Frequently Asked Questions
- Does the City provide trash service? The City contracts with a single waste hauler for the majority of residents to lower service costs, have fewer heavy trucks on streets causing street damage, reduce truck traffic, noise and pollution, improve recycling/composting rates and ensure better customer service.
- Is my trash service changing? On March 5th, City Council made the decision to award a 5-year contract to Republic Services as the single waste hauler for the City’s refuse, recycling and compost services starting in September 2019. Western Disposal will continue to provide service through August 2019. The decision comes after a year-long process with several public meetings (see list of public meetings below with links to packets). As part of its purchasing policy requirements, the City is required to issue a Request for Proposals (RFP) every 5 years for these services (as we do annually for street paving, concrete replacement, etc.) that invites qualified providers to submit a proposal, which we evaluate against review criteria. The City awards a contract based on the most complete proposal for services and cost.
This year the City asked providers to submit proposals with an embedded compost rate, where any size composting container is included in the monthly pricing and can promote additional diversion of waste (like your recycling is now). One of the goals of the Louisville Sustainability Action Plan is to increase landfill diversion of waste products through increased recycling and composting activities. As a result, the City continues to be committed to pay as you throw pricing, so your bill will be lower if you generate less trash.
Starting in September, your trash, recycling and composting bill will be provided under one rate dependent on the size of your trash can 32, 64 or 96-gallon). This is different from current pricing where your trash and recycling are one rate and composting is a second rate depending on the size of your trash container and composting container. Republic will provide additional information on the process to change out your containers this summer.
- 3/5/19 – City Council review of contract (http://www.louisvilleco.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=22670)
- 2/12/19 – City Council review of proposals (http://www.louisvilleco.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=22372)
- 8/21/18 – City Council review of RFP (http://www.louisvilleco.gov/Home/ShowDocument?id=20507)
- 5/11/18 – Utility Committee review of RFP (http://www.louisvilleco.gov/home/showdocument?id=18726)
- 3/9/18 – Utility Committee review of RFP (http://www.louisvilleco.gov/home/showdocument?id=17090)
- Why did the City make this decision? Based on feedback from the community, several factors were highlighted in this year’s Request for Proposals, including waste diversion, customer service and cost. The decision to switch to Republic was based on these factors. Almost 75% of customers should experience cost savings through the contract with Republic. In addition to the program that we have now, we will be able to offer some new services starting this fall. A spring and fall curbside leaf/branch pickup event will occur each year on top of the biweekly composting service. In addition to free quarterly bulk item pickups, customers will also have access to an annual bulk item pickup event for up to 5 items. Finally, we will have a local customer service representative who is dedicated to Louisville’s service, and for the first time, we will have a mobile application that customers can use.
Previous to this year’s RFP process, Western Disposal had successfully been the City’s choice for 10 years through two competitive RFP processes. In all RFP processes, criteria such as local vendor preference, value added services, price, vendor experience, schedule, vendor references and quality of equipment were utilized to select the best overall value and level of service for the City’s contract. Local vendor consideration was taken into account for Western Disposal. However, the City felt that Republic was able to provide significant cost savings to residents and provide additional value added services that outweighed the local preference.
- I’ve heard negative feedback on Republic in the news, on social media and through the Better Business Bureau. How did the City come to the conclusion that Republic will provide a high level of customer service? During the RFP process, the City requested references from each provider to confirm actual customer level of satisfaction. The City was able to verify Republic’s abilities by talking with city staff and elected officials from other communities that utilize Republic’s services. The City has followed up on any media coverage related to Republic to ensure the service we provide to residents will continue to be of high quality.
- I’m concerned that Republic is a national company and will not provide adequate local service. Will this be a problem? The City’s contract with Republic requires a dedicated Louisville customer service representative that will live and work in the Front Range. The City’s customer service will not be provided by a national call center.
