a fee. Commercial properties will not be part of the program.

Volume-Based Pricing & Embedded Costs of Recycling

Volume-based pricing adjusts rates based on the trash cart size: the larger the trash cart the more it costs. With this model, households are incentivized to recycle as much as possible to opt for the smallest trash cart. Recycling would be included in the cost of trash pickup.

For comparison, the average monthly cost of similar services in Golden, Lafayette, and Louisville (all of which have a Universal Waste Collection system with trash, recycling, and composting services), are as follows:

  • Small Cart (32 gallons): $14.50/month
  • Medium Cart (64 gallons): $24.59/month
  • Large Cart (96 gallons): $34.77/month

Composting Services

Some Universal Waste Collection programs include curbside composting. This would help Broomfield reach our waste diversion goals and make it easier for residents to compost if they wish to. However, adding curbside composting services brings additional logistical complications so we are looking at incorporating these services into the RFP with a couple different options, such as an opt-in or “add-on” service.

Landfill Waste Reduction

One of the primary goals of a Universal Waste Collection program is to increase recycling rates and reduce the number of materials going to landfill, helping Broomfield pursue its targets of 50% diversion of waste from landfills by 2025 and 100% diversion by 2035.

Currently 22% of Broomfield’s waste is recycled or composted. Other neighboring communities, such as Golden and Lafayette, that have implemented Universal Waste Collection programs have 33% and 31% diversion rates respectively.

Survey

View our survey results here.

If you have any questions about this survey or Universal Waste Collection, please contact sustainability@broomfield.org or 720-887-2278.

Update on City-Contracted Residential Waste Services / Universal Waste Collection

At the October 10, 2023 Council meeting, Broomfield City Council passed Resolution 2023-123 directing staff to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) for City-Contracted Residential Waste Services (formerly “Universal Waste Collection”). The resolution moves Broomfield into the next phase of pursuing city-contracted services but does not enter Broomfield into a contract. Interested haulers will submit proposals to service single family homes and some small apartments (7 units or less). The city contract would include volume-based pricing (the smaller the trash cart, the lower the rate) and embedded costs for the recycling cart (the customer pays for trash and receives a recycle cart at no additional cost). Residents have the opportunity to opt-out of the city contract subject to an opt-out fee. The RFP will explore different service options for organics (compost) collection. It will also explore any cost differences for including HOAs compared to excluding HOAs. This program alone is expected to increase Broomfield’s waste diversion by 2 to 8%.

Staff will return to Council by the second quarter of 2024 for contract review and approval, and with the related residential recycling and composting ordinance Council requested at the April 18, 2023 study session. Detailed information about costs and services will be available at that time. Services would begin in the first quarter of 2025.


Universal Waste Collection in Broomfield

Learn more and provide feedback on Universal Waste Collection!

A Universal Waste Collection program would change the current residential waste collection system from many licensed haulers to a City and County of Broomfield managed contract consisting of a single hauler or a few haulers assigned to different parts of Broomfield.

The community expressed interest in the city exploring a single-hauler trash option in the 2021 Community Survey (61% of Community Survey respondents answered "yes" to "If you do not have current neighborhood trash services, would you be interested in the city exploring a single-hauler option?"). Broomfield City Council directed staff to explore a Universal Waste Collection program in Broomfield. As a result, Broomfield staff collected resident feedback via survey on the topic of Universal Waste Collection, gauging resident interest and their position of support and/or opposition.

During an in-depth study session on April 18, staff presented the Sustainability Update on Strategies to Reduce Residential Waste in Landfills: Universal Collection Program and Residential Recycling Ordinance memo to Council. City Council directed staff to pursue both a residential recycling ordinance and city-contracted services for residential trash, recycling and composting.

More information on next steps and timeline coming soon.

The recorded study session can be found here.

