- Thornton, CO residents can now go online to schedule curbside pickups of bulky items like home remodel debris, branches, and old furniture through the Thornton Click & Haul program, run by the municipality’s environmental services department.
- The $65 year-round service is charged to residents' utility bills and includes up to two collections of rubble. This fee for ongoing service competes with what would typically be a $75 gate fee for a single landfill dump and $100 for similar services, said Thornton's Environmental Services Manager Adam Lovato to The Denver Post.
- About 200 Thornton residents have tapped into the program since this past January.
The Click & Haul program is a tweaked version of what started as occasional spring collections that proved too costly—to the point where officials were considering raising utility fees to offset the expense. Then there were other issues, such as scrappers rummaging through trash.
"We redesigned the spring cleaning program as Click & Haul with the idea that it would be financially viable, convenient for the customers, and also affordable," Lovato told the Denver Post, adding when residents sign up they simply enter a description of the items they would like hauled.
Thornton’s push to simplify diversion of hard-to-recycle wastes includes more programs for very specific items. As a result they are diverting toxic materials and avoiding contamination problems as they accept discards from cooking oils and motor oils, to pharmaceuticals, antifreeze, and car batteries.
Lovato believes the Click & Haul concept could catch on elsewhere. "I would certainly say that Thornton's program could be a successful model for any community. Being able to offer citizens so many opportunities to get rid of hard-to-recycle items would be a benefit not just for Adams County, but across Colorado," he told The Denver Post.
Worcester, MA probably would agree; such a service likely could have helped that city when it had a big problem with garbage cans continuously overflowing with illegally dumped trash. The program also could have addressed issues like in Ford City, PA, where residents turned recycling drop-off sites into dumping grounds.
Meanwhile, there are companies that have taken off with similar though somewhat more elaborate online concepts than Click & Haul, with visions of shifting the whole structure of waste collection to make scheduling of pickups easy and fast.