Special Curbside Collection
Citywide Curbside Collection of Downed Tree Limbs
Due to the extraordinary amount of tree damage caused by the early snowstorm on Sept. 9 - 10, 2020, the City of Boulder will conduct a special curbside collection program for downed limbs starting September 18.
Here are a few tips to prepare:
- Collect and place limbs and branches curbside, either against the curb or on the landscaping strip next to the street.
- Curbside pick-up debris should not be placed in alleys or block travel in the street.
- There are no requirements for sizing or bundling materials, aside from piling and placing tree debris in the appropriate location.
- Bike and pedestrian lanes and paths must be kept clear and traffic flow should not be impeded.
- The city will sweep streets following the branch collection. Community members are advised to park off street during the week their area is scheduled for collection to allow street sweepers to reach the curb line.
CItywide Curbside Collection Infographic, click image above or this link to enlarge (PDF version )
During the program, crews will collect tree debris only. Other yard waste such as grass clippings or leaves should be placed in curbside compost collection containers. Non-organic materials including plastic bags, treated or painted lumber, or other household materials will NOT be picked up because all organic material collected during this collection program will be composted.
City crews continue to work on remonving hazardous hanging branches, tree limbs and other debris from public lands, roadways and other areas that may pose a public safety hazard. Residents and property owners are reminded that it is their responsibility to remove fallen branches and other debris from their own property.
For those that decline to participate in the city-wide pick up, other options to dispose of branches from private property include:
- Place branches that fit inside existing curbside compost collection bins. Branches may also be bundled: bundled branches must be no more than 6 feet long, 3 inches in diameter and cannot weigh more than 35 pounds. All materials placed outside of the cart must be in compostable bags and/or branches must be bundled to avoid extra charges. Consult your trash service provider for specific instructions. This debris will be collected as part of the city’s curbside compost collection program on the regularly scheduled collection day for that property.
- Take tree branches to Western Disposal, located at 5880 Butte Mill Rd.
- Contact a licensed arborist to pick up or chip branches.
The City of Boulder is providing a community-wide collection of tree branches damaged by an early Fall storm, which will begin Sept. 18. This work will occur from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily, including weekends, until complete as weather permits. Additionally, city crews and contractors are removing hazardous hanging branches, tree limbs and other debris from public lands, roadways and other areas that may pose a public safety hazard. Residents and property owners are responsible for removing fallen branches and other debris from their property.
Only tree branches and limbs will be collected. Please help the collection process move smoothly by placing yard waste such as grass clippings and leaves in your curbside compost collection container rather than out for citywide collection. All collected materials will be composted, so non-organic materials such as plastic bags and treated or painted lumber, and other household materials will not be picked up.
For this citywide collection program, there are no restrictions on sizing or bundling of materials, so you do not need to prepare your materials for collection aside from piling and placing the material in the appropriate location. As a reminder, non-organic materials will not be collected. If you opt to use some type of bag to collect materials, please ensure it is a paper bag (plastic will not be picked up).
The curbside collection program only applies to properties within the city limits. Tree limbs on streets with BLUE city street signs will be picked up. GREEN street signs are county streets and are not included in this city-only program.
Please place your materials at the curbside, against the curb in the street (careful to not block travel) or on the landscaping strip next to the street. Please note, debris should not be placed in alleys. There are no requirements for sizing or bundling materials, aside from piling and placing tree debris in the appropriate location. Due to constraints such as alley width, overhead utilities and truck dimensions, alley pick-up is unavailable.
Non-organic materials will not be collected. Crews will place a visible note detailing why they did not pick up your materials and providing a day on which they will return to pick-up organic materials that are not mixed with non-organic materials. Residents are responsible for recycling and properly disposing of materials other than tree branches.
The date your materials will be picked up depends on where you live. The city has been divided into two zones, North and South, to facilitate the work, with specific collection start dates for each. Each zone's tree debris pick-up will initiate on the northern boundary and progress each day toward the southern edge.
You can refer to the zoned pick-up map, which is posted on this page. As crews begin debris collection, this map will be updated daily to show which streets have been serviced. This timing is weather-dependent and may change.
- North Zone collections begin Sept. 18 – North of Canyon Boulevard, including houses on the north side of Canyon Boulevard, to the north city limits, including residential streets with blue signs in Gunbarrel.
- South Zone collections begin Sept. 25 – South of Canyon Boulevard, including houses on the south side of Canyon Boulevard.
Please call the city storm debris hotline at 303-441-3200 if you have additional questions about storm debris collection.
Please refer to the updated tracking map on this page to confirm that crews have completed your neighborhood. If your neighborhood is identified as complete, but city crews did not collect your tree limbs, please call the storm debris hotline, 303-441-3200.
The date your materials will be collected depends on where you live. You can refer to the zoned collection map, which is posted on this page. As crews begin debris collection, this map will be updated daily to show which streets have been serviced.
All materials collected during this process will be composted. Plastic bags are not compostable. Items such as lumber or old construction wood may have been treated with paint, glues, preservatives, stains or other chemicals that could contaminate the soil. Therefore, these items cannot be composted.
The tree branches picked up by the city will be made into wood chips and then taken to A1 Organics to be composted.
Yes, the city will be sweeping streets following the branch collection. Residents are encouraged to park off-street during the week that their area is picked up to allow street sweepers to reach the curb line.
This expense is being funded from General Fund reserves. The General Fund is the portion of the city budget used to pay for basic activities in areas such as public safety and human services that are not accounted for in another fund.
The General Fund sets aside money for emergency or unanticipated priorities, such as helping the community recover from severe weather events. Though the city’s recommended 2021 budget was built conservatively in response to the COVID-19 pandemic’s economic challenges, General Fund reserves have been preserved to cover expenses related to emergency events, such as this one, that may occur in 2021.
This contractor, Custom Tree Care, responded to a competitive solicitation process facilitated by the city earlier this year to prepare for these types of events by having approved, licensed contractors on-call. The focus of this work was to line-up partners to be ready to go for post-disaster emergencies immediately after the event occurs.
For more information about the City of Boulder’s Forestry Division, please visit BoulderForestry.org.
For more information about the City of Boulder's Snow and Ice Removal program, please visit BoulderColorado.gov/public-works/snow .
Please call 303-441-3200 if you have additional questions about storm debris collection.