Breckenridge Town Council approves pay-as-you-throw on second reading

The recycling center off of River Drive in Silverthorne is pictured March 10, 2020. In Breckenridge, town leaders approved volume-based trash services in order to reduce waste and increase recycling.
Liz Copan/Summit Daily News archive

Breckenridge Town Council members approved two ordinances that would establish a volume-based waste system in town.

The two ordinances aim to help reach the town’s goals of 40% landfill diversion by 2032 and 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from waste by 2030. Across the county, the landfill is expected to close by 2056 if no intervention of waste production takes place.

The first defines new requirements for haulers. Under the ordinance, residential trash service levels would be established based on the volume of the trash containers provided by the hauler. The base unit rate, or “small,” includes recycling service and is the cost basis for two other service levels. The medium cart service level shall be no less than 80% over the base rate, and the large container service level shall be no less than 160% over the base rate. In the legislation, a small container would contain no more than 39 gallons, a medium cart can have volume capacity of more than 60 gallons but not more than 69 gallons and large containers would have more than 90 gallons and no more than 99. Anything larger than a large container is considered a dumpster.

The other ordinance reinforces existing code and establishes universal recycling. For commercial customers, they are required to provide recycling bins adjacent to existing trash bins in common areas accessible to the public. Additional glass recycling bins are required in common areas for any restaurant, bar, tap house or tavern if trash is accessible to the public, and hotels are required to provide recycling bins in guest rooms.

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