Background and Benefits

In early 2022, Broomfield’s Zero Waste Plan was completed and presented to Broomfield City Council at the July 26 Council Meeting. One of the main strategies identified in the plan is to implement a Universal Waste Collection program. A Universal Waste Collection program would:

  • Give more residents the opportunity to recycle
  • Change the current waste collection system from multiple licensed haulers to a single hauler or few haulers assigned to different parts of Broomfield.
  • Hold the preferred hauler(s) accountable for customer service levels.
  • Lower costs for residents who produce less trash.
  • Reduce road impacts and traffic.
  • Allow the city to obtain waste collection services at “bulk rate” prices for residents and guarantee transparent and standard pricing.

Currently, the City and County of Broomfield has no authority to address residents’ complaints of haulers’ poor service, price hikes or leaving residents without service. If the City and County pursues a Universal Waste Collection program, a bidding process would provide a fair, competitive, and transparent process that prioritizes expanded services at the best rate. The city could end the contract at any time and seek another bid if the city is unsatisfied with the service. The contract can set high service standards and charge the hauler fines for not meeting them.

Participation

The program will serve residents living in single-family homes and apartment/condominium complexes with 7 or fewer units, including residences in Homeowners Associations (HOAs). Individual households will be able to opt out of the program for a fee. Commercial properties will not be part of the program.

Volume-Based Pricing & Embedded Costs of Recycling

Volume-based pricing adjusts rates based on the trash cart size: the larger the trash cart the more it costs. With this model, households are incentivized to recycle as much as possible to opt for the smallest trash cart. Recycling would be included in the cost of trash pickup.

For comparison, the average monthly cost of similar services in Golden, Lafayette, and Louisville (all of which have a Universal Waste Collection system with trash, recycling, and composting services), are as follows:

  • Small Cart (32 gallons): $14.50/month
  • Medium Cart (64 gallons): $24.59/month
  • Large Cart (96 gallons): $34.77/month

Composting Services

Some Universal Waste Collection programs include curbside composting. This would help Broomfield reach our waste diversion goals and make it easier for residents to compost if they wish to. However, adding curbside composting services brings additional logistical complications so we are looking at incorporating these services into the RFP with a couple different options, such as an opt-in or “add-on” service.

Landfill Waste Reduction

One of the primary goals of a Universal Waste Collection program is to increase recycling rates and reduce the number of materials going to landfill, helping Broomfield pursue its targets of 50% diversion of waste from landfills by 2025 and 100% diversion by 2035.

Currently 22% of Broomfield’s waste is recycled or composted. Other neighboring communities, such as Golden and Lafayette, that have implemented Universal Waste Collection programs have 33% and 31% diversion rates respectively.

Survey

View our survey results here.

If you have any questions about this survey or Universal Waste Collection, please contact sustainability@broomfield.org or 720-887-2278.

CLOSED: Submit further questions to sustainability@broomfield.org.

Thank you for your interest in Universal Waste Collection. Please use this tool to provide comments or questions on the project.

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    During the summer months, we produce a lot more waste, with lawn clippings and yard waste. How would that be addressed?

    Jenoside asked 10 months ago

    Lawn clippings and most yard waste is compostable and should not go in the trash. As the universal waste collection program is currently envisioned, trash, recycling, and compost would be included. It has not yet been determined which compost services will be included in this program, but both year-round and seasonal curbside compost collection will be explored. This information would be collected as part of the competitive bidding process with haulers.

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    How are Condominium based HOA’s going to make this work and do we have to join in?? Our HOA does not have any way to control who puts what in any trash bin. Years ago we tried to do this and all we ended up doing way paying fines for corrupt content in the bins.

    GJStache53 asked 11 months ago

    A universal collection program would only apply to residential properties including single-family homes and multifamily residences (apartments, condominiums, etc.) of 7 units or less. There would still be an open market system for commercial businesses and multifamily residences of 8 units or more. Further work will be done to confirm the eligibility of smaller multi-family complexes, as different haulers may have different requirements (e.g. whether or not each unit has space for its own carts).

    Education is key to ensuring proper separation of landfill, recyclable, and compostable items to increase waste diversion rates and reduce contamination. We plan to work with haulers to ensure education materials and outreach will occur as part of the roll-out of the new program.

