Incentives support Boulder’s transition from single-use to reuse

Let's Transition to Reusables

The City of Boulder is working with Partners for A Clean Environment (PACE) to offer reuse incentives to small, local businesses. The incentives aim to help businesses replace disposable utensils, cups, plates and to-go containers with reusable items. They also intend to support businesses as they adjust to A1 Organics’ new compost rules, which no longer allow compostable or paper products in compost bins across the Front Range.

“These changes present an opportunity to speed up our transition away from single-use products, like disposable food containers,” said Jamie Harkins, the city’s sustainability senior manager of circular economies.This pivot has already started in our community, but we need more diners, events, restaurants and other food businesses on board. We hope these incentives will do just that.”

Check Out the Incentives

The newest incentive is a one-time refund for buying reusable solutions that best serve your business. The refund will cover up to 70% of total costs up to $2,000. Reusable solutions include but are not limited to:

  • Dishwashers
  • Durable dishware
  • Other in-house reuse solutions

Businesses interested in the refund must fill out an online application. The application and refund information are also available in Spanish. Funds are limited and will be awarded to businesses who show how their solution will reduce the use of disposable items.

The city is also offering $1500 worth of free reusable takeout container services to restaurants who try them out. Visit PACE’s website for more information about the reuse refund and reusable takeout container services.

The city has partnered with two companies, DeliverZero and r.Cup, who help businesses switch to reusable products. DeliverZero stocks businesses with long-lasting, returnable takeout containers. Diners can choose reusable containers when ordering online at participating Boulder restaurants.

Stack of DeliverZero reusable food containers

r.Cup provides reusable cups to entertainment venues, college and corporate campuses, and events. Event venues within Boulder city limits may be eligible for a $1,000 incentive to help them get started with r.Cup services.

r.Cup reusable cup at an event

Have questions? Reach out to PACE.

Businesses can contact PACE at or 303-786-7223 to learn more about these incentives. PACE advisors are also available to answer questions.

Explore Our New Compost Resources

The city has created a variety of resources to help community members and businesses understand A1 Organics’ new compost rules. These include updated sorting signs, answers to frequently asked questions from community members and businesses, and an article explaining the changes.

The City’s Circular Economy Vision

A shift toward reuse will help address many of the climate and waste challenges we face today. This growing movement focuses on preventing waste in the first place. It also explores innovative ways to curb Boulder’s collective consumption through systems change. Explore the city’s Circular Boulder guide to learn more.

Circular Boulder vision
Emma Ruffin