Solid Waste & Recycling


Reduce our solid waste stream contribution through the expanded use of recycling programs, waste diversion programs, and other tools.

  • Reduce our solid waste stream contribution by 25% in ten years.

How Far Are We To The Goal?

Golden residents are now diverting more than 30% of their waste from the local landfill through this program.

Where Can I Recycle?

All waste haulers in Golden accept single-stream recycling and a number of recycling centers are available throughout the city for specialty items.

New Compost Service Open to All Households in Golden

You may already know that the City has contracted Alpine Waste & Recycling for collection services for the next five years.  What you might not know is that Yard Waste collection is better than ever.

What’s NEW?
  • Compostable kitchen waste (food scraps, paper products) is now allowed in your cart. Please see the list of acceptable items.
  • Upon signing up, you will receive a 96-gallon cart and a kitchen waste container.
  • All compostable items can be commingled in the same cart. No need to separate.
  • Green Waste service is YEAR ROUND and bi-weekly (every other week).
How Can I Sign Up?
  • Please call 303-277-TRASH (8727) to start service. Alpine Waste customer service representatives will indicate when your cart and kitchen container will be delivered.
  • Monthly fees are $9.45, subsidized by the Golden Community Sustainability Advisory Board to encourage household participation. You may cancel anytime.

Thank you for participating in the Golden Organics Program.  Your efforts to keep this material out of the trash help divert waste from the landfill.  You are making a difference in protecting our community and environment!

Pay-As-You-Throw Residential Waste & Recycling Collection Program

Waste EDS Truck

PAYT, or variable-rate pricing, is based on the concept that households are billed for the collection of trash based on the amount that they throw away. Recycling service is included in the cost and the more material you divert to the recycle bin, the less you pay for monthly trash service.

City PAYT Program

In May, 2010 City Council changed residential waste collection services in Golden by allowing the City to contract for waste and recycling services for some residential properties. In June, 2015, City Council reissued a new five-year waste hauling contract and selected Alpine Waste & Recycling.  Alpine Waste & Recycling was chosen for their low prices and ability to provide current and future services required by the Golden community.  Starting September 1, 2015, rates increased a modest 9% and more benefits were added to the optional green waste program.  Now every household in the city may subscribe to the year round, bi-weekly green waste service.  Kitchen waste is now accepted in the green waste cart.

PAYT Ordinance

On November 13, 2014, the Golden City Council approved Ordinance 1991 to expand Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) waste & recycling collection to all residential areas in Golden.  This ordinance affects Homeowner Associations, Multi-family areas and Commercial properties.  By January 1, 2016, all waste haulers are required to submit documentation showing compliance as part of the City’s licensing regulations, which provide for the following:

  • Curbside service with pricing based on volume, with a 32-gallon minimum size and increasing increments (e.g. 32-, 64-, and 96-gallon sizing).
  • Multi-family areas utilizing dumpsters would still retain dumpster service, as these containers are already priced based on volume of materials. Multi-family areas that currently receive curbside service would change to the volume-based rates.
  • Provision for recycling service to be included in the total monthly cost.
  • The option of rolling carts, bags, or tags to administer the service, to be determined by each hauler.
  • Additional licensing requirements such as reporting of overall diversion of materials, equipment standards, and proof of insurance.

How would this affect me?

I am in a Homeowners Association with curbside service, but not enrolled in the City’s program.
  • HOA representatives need to meet with your hauler prior to January 1, 2016 to discuss options for service, billing, and potential modifications to your contract.
  • In transitioning from an almost-unlimited weekly trash allowance, some homes will pay more, while others will pay less, depending on volume and willingness to recycle.
  • HOAs are already able to negotiate for better pricing, based on economies of scale for service, so it is expected that pricing will be similar or slightly higher than the City’s program.
I am in a Multi-Family (condos, apartments) Complex served by Dumpsters
  • Nothing changes from your current service because dumpsters are already priced by volume. However, this ordinance makes it easier should your group wish to add or increase recycling services. For a simple quote to convert one or more trash dumpsters to a recycling dumpster, at little or no additional cost to you, please contact your waste provider.

The single hauler contract serves approximately 3,400 residential households in Golden and was approved following a large outreach campaign designed to ask Golden citizens their preference for additional trash services. The year and a half process included the following:

  • A “Let’s Talk Trash” Open House  held over 2 days in October 2008, yielded hundreds of comments on several options including, no action, expanding the recycle drop-off site, an internal city sanitation department, and a pay-as-you-throw program.
  • A Request For Proposals was issued in late 2009 to identify pricing for three levels of service (32, 64, and 96-gallon size trash carts), recycling service, twice-annual yard waste pickup, and cart financing.
  • In May 2010, City Council approved a Contract with EDS Waste Solutions, Inc., Fees for residents, and Amendments to the existing municipal code regarding the new program. The contract has since been shifted to Alpine Waste.

Alpine Waste & Recycling Sustainability Report

Alpine Waste & Recycling provides the City of Golden with a detailed monthly Sustainability Report. The report provides precise data and information regarding Golden’s recycling programs.

View November’s Sustainability Report pdf download

November Sustainability Report Highlights

  • Altogether Recycling Collected: 1617,880 lbs
  • Compostable Materials Collected: 24,596 lbs
  • Trash Collected: 417,814 lbs
  • Total Materials Collected: 604,290 lbs

November Sustainability Stat info

Additional Resources

Alpine Waste & Recycling (the City’s contractor for residential areas)
Colorado Association for Recycling
What Happens to Materials When You Recycle?
U.S. Green Building Council:

COG Mesa

 Did You Know?
Golden was originally chosen as the territorial capital of Colorado in 1862.

Additional Resources

City of Golden, Colorado
COG Mesa