Free Compostable Bags

Boulder businesses can apply for a free monthly subscription to receive compostable bin liners for one year.


The Universal Zero Waste Ordinance requires that all businesses in the City of Boulder separate compostable materials from trash and recycling, and recognizes the additional cost that compostable bin liners pose. The city is committed to supporting businesses and the public with composting properly by reducing contamination. Keeping plastics out of the compost stream is vital to production of a clean, marketable product. Having a quality end product also ensures that compost programs, which greatly reduce methane emissions and our climate impacts, can continue.

Program funding comes from the Disposable Bag Fee, the 10¢ fee on disposable plastic and paper checkout bags at all grocery stores in Boulder. Plastic bags are contaminants in both the compost and recycling waste streams and the Green Bag Giveaway program benefits businesses that are composting and helps keep plastic contamination out of the compost and environment.


To qualify, any Boulder business simply needs to fill out the Zero Waste Reporting Form showing they are composting and recycling according to ordinance requirements. Businesses should be prepared to submit photographic evidence of their waste stations to demonstrate this clearly.

Visit the Universal Zero Waste Ordinance page for compliance details, instructions and resources.


The Green Bag Giveaway ordering section is at the end of the Zero Waste Reporting Form. Your subscription begins by selecting two boxes for your initial order. You will then receive the same two boxes monthly for at least one year directly from the city's compostable bag vendor. All costs, including monthly shipping, are paid by the City of Boulder.

We appreciate that the City of Boulder is making it even easier to compost. The free compostable bag program is just one example of how the city is doing a great job supporting the restaurant community’s push toward zero waste.

- Paul Nashak, managing partner of Mountain Sun Pubs & Breweries