New Adams County Solid Waste Hauler Licensing Ordinance Aims to Increase Recycling and Improve Safety

Starting Feb. 17, residents and businesses in unincorporated Adams County can sign up for recycling services through their trash collection service provider when the county’s new Solid Waste Hauler Licensing Ordinance takes effect.  

Solid waste hauling businesses operating in unincorporated areas of the county must now obtain a license and follow new rules. This includes offering curbside recycling service to trash collection customers and properly disposing of recyclable materials. The ordinance further protects the community by ensuring trucks hauling waste do not leak or leave debris.  

“Our residents want a convenient way to divert trash from the landfill. They spoke and we listened. Basic safety requirements are now in place to protect the public and the environment, in the process,” said Adams County Board of Commissioners Chair, Emma Pinter.

After extensive research and a 14-month community engagement process, nearly 67% of those surveyed said recycling was not convenient in unincorporated areas of the county with 85% of respondents stating the county should do more to support increased access to recycling services and programs.

“We took the time to ask residents about their recycling habits, met with waste haulers to understand their businesses, and looked at similar requirements in neighboring communities,” said Katie Keefe, Environmental Programs Manager with Adams County.

The development of the Waste Hauler Licensing Ordinance is part of Adams County’s efforts to increase recycling and waste diversion rates across unincorporated Adams County from approximately 16% in 2022 to 40% by 2034. The county’s efforts are consistent with the Sustainable Adams County 2030 Plan, which calls for increased access to residential recycling. Additionally, they align with the state’s goal to achieve 39% diversion by 2026 and 51% diversion by 2036 along the Front Range.

Waste haulers will have several months to comply with the requirements to license their business with the county, notify customers of the availability of recycling services, and provide them with a list of materials that can be recycled.  Recycling services are an additional cost to regular trash collection and pricing will vary by hauling company.

Adams County received a grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Front Range Waste Diversion (FRWD) program to pursue this project and the development of the Solid Waste Hauler Licensing Ordinance.

Residents of unincorporated Adams County can contact their waste hauler to find out more about the availability and costs for curbside recycling service. More information about the ordinance, can be found at