New rates, service days, and expanded service offerings for the City’s Pay-As-You-Throw program will go into effect the week of August 30th. For information regarding these changes and participation in the program, please go to the Trash & Recycling page.


Green Waste DashboardTo reduce total landfill contribution by 40% by 2030. This means:

  • Recycle 80% of recyclables by 2030.
  • Compost 80% of compostables by 2030.
  • Reduce total trash by 20% by 2030.
  • Strive for zero waste in municipal operations by 2030.

Annual Community Waste Metrics

Annual metrics relating to Golden’s waste can be found here.

All Things Recycling: A Community Conversation About Waste Diversion in Golden

The City of Golden Community Sustainability Advisory Board (CSAB) recently held the All Things Recycling community event at the Buffalo Rose. Attendees had the opportunity to hear the latest information from industry experts about where our materials go, recent changes in the industry, and how families can participate in organic waste collection and other waste diversion programs. If you missed the event, check out the video from the presentations and Q & A session.

New City of Golden Waste and Recycling Program Notification System

Sign up for Recycling and Trash RemindersThe City of Golden has a new way to keep you informed about holiday and weather delays in services of the City’s waste & recycling program. You can now sign up to receive email reminders about one day delays for holiday weeks and severe weather notifications that may affect your recycling and garbage collection. This new service is free and only requires an email address, but is only for City of Golden program customers.  

Curbside Appliance Pick Up Program

The City of Golden now offers curbside appliance recycling to all single family and townhomes in Golden.

Acceptable appliances are limited to full size: washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, and stove/ovens. Items not listed here (including microwave ovens and small refrigerators) are not allowed and will not be picked up.

Appliances should be set out in a driveway or in front or side areas of the yard not impeded by a fence or gate. Please do not place items in the street or sidewalk.

Each appliance must be clearly labeled, “FOR CITY OF GOLDEN RECYCLING”.

Please fill out the online form OR call (303) 953-5800 and leave your NAME, ADDRESS, PHONE NUMBER, and TYPE OF APPLIANCE for pick-up.

Pickup is the following TUESDAY for calls received by Thursday of the prior week. Calls received after Thursday will be scheduled for the next week. City staff will call to confirm the date.

Please remember that your address needs to be within the City limits of Golden to use this service. To find out if your address qualifies, use the Jefferson County Address Wizard.

Why is composting important?

Check out this quick video from Kiss the Ground.

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. More information on the current program can be found in the Resident’s Guide.

History of PAYT in Golden

In 2007 the City embarked on a sustainability initiative. A public town hall meeting was held and seven community working groups were organized to address sustainability issues in several areas. The seven groups covered areas that included building, economic health, education and communications, energy, solid waste and recycling, transportation and water. These groups then made recommendations to City Council for changes that would help make Golden more sustainable and establish sustainability goals in each of the seven areas. By August of 2007, City Council had passed a resolution that established specific goals for each area of sustainability. The specific goal for solid waste and recycling is to reduce Golden’s solid waste stream contribution by 25% by 2017.

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 GFL Environmental (formerly Alpine Waste & Recycling). GFL Environmental 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.

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.

For more information on the PAYT program, view the Colorado Association for Recycling Case Study pdf download and the “Let’s Talk Trash” open house presentation pdf download.

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 4,400 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 GFL Environmental.
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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