We have optimized residential trash and recycling collection routes to make them more efficient, eliminate miles traveled, and balance the number of homes collected each day. Scroll down for our FAQs about the changes!
Check the map below or click here for an interactive version to find your new day.
What will change?
- New four-day residential collection schedule, Monday-Thursday.
- No collection on City-observed holidays after August 15.
- Carts must be set out by 7:00 a.m. on your collection day
On City of Santa Fe-observed holidays, there will be no residential trash and recycling collection. The collection scheduled for a holiday will move to the next day of the week, and any of the remaining collection days move forward as well (depending on what day the holiday falls on).
- 2022 Holiday Example 1: Labor Day will be observed on Monday, September 5. Monday’s collection will move to Tuesday, Tuesday’s will move to Wednesday, Wednesday’s will move to Thursday, and the Operators will work on Friday of that week to collect the Thursday routes.
- 2022 Holiday Example 2: Thanksgiving Day will be observed Thursday, November 24. ESD Operators would work on Friday to collect Thursday’s routes; no other routes that week would be affected.
Download the Recycle Coach app for schedules, set-out and holiday reminders, and lots more!
Recycle Coach will display your current trash/recycling collection day until August 7, 2022. After August 7, update the app and re-enter your address to see your new collection schedule in the app.
Residential Schedule Change FAQ
What days will trash and recycling be collected on the new schedule?
Beginning August 15, 2022, the normal collection days will be Monday-Thursday, except weeks in which a City-observed holiday occurs. A special holiday schedule will be implemented on those weeks.
How do I find my new trash pickup day?
Check the map above or visit the interactive website to search for your specific address.
What time do I need to have my carts out for collection?
Carts must be placed curbside no later than 7 a.m. on your pickup day.
What if my trash day falls on a holiday?
If your trash day falls on a holiday, there will be no collection. Your collection moves to the next day of the week, and any of the remaining collection days move forward as well (depending on what day the holiday falls on). See graphic above for a visual of how this works!
How can I keep track of holidays and schedule changes?
We have a free app, Recycle Coach, that allows you to view your schedule* and get notifications about upcoming schedule changes for holidays. The City of Santa Fe will also send out reminders with their holiday closure emails, and you can sign up for those here .
*Recycle Coach will show the current Monday-Friday collection schedule until August 7, 2022. After that, download the app update and re-enter your address to see your new schedule.
Will this affect Commercial Operations?
No, Commercial collections are still six days per week, Monday-Saturday.
Why is this happening?
The city of Santa Fe is growing, and much of the growth is concentrated in a few areas. Residential collection routes have become out of balance due to this growth, and we’re also seeing a much higher number of set-outs*, especially for recycling, due to changes in consumer behavior caused by the pandemic. We needed to rebalance our collection routes to accommodate these changes and make sure our operators didn’t have too many stops on one route, and too few stops on another, throughout the week.
*Set-outs refers to the number of people who place their trash and recycling carts on the curb for pickup on a weekly basis.
How did you decide on the new collection days/routes?
ESD teamed with its technology partner, Rubicon SmartCity, to complete a route optimization project to determine the most efficient schedule and routes for residential collections. Rubicon provides a cloud-based GPS and ticketing system for our trucks while drivers are on a route, and this system has been collecting data on our operations for almost four years. The data included the address database, the amount of time each route took to complete, the scheduled and actual number of stops on each route, and the number of times each truck had to make a trip to empty at the landfill or BuRRT (Buckman Road Recycling and Transfer Station). After all the data collection, the Rubicon optimization team utilized computer simulations to redesign and balance the routes, with the following parameters in mind:
- the number of homes on each route
- how many times the trucks have to dump at the landfill or recycling facilities;
- the maximum distance from each collection area to the ESD yard, recycling, and landfill facilities;
- turning constraints, one-way streets, and other pertinent field conditions;
- and the number of collections days.
Why are you switching to a four-day schedule?
Based on the data and analysis we received from Rubicon, the four-day schedule is more efficient. The optimized routes on a four-day schedule ensure the last trip to the landfill/BuRRT each day is with a full truck, and it eliminates all of the trips from one service day; saving time, fuel, and money.
Are there other reasons to make the change?
- Yes! In addition to being more efficient, switching to a four-day schedule has a number of other advantages:
- We can perform better regular and preventative maintenance on our residential trucks when they are all in the yard on Fridays;
- Overtime can be limited for both collections and for truck washing schedules;
- It’s an investment in our team, and may help us with retention and recruitment of employees with a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in a tight market for CDL drivers because:
- Operators working a 4-10s schedule will have regular three-day weekends
- Residential Operators will get to spend holidays with family/friends (or however they wish!);
- A four-day schedule eliminates a long commute day for many employees, and eliminates a child-care day expense for some
- And, because the 4-day optimization saves us gas, it helps reduce the City’s carbon footprint and moves us toward our sustainability goals!
What do the Operators think of the schedule change?
Before considering this change, we polled our Residential Operators, and then consulted them again during the final decision-making phase with Rubicon. They have been very supportive of the change, and are looking forward to spending holidays at home!
Do you need more trucks and Operators to make this change?
No. Rubicon’s simulations for the routes also factored in our staffing and equipment levels, and we can move to this new schedule with our existing personnel and equipment. (However, there are usually opening for Operators in ESD, and we encourage anyone interested in working with us to apply! ESD can help qualified applicants to obtain a CDL, which is necessary to operate the larger vehicles.)
The city is still growing. What happens when the routes become out of balance again?
We made sure to plan ahead with Rubicon while we were studying the possible changes, and the new routes leave room for growth in the areas where homes are rapidly being built.