Ballot Question: Residential Waste Collection


Consultation on this topic has concluded. Results of the ballot question can be viewed on the Jefferson County election results web page. Thank you to everyone in the community that participated in this important discussion.




Consultation on this topic has concluded. Results of the ballot question can be viewed on the Jefferson County election results web page. Thank you to everyone in the community that participated in this important discussion.



CLOSED: This discussion has concluded.

  • Under the contracted trash ballot issue would every residence be forced to accept trash pickup or could they opt out for whatever reason?

    DM asked 4 months ago

    Single family home owners would be required to participate in the program unless exempted as part of an HOA that has opted out of the system. A home owner could decide to contract with a different hauler than the one selected to serve their neighborhood, but they would still be required to pay a minimum fee (to be determined during final contract negotiations) into the contracted system.


  • What happens to all the other businesses - trash collectors - picking up trash? If they don't land the city contract are they put out of business?

    bwim72 asked 4 months ago

    The city contract would only apply to residential properties with seven or fewer units. Companies that are not awarded the contract would lose a significant share of residential accounts in Lakewood; however, these companies would maintain and continue to compete for multifamily and commercial accounts, as well as any accounts they may have in neighboring communities. The city would open the contract for new bids for residential collection from companies every three to five years, providing opportunities for all waste hauling companies to compete for the contract.

  • My HOA currently contracts with Republic Waste for trash pickup? How will this impact people like me? Would we stay on with our services? Would we get a better deal since you would be larger contractors? Would the waste disposal contractors be able to meet the higher demand or will service suffer? Has a cost benefit analysis been made? If so, where can I read it?

    Siskofloyd asked 4 months ago

    HOAs would be automatically signed up under the citywide contract, unless they chose to opt out and demonstrated they were providing similar types of services (trash, recycling, etc.). 

    The pricing has not been finalized; however, you can compare your costs with the range of pricing proposed by hauling companies who responded to the Request for Proposals.

    The citywide contractor(s) would be required to maintain the level of service defined in the contract, which you can read more about on pages 5-6 in the Request for Proposals document.

    The city did provide an analysis, including costs and other impacts, for a contracted system in Section 3.2 (21-33) of the 2019 Analysis of Residential Waste Collection Improvement Options.

  • Our trash collection is contracted through our HOA. Would this proposal offer an alternative to that or is our neighborhood not affected? Thanks

    Mark asked 5 months ago

    HOAs would be included in the new system, unless they chose to opt out and demonstrated they were providing similar types of services (trash, recycling, etc.).

  • On ballot question 2F: Will all costs (including administrative costs) be covered by fees charged to residences with 7 or fewer units. Or will any of the cost/fees be passed on to residences of 8 or more units.

    Don’t have one asked 5 months ago

    The program, including the fees, would be applied only to residences of 7 or fewer units.

  • The proposal establishes twice a year yard waste pickup. Do you have more details? * Will it be curbside pickup, or something else? * Is there a limit to the amount of yard waste? * What will and won't be accepted? Leaves? Branches? Sod? ...? * Do leaves need to be bagged? * Branches cut to size and bundled? * Will there be ad hoc service after a storm? Also, do you have any similar details about the weekly compost/yard waste service that can be purchased as an add-on?

    Ken R asked 5 months ago

    The twice-a-year yard waste pickup will be provided as a curbside service for all residents. Details of how the pickup will be administered (including size and specific yard wastes) were not included in the RFP and would be determined through contract negotiations. The voluntary compost services would be provided as a weekly curbside pickup of yard waste and food scraps in a container no smaller than 64 gallons for residents upon request. The hauler would be responsible for providing proof that the collected materials are composted at an approved facility for both the the twice-a-year yard waste and the weekly compost pickup. Additional details for these services can be found in Part IV, Pages 2-3 of the Request for Proposals document.

  • Will I still be charged when I leave my home and go South for the Winter for 4-5 months?

    Dale asked 5 months ago

    The terms for suspension of service or vacant properties were not included in the RFP, so it has not been determined. A minimum fee may be required for vacant homes in order to maintain the lowest possible pricing citywide. This approach is common in many contracted systems, such as the City of Golden.

  • I do not have the need for trash pick-up. How can I exempt myself from this service?

