Denver Gets the Word Out about New Trash Collection Days in 2022

Published on December 03, 2021

Photo of DOTI truck collecting trash on a Denver residential street.

What City Trash, Recycling, and Compost Customers Need to Know

DENVER – With the new year just a few weeks away, Denver’s Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) is reminding residents that their trash collection day may change in 2022 and is sending out a new round of communications to let people know what day to set out their carts in the new year.

DOTI is informing customers about next year’s collection schedules in a variety of ways, including through the U.S. mail. Residents are encouraged to check their mailboxes for DOTI’s Wastewise newsletter that’s due to arrive within the next couple of weeks. DOTI also launched a new online resource at www.denvergov.org/reroute, where people can find 2022 collection schedule information and a link to a searchable map. Another option is to download the “Denver Trash and Recycling” mobile app as the end of the year approaches. The app currently displays 2021 collection days and 2022 schedules will be loaded into the app when the new year arrives. The new collection days start January 3, 2022.

Collection days are changing as city drivers run new routes to enhance trash, recycling and compost collection services amid driver shortages and other challenges resulting from the pandemic. DOTI is adjusting how drivers move through the city to make operations more efficient, and trash collection services more reliable and consistent. It has been more than 15 years since DOTI has made significant routing adjustments while the city has grown by about 200,000 people in that same period. Updated routes will help DOTI maximize its existing resources.

While DOTI has been able to keep up with collections for the most part, sustaining a missed pickup rate of less than one percent of total pickups per month, keeping up has required increasing amounts of overtime and weekend work. Highlights of the improvements that will start January 3 include:

  • Implementing denser, more compact routes to collect the additional trash that Denverites are setting out as work from home trends continue. 19,000 more tons were collected through October of this year as compared to the same period in 2019 (pre-pandemic).
  • Moving to a district approach and assigning regular staff to each district to ensure more consistency and fewer missed pickups.
  • Efficient routing that will result in 62,000 fewer miles driven and reductions in fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Moving to a four-day, Monday through Thursday, collection schedule. Fridays can be used for catchup work, illegal dumping complaints, and for holiday pickups that previously pushed collections to Saturdays, reducing overtime and the need to work weekends.