Cart Service Guidelines
Set your trash, recycle, and compost carts out for collection by 7 AM on your collection day, but no earlier than 7 PM the night before. Collection vehicles will not be able to return for late set outs, as service resources are extremely limited. Allow 2 feet of clearance on all sides of your carts so trucks have access.
If you are a current compost customer or not filling up your trash cart on a weekly basis, here's how to downsize your cart:
- Manage your cart through your Denver Utilities Online account.
- Request a cart exchange on DenverGov.org.
- Select Category: Trash/Recycle/Compost Collection or Cart Issue
- Select Upsize/Downsize Cart
- Request a cart exchange by calling 311
- Exchange in person at the Cart Maintenance Facility:
- 2013 South Osage St. Denver, CO 80223
- Tuesday-Saturday, 8am-2pm
Residents MUST Bring their current cart to swap at the Cart Maintenance Facility
Beginning July, delivery of compost carts will be phased in by neighborhood every couple of months and will continue into 2024 as we get through the city. Gradually phasing in our weekly compost service will allow us to better educate and coordinate with residents, mitigate contamination, and allow our collection routes to grow with the service. At this time, no action is needed from residents and they'll continue to receive the Phased Service Roll-out Credit on their invoice until we deliver their green cart. We will reach out directly to residents within each neighborhood before their service begins with resources to help them prepare. Existing customers will not see any changes in their service. If you are a current compost customer or not filling up your trash cart on a weekly basis, you can downsize your cart. If you are not a current compost customer, we recommend waiting until you receive your compost cart before downsizing your trash cart so you can know what size you need. As compost service is phased in, residents are encouraged to utilize the Cherry Creek Recycling Drop-Off, which is open for all food scraps and yard trimmings accepted for compost collection.
Residents can request smaller or larger carts at any time through Denver Utilities online or by calling 311.
Cart Set-out Requirements
- Allow 2 feet of clearance on all sides of your carts. Obstructions such as cars, fences, poles, overflow trash, large items out for collection or other collection containers may prevent the automated trucks from emptying your cart.
- Bag all of your trash, do not bag recycling.
- Be sure to set your cart away from any garage overhangs or obstructions above the cart.
- Keep your cart lid closed whenever possible.
- Use your cart to full capacity, but do not overfill the cart.
- Do not place unacceptable items in your trash, recycle, or compost carts. Please see FAQ pages for more information (located in the column on the right).
- Only one collection per household on day of service.
Damaged or Stolen Cart
For the quickest resolution of service-related issues in the future, please contact our Customer Service team directly at 311 (720-913-1311) or www.pocketgov.com.
Be sure to contact Solid Waste Management prior to moving to update your account.
In January 2023, the city of Denver expanded solid waste services, and moved to a fee-based system for trash collections. As part of these changes, weekly recycling and compost collections are included at no additional fee.
Existing and new compost customers can opt out of this free service at any time by calling 311.
Moving? Contact Solid Waste Management PRIOR TO MOVING to update your account.
In January 2023, the city of Denver expanded solid waste services, and moved to a fee-based system for trash collections. As part of these changes, weekly recycling and compost collections are included at no additional fee. Existing and new compost customers can opt out of this free service at any time by calling 311.
Compost carts are the property of the City and County of Denver. Each cart is assigned by serial number to an exact address.
Resident's Responsibilities and Right-of-Way Obstructions
Residents are responsible for:
- Maintaining a minimum height clearance for our trucks of 13 feet for tree branches and wires stretching out from your property into the alley or street.
- Resolving tree branch clearance issues contact the City’s Forestry Division for a list of licensed contractors at 720-913-0651 or online.
- Resolving downed or low-hanging wires and lines contact:
- Power lines, Xcel at 1-800-628-2121
- Phone lines, Qwest at 1-800-573-1311
- Cable lines, Comcast at 303-930-2000
- Properly disposing of unacceptable items. For a list of registered hauling companies, call 311 (720-913-1311) or visit online at Registered Trash Haulers.
- Dead animal removal in streets or alleys, please call 311 (720-913-1311).
