Three Cart Program

On Nov. 2, 2020, City Council approved the expansion of the City’s Three Cart Program to most residential areas in the City. 

Ordinance No. 21, Series 2020 outlines licensing requirements for trash haulers operating in the City to provide the Three Cart Program with compost for residents, an incentivized price structure, and data collection.


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Waste Service Fee


On Nov. 2, 2023, three years after the adoption of the program's expansion, the City will impose a waste collection fee on single-family homes and some multifamily units that are not a part of the City Program by that point in time. 

Encouraging all residents be a part of the same program helps ensure equal access to programs through the City hauler, such as free compost and mulch giveaways, and local hard-to-recycle collection events, as well as helping the City meet its waste diversion goals.

There will be information meetings hosted by the City and Republic Services on July 21, 2022 or on Nov. 2, 2022 for residents, HOA board members, or property managers looking for more information.

  1. What is the solid waste fee?
  2. Why was this fee adopted?
  3. How do I join the City's three cart program?
  4. What will the fee be used for?

The solid waste fee is a charge for waste services provided by the City through Republic Services. The user charge “rate” is set according to the City’s waste contract. 

The fee will increase each year on January 1 based on local consumer price index (CPI). From November 2023 – December 2023 the solid waste fee will be $15.63. There is not a way to predict what the fee will be on January 1, 2024, as the increase will be average CPI from June 2022 – June 2023 timeframe.  

Watch the educational video below! 

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What is the Three Cart Program? 

The Three Cart Program is a three-cart volume-based system that encourages recycling and composting of waste. The recycling carts are billed at just $1, and compost carts cost approximately half that of a waste cart. While the recycling cart is 96 gallons, the waste cart can be as small as 32 gallons, with a corresponding lower fee. This rate structure incentivizes customers to recycle and compost as much as possible.

The City of Lafayette currently provides a Three Cart Program to approximately 55% of the City that helps residents divert waste away from landfills. This program has been successful in positively affecting our diversion goals and reflecting our community's sustainability values--but we can, and desire, to do even more!

City Council approved a waste diversion goal of 50% by 2026 and 85% by 2046. It is important for Lafayette residents to support these goals in order for us to meet them. We are looking at ways to help make that happen. New landfills will require our waste to be transported further, take up precious Front Range land, and will result in higher costs.

What are the benefits of a Three Cart Program?

  • Help support our community's sustainability goals:
    • Council approved waste diversion goals of 50% by 2026 and 85% by 2046 as a reflection of our community sustainability values.
  • Be a good steward for the environment:
    • Less waste = fewer landfills, which protects the beautiful Front Range landscape that we all value.
    • Recycled or composted waste can be used to create new materials without using virgin resources.
    • Fewer trash trucks in neighborhoods lessen traffic, reduces road damage, and decreases noise and air pollution.
  • Contribute to good community financial management: 
    • The more waste we divert, the longer it is before we need new landfills. Future landfills will be located farther away and result in higher hauling prices.
  • A City-wide program could reduce costs for homeowners
    • A larger customer base provides economies of scale which can result in lower prices.
    • By choosing to recycle and compost more, individual households can reduce the cost of waste carts.