Recycling Ordinance

Aspen residents and businesses: did you know that the cost of recycling is already included in your trash bill?

Top things to know about Aspen’s recycling ordinance:

  • Both businesses and residents have recycling pickup included in the cost of their trash
  • Your rate will not change whether or not you chose to recycle
  • Grass and leaves are not allowed in your trash
  • Electronics are not allowed in the trash or accepted in recycling

Residential Pay as You Throw Program

The City of Aspen has a Pay-As-You-Throw (PAYT) program for residential customers. Traditionally waste collection is paid through property taxes or a fixed fee, regardless of how much (or how little) trash the customer generates. PAYT is different in that it treats trash service just like electricity, gas, and other utilities where households pay a variable rate depending on the amount of service they use.

The less trash individuals throw away, the less they pay. The trash hauling companies are required to charge a customer less if that customer switches to a smaller bin, or charge more if the customer produces more trash and needs a larger bin.

Since this program is paired with the other provisions of Aspen’s recycling ordinance, haulers are required to include the cost of recycling in the base rate of trash. This means the price a customer pays for pickup is based on trash volumes, not recycling volumes. This creates an incentive to recycle more and thus produce less trash.

Recycling Ordinance in Full

See Chapter 12.06 of the Solid Waste Code (PDF).