- What is the price difference for my trash service from Western to Republic? Based on current customer service levels, approximately 75% of our customers will begin saving money in September under the new contract and rate structure.
- What additional services can I expect? The City will add the following services for residents through Republic starting this fall:
- Mobile application for customers to use
- Spring and fall curbside tree branch and leaf pickup (exact dates to be determined)
- Annual curbside 5 bulk item pickup event in addition to the free bulk item quarterly pickup
- Is my pickup date changing? Currently the City’s trash service takes place on Thursday. Starting in September, services will be provided Tuesday through Friday. The day of the week for service will coincide with specific areas or neighborhoods. Neighborhoods will only have collection service on one day of the week for that neighborhood. Many residents will see a slight change from their current collection day. You can expect more information from Republic about routing schedules in late summer.
- Is it unsafe to have service on more than one day of the week? Service on multiple days is equally safe as having service on one day of the week. The amount of homes that need service and amount of miles that are driven do not change whether service is on one day or several days. While your day of the week may change for service, your neighborhood will still only have collection trucks on its streets one day of the week. Under our current contract, Western Disposal utilizes 13 trucks over the course of one day to service the City. The new contract with Republic will utilize 4 trucks from Tuesday to Friday to service specific areas of the City each day. Western Disposal has had an excellent safety record and Republic also has an excellent safety record.
- Will the items I’m allowed to throw away, recycle or compost change? There will not by any changes to what customers are able to throw away, recycle or compost. Trash collection will continue to go to the landfill; recycling collection will go to the Boulder County Recycling Facility; and compost collection will abide by the Emerald Ash Borer quarantine rules and go to A1 Organics. Current guidelines that will continue to apply are available at https://westerndisposal.com/city-louisville. Updated materials will be available by mid-summer to reflect the transition to Republic.
- How will branch composting be handled? The City will continue to compost tree branches but it is currently undetermined as to how exactly tree branch collection will work. Tree branches may be required to be bundled or may continue to be able to be disposed of within the compost containers as customers currently do. The City will provide more information soon.
- Will the City provide additional information? The City will continue to provide information throughout spring and summer, so that residents are prepared for the transition. More details will be provided with your next utility bill in May and are also available here on the City’s website. Updates will also be provided in the Summer/Fall Community Update Newsletters and a direct mailing to customers in mid-summer with information on the process to change out your containers and details on the day of the week your home will receive service. We’ll also schedule neighborhood meetings to discuss upcoming changes and answer any questions.
- Can I transfer Western's stickers for extra trash to Republic? No, Western stickers will not be transferrable.
- Is the color of my cart changing? Residents will receive a blue Republic cart with a color-coded lid to designate all three waste streams. The color code is as follows: black lid (solid waste), light blue lid (recycle) and green lid (compost). The existing City programs that includes three available cart sizes for each waste stream will remain the same under Republic’s collection.
- What is the new rate structure? Rates will be based on your solid waste cart size and includes recycling and compost collection. You no longer have to subscribe with additional fees for compost. Choose any size recycling and compost cart to fit your waste generation needs, regardless of solid waste container size. Additional carts are available for residents who already subscribe to the largest cart (fees do apply). The new rate structure is as follows: $12.75 for 32-gallon solid waste cart, $25.50 for 64-gallon solid waste cart or $38.25 for 96-gallon solid waste cart (recycle and compost included in all rates).
- Can I change my cart mix? The City has provided Republic with a list of addresses and current cart mix associated with that address. If you are happy with your mix of carts, no further action is needed and carts will be delivered to your address in August. If you prefer to make changes to your mix of collection carts, further outreach will be coming in May and June with a process to choose your personalized cart mix.
If you have any questions on the transition to Republic, you can reach out to the Public Works Department at KurtK@LouisvilleCO.gov. If you have questions about your bill, you can reach out to Utility Billing at CustomerService@LouisvilleCO.gov. Thank you for your understanding and patience as we start this process.