    J asked 5 months ago

    Single family home owners would be required to participate in the program unless exempted as part of an HOA that has opted out of the system. A home owner could decide not to receive service, but they would still be required to pay a minimum fee (to be determined during final contract negotiations) into the contracted system. 

  • Would owners of single family homes be required to use the company chosen by the city of Lakewood?

    BWadman asked 5 months ago

    Single family home owners would be required to participate in the program unless exempted as part of an HOA that has opted out of the system. A home owner could decide to contract with a different hauler than the one selected to serve their neighborhood, but they would still be required to pay a minimum fee (to be determined during final contract negotiations) into the contracted system. 

  • My neighboorhood does not have an HOA, so does this mean I can opt out as an individual home owner? You ballot says HOAs can opt out of this.

    Mike2020 asked 5 months ago

    Individual homeowners would not be able to opt out. HOAs would be given the ability to opt out of the system only if they are already providing services similar to the citywide contract, including providing recycling for all HOA members and having only one company service the entire HOA neighborhood in order to reduce truck traffic. 

  • 2 questions 1- Why has this issue gotten this far we have private garbage plan that has been working well? The only reason I can see is another out of state entity has clutched onto the greedy has of this administration. 2- The garbage bills of contract garbage I have from another city are at more than double, where are you getting your information?

    JerryB asked 6 months ago

    1. The City Council decision to place this topic on the ballot was made after a multi-year community engagement process, in which community concerns related to the existing waste system were identified. You can find these identified issues on page 14 of the 2019 Lakewood Residential Trash Collection Report.

    2. Pricing information was obtained by issuing a Request for Proposals, in which hauling companies were asked to submit information and pricing for providing service to Lakewood's residential properties. The low and high prices received from this process are referenced on this website.


  • Are there any goals to reduce the clutter of dumpsters on curbs and roads?

    Bees and peas asked 6 months ago

    This would only apply to residential properties with seven or fewer units, so it would not affect many of the properties that currently have dumpsters. For applicable properties, the contracted waste hauling company would be required to either replace the dumpsters with lidded carts, unless space does not allow, in which case they would be required to provide dumpster service in a clean and orderly way.

  • What sort of jobs impact is this expected to have on employees of the numerous waste and recycling services currently operating in Lakewood? While we may still be able to individually contract with them (IIRC), I imagine the expense and/or increased complexity of billing would lead many residents to simply opt to only utilize the city contracted service, rendering it unprofitable for other services to continue operations here. Thank you.

    JB asked 6 months ago

    While some companies would lose their share of the Lakewood residential market, we do not anticipate this to significantly decrease the number of jobs in these companies because all current residential waste haulers in Lakewood also service other areas of the metro and most of these haulers offer commercial services as well, which would not be affected by this system. Statewide, we anticipate an increase in recycling and composting to increase overall jobs. You can find more detail on pages 31- 32 of the 2019 Lakewood Residential Trash Collection Report

  • I need clarification on your Reply to my (poorly worded?) Q from yesterday. I’m confused. My reference to TABOR exemption and transparency of fees is re: the CITY’S fees, not the Hauler’s. I am not concerned about the Hauler’s fees itemized on my bill. “....the City will collect program fees and may establish a fund to manage revenue and expenditures;...” Is this fee in ADDITION to the Sample Pricing you provided? Where will we get transparency about those collections/expenditures seeing as any overage is to be kept in this program and not earmarked for other budget purposes? Seems like when there is a new ‘fee’ we just insert language to exempt it forever - the City already had a $12k overage last year, I believe.

    G.C. asked 6 months ago

    Sorry for the confusion. The “program fees” referenced in the ballot language refer to any fees collected by the city in support of the program. Whether the fees are collected by the haulers or the city would be determined during contract negotiations. The sample pricing provided assumes that these fees are collected by the hauler, however, this could change if the city determines there is potential to reduce costs. For example, there are programs available to municipal governments that subsidize the cost of recycling bins, which could help reduce program costs. 

    Any fees collected as part of this program would be used exclusively for the purposes of funding residential waste collection. Accounting would be fully transparent and made available to the public by including details on all fees on bills and online, as well as through the annual budget process. Resident can also search city spending on the Lakewood Ledger website.