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    Is there an option each week for no trash because all all household waste is either composted or recycled ? thus 0$

    Kristen asked 11 months ago

    We recognize that there will be residents already working hard to reduce their waste impact. This program would likely have standard services for all participants. Residents will be able to opt out of a Universal Collection Program if they wish. They may be charged a fee to do this, since opting out of the program reduces participation rates which may affect bulk pricing.

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    Would this include the annual spring clean up and what are the dates for this years clean up?

    DBlaine asked 11 months ago

    The annual curbside Spring Cleanup Program provides Broomfield residents a free  collection day to dispose of large, non-hazardous items not normally picked up by the trash haulers. The future of this program will be evaluated in the context of what services could be offered through a Universal Collection Program. 

    Please see the Spring Cleanup website for 2023 dates for each area, program times, and acceptable items. The interactive map also linked on that site will show you what area and associate pickup date applies to your address. 

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    Composting options were mentioned in the Broomfield 2/16/2023 informational meeting and along with a goal of reducing methane emissions from landfills. However, many existing landfills in the front range utilize methane collection at the landfills which is utilized for generation of electricity. For example, gas to energy systems are in use at the Front Range Landfill in Erie and the DADS landfill supporting Denver and Arapahoe counties. An EPA summary of existing landfills in Colorado can be found at https://www.epa.gov/lmop/project-and-landfill-data-state showing landfill gas systems and potentials gas sources. Thus, is collection of compost necessary if the landfills already have support systems in place for beneficial uses? Composting in and of itself does generate methane, but is it collected and utilized like done in a modern landfill? Therefore, it is important to know what landfills are currently used and would be used for the waste streams from universal collection in Broomfield.

    Ecurb asked 12 months ago

    Thank you for providing that helpful link. After reviewing the list for Front Range landfills, it was interesting to note that while many of the open landfills have landfill gas (LFG) collection systems in place, the majority of them are not converting the captured methane to energy, but are rather still venting it to the atmosphere. While this does help to reduce direct methane emissions from landfills, it does not solve the problem of removing the methane completely. 

    Adding additional infrastructure like secondary and advanced treatment (which is what’s needed to convert LFG into electricity or a fuel source) of LFG is another costly investment with a full return on investment (ROI) being a way down the road. While landfills usually produce sizeable amounts of LFG within 1 to 3 years, peak LFG production usually occurs 5 to 7 years after wastes are dumped into the landfill. 

    There are numerous benefits of LFG collection systems and with landfills not going away any time soon, it is important that these upfront investments are made, however, composting is still necessary for numerous reasons. While composting does still generate some amounts of methane due to organic matter decomposition, that generation is minuscule compared to methane generation at a landfill and the decomposition process is much different in a landfill versus a compost pile.

    The anaerobic phases a landfill goes through generate more carbon dioxide and methane than aerobic processes. Aerobic composting, which is what is taking place at A1 Organics (the main compost drop-off facility for a major part of the Front Range) or with other open piles, static piles, and vermicomposting, allows more air to be included in the composting process, which allows more carbon dioxide to be emitted instead of methane. Landfills also go through an aerobic process, but it is short lived (approximately 1 year) before the anaerobic process takes over. With composting only going through an aerobic phase, it limits the amount of methane produced. 

    Carbon dioxide and methane are both greenhouse gases (GHGs), however, the global warming potential of methane is 27-30 times greater than carbon dioxide. A landfill’s GHG emissions are usually about 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide, and an aerobic compost pile’s emissions are mostly carbon dioxide. In the presence of oxygen and water, microbes, such as bacteria and fungi, use that carbon for energy and decompose the organic wastes. The heat generated in the composting process kills any pathogens and seeds that may have entered the pile, and any remaining carbon is weed-free and safe to use for agriculture, landscaping, gardening or other purposes.

    Some compost facilities utilize anaerobic digestion to process their organic waste. These digesters produce two main byproducts - biogas (which can be used for electricity, heat, fuel) and digestate (which can be used as fertilizer, animal bedding, crop irrigation, and other products like building materials). The digester is able to capture all of the emissions and turn it into biogas as the source. Anaerobic digesters are less popular due to their upfront cost of investment as well as the higher cost it takes to run it, however, the biogas that is created as a byproduct could be returned to the process in a closed loop system.

