Trash Districting Update

In response to concerns regarding the number of heavy trucks in residential neighborhoods, City Council is considering a policy that would require trash haulers to submit a bid to the City for the right to provide residential services.  As a single hauler would then be awarded the right to serve entire neighborhoods, or districts, the number of duplicative trips could be eliminated. Commercial and multifamily properties would not be included within the proposal.

This concept is not new to Fort Collins. It has been proposed in the past, though never formally implemented due to strong resistance from both the general public and trash haulers.  Conditions have changed since the issue was last considered in 2008. Most notable is the absence of any locally-owned trash haulers.  In their place we are now served by three national companies that are generally supportive of the change. Improved operational efficiencies, greater certainty in making long-term investment decisions, and increased predictability have been cited as key benefits.

Although certain concerns remain unresolved, the Chamber is not opposed to trash districting within single family residential neighborhoods. Any effort to expand the scope to include commercial, industrial and multifamily properties would require deeper consideration of potential consequences.  However, there is a bigger issue that has not been adequately addressed within this discussion.  Where is the infrastructure to support the mantra of reduce, reuse and recycle?

Whether haulers will be required to utilize the new county landfill or their own facilities has not yet been fully addressed, but in either case, there is no clear path for processing and repurposing material that is to be diverted from the landfill. In this scenario, one company will send 4 trucks through your neighborhood to collect non-recyclables, commingled recyclables, yard waste and compostable materials that are then deposited in separate piles at the landfill with nowhere else to go.

Though there may be some quality of life benefit to trash districting, the Chamber believes the larger issue is where our limited resources should be directed.

Chamber Resource
April 2022