Why Are Trash and Recycle Fees Increasing in Northern Colorado?

Keeping Trash and Recycling Fees Simple:

Recycling costs! New recycling fees are being assessed from the Colorado State Senate – along with rising trash tipping fees – all for the sake of recycling’s health.  When it comes to your trash and recycling, our goals are to keep the processes simple.  In addition, here at GSI, we strive to keep recycling costs low and waste collection services optimal.  However, this past year has been anything but simple in the waste industry.  As the largest hauler of trash and recycling in Northern Colorado, GSI has been economically challenged by increased fees from the landfill, the recycle center, and the Colorado State Senate.  These changes impact residents and businesses.

Fees at a Glance:

GSI had an 87% price increase in single-stream recycle fees from the Larimer County Recycle Center the past nine months.  Fees have been radical because of the increased recycling costs to process and market single-stream recyclable materials.  In addition, a new a fee-based waste diversion grant program begins in January 2020, where a new charge will be attached to every cubic yard of trash brought to the landfill.  This fee will increase each year for the next four years.  Finally, local landfills pass on their annual Consumer Price Index (CPI) rate increase and have surcharges to pay for the resource recycling economic opportunity grant.  Looking forward, the Larimer County Waste Shed will also guarantee more money will come out of our pocketbooks in the form of increased landfill and recycling fees to fund recycling center projects.a

My Bill Went Up This Quarter.  Why?:

GSI customers may have noticed a rate increase on their statements.  Rates have increased as a result of the above factors.  In addition, it is an absolute necessity that as costs increase for waste services and the state and local levels, GSI has to pass on increases to customers.  Our goal is to keep recycling sustainable in Northern Colorado and beyond, by ensuring infrastructure and waste diversion programs are funded today and for years to come.

Making Recycling Work for Everyone:

We all want to recycle to help the earth. The thing is it comes at a financial cost. Recycling only works when someone purchases the material (recycle mill) and makes it into something new.  Right now, in America, we are struggling to find recycle mills who will pay for mixed paper and mixed plastics. Today, we are actually paying someone to take these materials.  Additionally, NoCo’s recycling is contaminated (i.e. dirty). Almost 20% of what we put in our blue-lidded bin gets sorted out and sent to the dump as junk- things like shopping bags, plastic bottles with liquids inside, clothes hangers. Materials like light-bulbs, keyboards, computers, jeans, shoes, none of these should go into the curbside recycle bin!  However, there are other options for recycling these materials.  To put it simply, when the wrong items are put into the curbside bin, recycling fees in Northern Colorado go up.

Benefits of Recycling:

Although the financial costs are higher, the environmental benefits from recycling are significant. The U.S. EPA reported that increasing our national recycling rate by seven percentage points, compared to land-filling that same material, would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 9.8 million metric tons of carbon equivalent, roughly the same as the energy used annually by 11 million homes in the US.  Additionally, recycling helps us to reduce the consumption of valuable, virgin natural resources.  Northern Colorado has one of the lowest costs to throw trash into the landfill and one of the highest costs to recycle curbside materials in the country. For fees to decrease, as a community, we need learn how to properly recycle in our curbside bins and send less waste to the landfills, also known as source reduction.

The GSI Commitment:

GSI is determined to make curbside recycling accessible for communities all over Northern Colorado. Other communities, with high recycling fees, have actually shutdown their curbside recycle programs. To put it simply, GSI stands proud in our commitment to provide waste diversion and recycling programs, even though they cost more.

Click the link for more information on rising recycling fees and costs in Northern Colorado.