    Resources used:

    1. https://www.epa.gov/lmop/basic-information-about-landfill-gas
    2. https://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/hac/landfill/html/ch2.html#:~:text=Landfills%20usually%20produce%20appreciable%20amounts,for%2050%20or%20more%20years
    3. https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/understanding-global-warming-potentials#:~:text=Methane%20(CH4)%20is%20estimated,uses%20a%20different%20value
    4. https://a1organics.com/resources/why-composting-matters/
    5. https://www.moonshotcompost.com/does-composting-produce-methane-gas-greenhouse-gases/
    6. https://www.agric.wa.gov.au/climate-change/composting-avoid-methane-production-%E2%80%93-western-australia#:~:text=The%20aerobic%20process%20of%20composting,stockpiled%20or%20sent%20to%20landfill
    7. https://www.epa.gov/agstar/how-does-anaerobic-digestion-work#:~:text=Anaerobic%20Digester%20Outputs,valuable%20outputs%3A%20biogas%20and%20digestate
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    What is the cost benefit analysis of this program? How many staff will be hired to take customer services calls, administration, software maintenance, billing etc? What is the revenue generated? How many households do you anticipate able to use the program?

    Kenny Sam asked 12 months ago

    At this time, we don’t know the full cost-benefit analysis of implementing a program like this. We would not know what the program would cost until Council directs staff to begin the competitive bidding/RFP process. We do know that including volume-priced pricing or pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) into a universal collection program would mean residents would pay less for small trash carts and would incentivize recycling as well as composting. We also have documentation from other surrounding municipalities that have implemented a similar program that say they’ve seen savings due to decreased road damage - i.e. fewer heavy trash hauling trucks on the road. Also, by requiring haulers to take their recycling to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF), such as the Boulder County Recycling Center, it increases the efficiency of processing single/mixed stream recycling.

    We also do not know yet exactly how many additional full-time employees would be needed to administer the program. It depends partially on what would be included in the contract and the division of responsibilities between the contracted hauler(s) and the City and County of Broomfield. 

    City-contracted universal collection programs typically do not generate revenue beyond what is required to fulfill the contract with the hauler, and, if an administrative fee is implemented, what’s required for the City to administer the program. 

    There are around 22,000 residential parcels that are eligible for this program. This number includes parcels located in homeowners associations (HOAs), although it has not yet been determined if HOAs would be included in a universal collection program. This number of residential parcels does not include ineligible apartment complexes that have 8 or more units in a building as these are classified as commercial accounts under state law. 

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    I hadn't heard about the survey. I came to know about the project from the utility bill. I am happy with our current waste collection system. Two questions: 1. When there is a single company is appointed by city, there will be reduced competition. Will the contract be assured for given period? Can it be nullified (without significant cost to the tax payer) if the service is not satisfactory? How will the service be assessed? How will city award the contract the award? 2. Our HOA fees do not mark garbage collection fees separately. If city garbage collection replaces HOA appointed garbage collection, would city also mandate that HOA reduce their fees? As it is, mandatory HOA in Denver metro area gives a lot of power to HOAs without much ability for the residents to rein it in.

    Shubha asked 12 months ago

    Should Council decide to implement a Universal Collection Program, a contract with a hauler would detail service length, performance and service level agreements, and penalties for failing to meet these requirements. If the service continues to miss contractual obligations the city would be able to terminate the contract and select a different hauler through a competitive bidding process. Performance and service level agreement metrics would also be used to assess quality of service.  

    Staff would follow the City’s procurement process to select the most qualified vendor.  Typically the procurement staff would issue a request for proposals (RFP), and waste haulers that desire to provide the service would submit their proposals to the City. The City and County of Broomfield is committed to fair, competitive, transparent procurement processes that actively pursue the best products and services of a quality consistent with the intended use. We also seek the best possible price with superior service providing the “best value” for Broomfield. We use the Rocky Mountain e-Purchasing System to provide our solicitations and requests for proposals to all interested parties. Proposals are carefully evaluated against factors as outlined in the specific request for proposal, including but not limited to vendor qualifications, experience, and cost. Staff would review the proposals and make a recommendation to City Council to approve a resolution to enter into contract with the chosen hauler. It’s worth noting that there would still be a competitive, open market system for commercial properties and large multi-family complexes.