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure and Parks and Recreation remind homeowners that they are responsible for trees on the public right-of-way. If a Public Right-of-Way (PROW) tree or tree part is blocking a roadway, it must be removed immediately. Removal can occur one of three ways:
- Homeowner removes the obstruction on their own.
- Homeowner contracts for the removal of the obstruction; or
- The city contracts for the removal of the obstruction and the homeowner is then responsible for any associated costs incurred by the city.
Residents are responsible for the removal and disposal of tree stumps and all branches over 4 inches in diameter and/or 4 feet in length.
Setting Out Your Cart for Collection
To find out your cart set out location enter your home address at our Schedules and Reminders page or please contact our Customer Service team directly at 311 (720-913-1311).
CURB SET OUT:
- Place your cart in the street adjacent to the curb in front of your house. The front of the cart should face the street.
ALLEY SET OUT:
- Do not block access to your neighbor’s driveway, gate, garage or property.
- Place your cart at least four feet away from any trash containers, fences, cars or other obstructions.
- Make sure the front of the cart faces the alley.
Storing Your Cart on Non-Collection Days
All service carts must be stored on your property, out of public view as best as you can on non-collection days.
- Do NOT store your carts in the alley or on the street.
- Store your carts in your garage, breezeway, side of house, shed, or other location.
- Carts continually left in alleys or on the street may be removed.
All trash, recycling, and compost carts must be stored on your property in between collections. You may set your carts out as early as the night before your collection day and then return your carts to your property within a day after collection occurs.
Keeping carts out of the alley and off the streets will:
- Ensure each neighbor takes responsibility for their own waste and carts
- Ensure each neighbor has access to the public right-of-way
- Improve the appearance of the alley
- Prevent cart loss or damage, and misuse or vandalism to the carts
- Minimize recycling and compost contamination (non-acceptable items can contaminate entire loads)
- Reduce litter and the potential for illegal dumping
- Discourage waste scavengers in your neighborhood
It is your responsibility to manage and care for your city-issued carts. Take pride in your neighborhood and bring your carts back.
Street Sweeping Day Instructions
What do I do when my collection is on the same day as my scheduled street sweeping?
When your collection day and street sweeping day are both scheduled for the same day you have three options for setting out your containers.
Option 1: Set your containers on the apron (edge) of your driveway.
- Your containers should be placed on the apron of the driveway only when collection days conflict with designated street sweeping days.
- Make sure that containers areas close to the street as possible and not on the sidewalk. If containers are placed too far away from the street the automated collection trucks will not be able to reach them.
- The handle of the container should be facing away from the street.
- Make sure that your containers are at least 2 feet from any obstructions such as other containers, lampposts, trees or mailbox posts.
Option 2: Set your containers off the street on the edge of the curb-line.
- Your containers should be placed off the street only when collection days conflict with designated street sweeping days.
- Make sure that containers areas close to the street as possible and not on the sidewalk. If containers are placed too far away from the street, the automated collection trucks will not be able to reach them.
- Make sure that containers are at least 2 feet from any obstructions such as other containers, lampposts, trees or mailbox posts.
Option 3: Set your containers on the opposite side of your street.
- Your containers should be placed on the opposite side of your street only when collection days conflict with designated street sweeping days.
- Container wheels should be against the curb and the handle of the container should be facing away from the street.
- Make sure that your recycling containers are at least 2 feet from any obstructions such as other containers, lampposts, trees or mailbox posts.
- Collection trucks will run both sides of the street on overlapping collection/street sweeping days.
Moving your containers off the street on sweeping days will reduce the in & out "snaking" by the sweepers and enable the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure to keep your street clean.
Request a New Decal For Your Recycling Cart
Has time and weather washed out or made it hard to read the decal on the lid of your recycling cart? If so, we can mail you an updated decal that you can apply to your purple cart.
To get a recycling cart lid decal, call 311 (720-913-1311)
Before putting the decal on the cart lid, make sure the lid is clean, dry, and at a moderate temperature. The decal will not adhere properly to cold, wet surfaces.