Trash & Recycling Services

Highlights of the Expanded Pay-As-You-Throw Program:

  • Addition of Organics collection for every household that is participating in the City program. Organics will be collected every other week, alternating weeks with recycle collection.
  • One (1) Free Large Item trash pickup per household per year. Call (303) 277-TRASH to schedule a curbside pickup anytime.
  • Improvements to Alley Collection. More convenient alley service with smaller trucks to navigate tight spaces in all weather conditions. With the new service, you can now keep your carts on your property’s side of the alley.
  • Day of Service Changes. Look for a postcard from Republic with your customized service day.
  • New Pricing. Rates are changing on September 1. Organics collection is included in the new pricing and is not extra.
Revised 2021 PAYT Calendar
Republic Services Logo
Lunch & Learn about Trash & Recycling

Choose a service level that fits your needs:

New rates started September 1, 2021. Monthly waste hauling rates are based only on trash cart size, and all sizes of recycling and organics carts are automatically included. If you require more than a 96-gallon recycling or organics cart, additional carts are available at no extra cost. Call (303) 277-TRASH to request free service changes.

32 Gallon Trash Service


Holds three 13-gallon waste bags and serviced weekly.


  • 32-gallon trash cart
  • 32 or 96-gallon organics cart
  • 64 or 96-gallon recycle cart
64 Gallon Trash Service


Holds six 13-gallon waste bags and serviced weekly.


  • 64-gallon trash cart
  • 32 or 96-gallon organics cart
  • 64 or 96-gallon recycle cart
96 Gallon Trash Service


Holds ten 13-gallon waste bags and serviced weekly.


  • 96-gallon cart
  • 32 or 96-gallon organics cart
  • 64 or 96-gallon recycle cart
2 x 96 Gallon Trash Service


Holds twenty 13-gallon waste bags and serviced weekly.


  • Two 96-gallon trash carts
  • 32 or 96-gallon organics cart
  • 64 or 96-gallon recycle cart
2 Yard Trash Dumpster


Equivalent to four 96-gallon trash carts and serviced weekly.


  • 2-cubic yard trash dumpster
  • 32 or 96-gallon organics cart(s)
  • 64 or 96-gallon recycle cart(s)
3 Yard Trash Dumpster


Equivalent to six 96-gallon trash carts and serviced weekly.


  • 3-cubic yard trash dumpster
  • 32 or 96-gallon organics cart(s)
  • 64 or 96-gallon recycle cart(s)

Organics 101

Certified compostableNew to organics collection? Nothing to fear! Similar to the recycling services, simply put any items on the list of acceptable materials in the new green-lidded collection cart. Yard and garden waste can go directly into the cart, while kitchen waste can also go directly in the cart or placed in plant-based bags or brown paper bags for a cleaner cart. Never place plastic bags in the organics cart as these will not breakdown and will inhibit the decomposition at the processing site.

Most of certified compostable bags are a shade of green to distinguish them from other plastic bags. Trusted brands include BioBag, Bag-To-Nature, Glad Compostable, BioSak, EcoSafe, EcoGuard and Nature Friendly. Select brands are available at Golden’s Safeway and Natural Grocers and online through various larger chains.

Compostable bags will be available at City Hall for customers who are unfamiliar with compostable bags and wish to try one out. Customers may also receive a compostable bag with their new organics cart.

It is helpful to keep a list of acceptable materials in your home for easy reference. All of the following materials are acceptable in the organics cart:

Outdoor Organics

  • Grass clippings
  • Saw dust
  • Sod and soil
  • Weeds
  • Leaves
  • Branches and brush
  • Garden trimmings

Kitchen Organics

  • Fruit/vegetable trimmings
  • Spoiled or moldy food
  • Coffee grounds and paper filters
  • Dairy products
  • Eggshells
  • Bread, rice, and noodles
  • Napkins or paper towels (free of harsh chemicals)
  • Greasy pizza boxes
  • Meat, poultry, fish and bones
  • Baked goods
  • Cooked food

Household Organics

  • Certified compostable service ware
  • Unlined paper plates, cups and takeout boxes
  • Tissues, cotton balls, paper Q-tips (free of harsh chemicals)
  • Wooden chopsticks, stir sticks, and popsicle sticks
  • Wooden toothbrushes
  • Shredded paper
  • Cut flowers
  • Houseplants
  • Dryer lint (100% wool, silk, or cotton only)
  • Pet hair
  • Paper bags


  • No pet waste
  • No dirt
  • No oils
  • No plastics
  • No styrofoam
  • No construction debris or treated wood

Large Item Pickup Available to All PAYT Customers

No need to find a truck or wait for Pride Days with the new large item pickup service provided by the Pay-As-You-Throw program. Just call Republic Services at 303-277-8727 to request a pickup of your large item at no additional cost. Open to every household, once per calendar year. Some acceptable items include: Chairs, sofa, Porcelain Sink, Desk, Table, Carpet – Bundled, Porcelain Toilet, Recliner, Porcelain Tub, Sofa, Small / Large Dresser, Game Table, Doors, Baby Wooden Crib, Lawn Mower, Coffee Table, Garage Door – 4’ Sections, End Table, Love Seat, Water Bed, etc.

