For the first time in 15 years, the Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure (DOTI) plans to make significant routing adjustments to its trash, recycling, and compost collection schedule for 2022. Starting next Monday, January 3, the city will run new routes four days a week, instead of the usual five-day schedule. The adjustments will cause pickup days to change for 70 percent of residents.

DOTI says the goal of the changes is to make operations more efficient and reliable as more people continue to work from home. Through October of this year, 19,000 more tons of waste were collected than during the same time in 2019. “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,” Adam Phipps, executive director of DOTI, said

The adjustments include breaking the city up into nine districts and assigning regular staff to each in order to ensure fewer missed pickups. The rate of missed pickups has been below one percent a month, but that increasingly required trash collectors to work overtime and on the weekend.

Courtesy of Denver Department of Transportation and Infrastructure

Overall, the changes should result in about 62,000 less miles driven per year. Fridays will be used for catchup work, including illegal dumping complaints and holiday pickups, which often caused weekend work.

The city is also trying to recruit more drivers to help execute the new schedule. Currently, it is looking to fill 25 of 131 driver positions and is offering $2,500 signing bonuses.

Here are ways you can find out when your new trash pickup day is:

  • Check the city’s interactive map
  • Call 311 (720-913-1311)
  • Read the WasteWise newsletter, which was mailed to residents in mid-December

If you do happen to miss your new collection day in the coming weeks, call 311 (720-913-1311). DOTI will come to empty your bin within 24 to 48 hours.

(Read more: How to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle Holiday Style)

Shane Monaghan
Shane Monaghan
Shane Monaghan is the former digital editor of and teaches journalism at Regis Jesuit High School.