  • Is this correct: The City of Lakewood will collect all of the Hauler’s fees (monthly, or Quarterly?). From those Fees, the Hauler(s) will be paid their Contracted Price and also Lakewood’s Administrative Costs (for billing and collection and...?) will be paid to the City. Any excess will remain in the City’s funds solely for support of such Residential Waste System. Why are the Fees exempt from TABOR? (Article X, Section 20 of the Colorado Constitution.) Is the Residents’ only remedy for ‘transparency of fees’ really through the City’s budgeting process? (2019 Budget = 546 pages; 2018 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report = 176 pages.)

    G.C. asked 6 months ago

    It has not been decided if the city or the hauler will be responsible for billing residents. Either way the excess funds would remain with the city in order to support the ongoing program costs. The funds are exempt from TABOR because without the exemption the fees might have to be refunded based on how TABOR works. A TABOR refund would remove the funds available to pay for waste collection. Transparency of fees will be provided in the hauling company’s contract and on the resident’s bill, so that all fees are clearly identified.


  • From reading the comments below I get the sense that contracting companies would receive payment for services they don't need to provide just because "everyone has to buy-in to get the benefits of bulk pricing". I know of several homes in the area, mine included, which has achieved "zero waste" including yard waste. (I take my recycling to the recycling center.) This is the goal of our environmentally conscious world. That means more and more households will not be subscribing to waste pick-up. The City of Lakewood's plan sounds like a way to bolster/mandate subscriptions to waste management companies. Have you considered this as a conflict in City goals? I would also like to see some specific pricing models that show there is any benefit. Since I will be paying for my neighbor's trash pick up I'd like to know how much that will be. Thank you for your time.

    ConservationGrannie asked 6 months ago

    We recognize that there are several zero waste homes in the Lakewood community; however industry research and findings from a Lakewood-specific survey indicate that the large majority of Lakewood households do generate significant amounts of waste that could be diverted from the landfill. We estimate that the program would result in nearly 38 million pounds of waste diverted from the landfills each year through recycling, composting, and incentivizing households to generate less waste through a volume-based pricing structure for trash. We have put together a price comparison chart to demonstrate the difference between what Lakewood households currently pay compared to the proposed pricing received through the RFP process.

  • We only need trash service about 3 months out of the year. It is a part time home. Will we have to pay 12 months of service? Will there be an option with the trash company to suspend our service?

    dovepub asked 6 months ago

    The terms for suspension of service were not included in the proposed contract language included in the RFP. However, seasonal stops are common in the industry, so this could be worked out during the contract negotiations. We appreciate you bringing this to our attention and will be sure to address this directly during the contract negotiations should this pass. 

  • Will the city of Lakewood ever (on proposal passage and implementation and beyond) be able to redirect any of the money collected for trash service to other purposes such as police, fire, homeless initiatives, road maintenance, etc? If the answer is no (money cannot be redirected), what safeguards will prevent redirection and how can constituents monitor and verify that redirection is not occurring and how can constituents remedy (stop) any redirection?

    TomZ asked 6 months ago

    Any fees collected from a contracted residential waste system would be solely used to support the residential waste system. The collection, budgeting, and distribution of these funds would be transparent to residents through the city’s budgeting process, in alignment with the Colorado Open Records Act, which is reviewed and approved by City Council every year.

  • Would these services be available to condominiums and apartments, as well as SFHs?

    staceyp asked 6 months ago

    Based on the proposed contract language included in the RFP, services would only be offered to condominiums and apartments with seven or fewer units. Multifamily residential properties with eight or more units would still need to contract separately for waste collection services.

  • Would recycling be mandated under this plan?

    TLewis asked 6 months ago

    Recycling pickup service would be included automatically for all residential properties with seven or fewer units. There would be no mandate requiring households to put recyclable materials in the recycling bin.

  • What if I already have a "zero waste" household and don't want to pay for a service I am not going to use?

    cgulbran asked 6 months ago

    In order to receive the best pricing citywide, all eligible households would have to pay into the system to guarantee a certain number of customers for the contracted hauler. For zero waste households, this could mean selecting the smallest size trash bin at the lowest rate, while receiving recycling and yard waste pickup.