Unacceptable items include: Cast Iron, Cement, Steel, Tires, Appliances (covered by another City program), Dirt, Rocks, Bricks, Chemicals, Paint, Batteries, Stumps, Windshield Glass, Medical Waste, Appliances w/ Freon, TVs, All Electronics, Hazardous Waste.

City of Golden Pay As You Throw Program Notification System

Sign up for Recycling and Trash RemindersStay informed about delays that may affect your trash, recycle, and organics services by signing up to receive email reminders about one day delays for holiday weeks and severe weather notifications. This service is free and only requires an email address, but is only for City of Golden program customers.

Pay-As-You-Throw Waste Program FAQs

1. Who should I contact to change service, billing questions or report service problems? 
Please contact Republic Services at (303) 277-TRASH (8727) or by email at

2. What day will my trash be picked up?
Please see the collection route maps pdf download for the City-wide service schedule. Recyclables and organics will be collected on alternating weeks on the same day as your trash.

3. What is accepted in my recycling cart?
Please see this list of acceptable materials.

4. How do the fees for this program work?
Your monthly price depends on the size of your garbage cart. Recycling collection, organics collection, once annual large item pickup, and twice-annual yard waste pick-up are always included in this price. Customers will receive one 96 gallon recycling cart and one 32 gallon organics cart as standard, however if you would like a smaller 64 gallon recycle cart or a larger 96 gallon organics cart your monthly price will not be affected.

5. How will I be billed for service?
The City charges for one month of waste collection services on your monthly water bill.

6. How can I keep my organics cart cleaner?
Generally these materials do not need to be bagged, but some customers prefer to use brown paper bags or compostable bags for a cleaner cart.  Compostable bags are found through many retailers including the Golden Safeway and Natural Grocers. You may bag messy items like meat, bones, dairy, leftovers and moldy food as long as the bag you’re using is certified compostable.  No plastic bags as these will not breakdown and will inhibit the decomposition at the processing site.

7. What if I occasionally have more trash than usual?
Additional bags of trash will be collected when a pre-paid tag is affixed to each bag and placed next to your trash cart. These extra trash tags cost $3.50 and will be available for purchase by visiting City Hall. Tags are good for one 32 gallon trash bag or smaller.

8. What if I change my mind and want a different size cart for trash?
Contact Republic Services at (303) 277-TRASH (8727) or email them at to request a service change. The hauler will exchange your trash cart for a new one and your monthly price will be updated.

9. I am in a Homeowner’s Association, is my house included in the program?
If your HOA contracts with a waste company to provide service to all of the households within your neighborhood, you are not included in the city program, although your HOA may voluntarily opt into the program at any time. If your HOA does not provide waste collection, your household is included in the program.

10. Can I still contract with another company for service?
Yes, residents may hire any waste hauler, licensed to operate within the City. However, if your household is included in the City waste program, you will still be billed at the minimum level of service.

11. Can I discontinue service if I am moving or my home is vacant?
No, in order to maintain the lowest possible pricing, each household in the program will be billed for monthly service. You may request the lowest 32-gallon level of service if your home is vacant for long periods of time. If you are moving, the trash bill will be switched to the next resident at the same time the water bill is switched over, please leave your City carts safely stored at the property for the next resident. Properties with active demolition permits can be removed from the program.

12. I am in a homeowners association or a multi-family complex, and not enrolled in the City’s program. How does this effect me?

Organizations with 8 residential units or more are not required to participate in the City program, although they can voluntarily join. On November 13, 2014, the Golden City Council approved Ordinance 1991 to expand the Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) rate system to all residential areas in Golden.  This ordinance affects waste haulers who operate in Golden. 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.

13. When did Golden adopt these trash and recycling policies?
On May 13, 2010 City Council approved Ordinance No. 1868, now codified as Chapter 4.82 in the Municipal Code, changing residential waste collection services in Golden by allowing the City to contract for waste and recycling services for low-density residential properties. This followed a large outreach campaign designed to ask Golden citizens their preference for additional trash services. The year and a half process included the following:

  • “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.
COG Mesa

 Golden was named after Thomas L. Golden,
a gold prospector who arrived in Jefferson County in 1858.

Additional Resources

City of Golden, Colorado
COG Mesa
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