    It has not yet been determined how HOAs would be included in a Universal Collection Program. Broomfield does not have the authority to mandate a community wide reduction in HOA fees. Any reduction to offset the fees for a Universal Collection Program would need to be determined by individual HOA boards. 

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    Knowing the market value and the economics of recyclable materials is important to understand. Broomfield residents and government should know and have documented the lifecycle of these materials currently and the waste collection changes and return on investments. Universal collection may increase the recycling rate, but if the implementation of these approaches yields more material than recycling sources can handle what happens then? What criteria(s) would be in place to ensure these recycled materials are collected materials are indeed recycled?

    Ecurb asked 12 months ago

    There are many recycling facilities on the Front Range. Ideally, the recycling facility that Broomfield’s selected hauler would transfer items to would be relatively close by in order to reduce the carbon footprint of the trash-hauling trucks. Ideally, the recycling facility would be able to take single stream recycling waste in order to have the facility efficiently and effectively sort the recycled items and not the generator. The Boulder County Recycling Center (BCRC), which is a materials recovery facility (MRF), is currently able to continue taking more recycled materials and has not reached processing capacity. If Council directs us to proceed with a Universal Collection Program, we will work with haulers and local recycling facilities, like the BCRC, to ensure that the designated facility (or facilities) will be able to accept and efficiently process Broomfield’s increase in recycled materials.

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    What landfills do all the Broomfield licensed haulers utilize? Regarding the current recycling portions of the waste collection where do these materials end up? What if any proceeds would Broomfield expect to received from delivery of materials to recyclers?

    Ecurb asked 12 months ago

    We currently have meetings set up with all of the active trash haulers to have further in-depth conversations regarding landfill locations utilized as well as the recycling facility/facilities that might be utilized for Broomfield’s recycled materials. We understand that there are many active landfills on the Front Range at varying distances from Broomfield, the majority of which are privately owned and operated by the large trash haulers.

    Recycled materials could end up at various recycling facilities depending on the hauler. Final waste stream destinations and transfer locations would be explored in preparation for the competitive bidding process. There are no commercial recycling transfer stations located in Broomfield County.

    Broomfield would not expect to receive proceeds from delivering materials to recyclers or from the sale of recycled materials, as the recycling facilities handle the sorting and sale of the materials. That being said, it’s important that all players in the process, from the person throwing away trash and materials to the recycling facility, understand the impact and importance of recycling and composting versus landfilling in order to meet our waste diversion goals and to help keep costs of services low. The recycling facility, trash hauler, and Broomfield staff would need to work together to create outreach and education materials since those are key tools needed to ensure the proper separation of landfill, recyclable, and compostable items. This would be a key part of the rollout of a universal waste collection program.

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    Broomfield shows 18 licensed trash haulers with 7 marked for residential service and from the 2/16/2023 informational meeting it was mentioned that about 4 are actively hauling. What baseline information is available showing current route coverages, mileage of hauling, number of accounts, cost rates, and pickup schedules from these haulers. This information is important to have ahead of making these decisions for Broomfield and for future evaluations and effectiveness of universal collections when compared to the current open market structure.

    Ecurb asked 12 months ago

    We had a survey available to all residents in Broomfield to help us get a better idea of the rates people pay for the level of service they receive, and we have connected with the managers of many HOAs to gather similar information. We are also in the process of meeting with Broomfield’s licensed residential trash and compost hauling companies to have in-depth conversations and gather baseline information, to better understand what the haulers are experiencing separate from the resident feedback we have received. If Council chooses to move forward with a Universal Collection Program, the program would run as a partnership between the City and County of Broomfield and the hauler selected by the competitive bidding process.

Page last updated: 19 Jan 2024, 06:10 PM