The City of Boulder welcomes your feedback. Use our Inquire Boulder customer service tool to tell us what’s on your mind.

  • Parks and Recreation
  • Recreation Guide
  • Parks and Recreation Master Plan
  • Parks
  • Plans and Reports
  • Forestry and Horticulture
  • Recreation Programs
  • Recreation Facilities

Wasteless Parks

Copy of WasteLess Parks Pilot Program Sign.  

In our continuing effort to identify cost savings and  analyze all labor standards for efficiencies to serve the community  best, Boulder Parks and Recreation (BPR) will launch the WasteLess Parks pilot in nine sites. 

Update: The pilot is being evaluated by staff and will be discussed at the Parks and Recreation Board meeting in April 2021 .

The WasteLess Parks Pilot intends to explore the city's;appropriate level of service in smaller neighborhood parks by removing trash cans from nine sites. BPR labor standards outline servicing waste at each of these parks three times per week; however, during peak season (May to September) the sites often require more frequent service. The  frequency  increase  is largely due to trash bags requiring daily removal despite not reaching capacity as a result of a large amount of dog waste and its associated weight.

Parks chosen for this pilot met criteria based on their small size, limited visitation and proximity to other facilities with trash services. Additionally, s taff considered travel time and trash routes to each  site when calculating potential savings. Staff estimate that removing trash bins from these nine sites will save 3.5 hours per week, for a total of more than 180 hours each year,  and allow BPR to redirect this time to tasks such as turf care. The pilot could also inform additional service level adjustments.

This map shows the nine sites chosen for this pilot:

The  WasteLess Pilot  is modeled closely after  industry leading practices for more sustainable parks. The National Parks Service (NPS) and other state and local parks around the country promote “Trash Free Parks” by removing trash cans from select urban park sites. NPS reported an 80-95% reduction in waste in the parks where this was implemented starting in 2013 In addition to a reduction in time and materials (for trash bags), removal of trash cans also spreads awareness of  Leave No Trace™  principles and encourages park users to reduce, reuse and recycle.  

T he city  will seek feedback from community users  and evaluate the program’s success  in the first quarter of 2021  against criteria  like cost savings  the team has established. If successful, the city will assess continuing the program in the selected  site s , and potential expansion to other park sites where the program may be a good fit.  

Questions or comments? Please use the form below, email [email protected]  or call 303-413-7200.