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New trash collection schedule begins Monday

Denver is addressing driver shortages and overtime challenges with a new schedule.

DENVER — Changes to Denver's trash, recycling and compost collection services officially start Monday.

The new collection routes, which will adjust how drivers move through the city, are due to driver shortages and other pandemic challenges, said Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI).

Collection is moving to to a four-day Monday through Thursday collection schedule, instead of a five-day collection schedule, starting Monday, Jan. 3.

Fridays will be used for catchup work, illegal dumping complaints, and holiday pickups that previously pushed collections to Saturdays, reducing overtime and the need to work weekends.

DOTI said this is the first time in more than 15 years that it has made significant routing adjustments while Denver has grown by about 200,000 people in that same period.

Here’s how residents can check to see what day of the week to set out their carts starting Monday:

If Denver residents miss their new pickup day, they can call 720-913-1311 for a special pickup.

Click here for a closer look at the collection map.

Credit: Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure
2022 Denver trash collection routes. Rutas de recolección de basura de Denver para 2022.

Large item pickup service resumes in February on an every-four-week collection schedule. 

DOTI said that while it has been able to sustain a missed-pickup rate of less than one percent of total pickups per month, it has sustained increasing amounts of overtime and weekend work.

New routing will result in 62,000 fewer miles driven and reductions in fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions, according to DOTI.

"In response to a national problem, we’re implementing a Denver solution to maintain the high levels of service our customers are used to receiving," said Adam Phipps, Executive Director of DOTI. "Our approach involves two asks: we’ll ask our operators to drive new routes next year and 70% of our customers to set out their bins on a different day of the week."

DOTI is also looking to fill 30 of its 131 driver positions with $2,500 signing bonuses.

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