PROPOSED WASTE & RECYCLING ORDINANCE FAQs
Q: Why does the county need an ordinance?
A: A 1991 Pitkin County requires that all trash customers have recycling available. The 2018 ordinance update will increase recycling, keep more waste out of the county landfill and create a consistent program that can be implemented throughout the Roaring Fork Valley.
Q: Will recycling still be available?
A: Recycling will continue to be available and will be part of regular trash collection service for all trash customers.
Q: Will rates go up?
A: Rate changes will depend on your hauler and the services you select. Homes, businesses and institutions that already have trash and recycling services are not expected to see a significant change in rates – and those who increase their recycling have the potential for a rate reduction.
Q: Can residents and businesses opt out of recycling?
A: Yes, but they may will still be required to pay for recycling as part of their collection service. Pitkin County has determined that recycling is a pivotal part of effectively managing the county’s resources and protecting public welfare.
Q: What are volume-based service rates & will they apply to everyone?
A: Many utilities (water, sewer, electricity) use volume-based rates, which are tied to your level of service. Unlike flat rates where you pay the same no matter how much trash you have, this system will provide lower rates if you create less trash (often by recycling more). Rates will not increase as recycling increases.
Q: What if a condominium or business doesn’t have room for recycling containers?
A: Temporary exemptions may be granted in special circumstances (these are not expected to be long-term solutions, however). As recycling increases, less trash is typically created and may allow smaller trash containers (which can provide room for recycling containers).
Q: Do businesses have to provide recycling to every customer and guest?
A: Retailers, hotels, schools and other businesses and institutions may be required to provide recycling containers wherever trash containers are located in common areas.
Q: Is composting included?
A: Composting will not be required by this ordinance. However, organics collection will continue throughout the valley on a voluntary basis.
Q: When will the ordinance take effect?
A: A public review process will be completed before the ordinance can be finalized and approved by the Board of County Commissioners. Public meetings will be scheduled for June and July. The earliest the ordinance would become effective is 2019.