Boulder’s zero waste efforts are funded by a 1994 voter-approved ballot initiative that charges a tax on residential and commercial waste and generates approximately $1.8 million per year.
The trash tax is an occupation tax on trash haulers serving customers within the city limits and helps fund waste reduction efforts in Boulder. Most haulers pass the tax on to customers as part of their trash service bills.
Boulder also has requirements that apply to all waste haulers.
Current Tax Rates
The current trash tax rates are at the voter-approved maximum level. City Council raised the tax to the voter-approved maximum in 2009 to pay for improved and centralized waste diversion facilities at 6400 Arapahoe Rd.
- $3.50 per month for households.
- $0.85 per cubic yard of trash for businesses and multifamily units that use centralized dumpsters. This rate also applies to roll-off containers.
Trash Tax Uses
Over the years, the trash tax has funded a variety of waste reduction activities including:
- Curbside compost collection.
- The switch to single-stream recycling.
- A portion of the new Hazardous Materials Management Facility (HMMF).
- The purchase of land and buildings at 6400 Arapahoe Avenue to house Eco-Cycle offices, the Center for Hard-to-Recycle Materials (CHaRM), and Resource Central's used building materials donation and sales yard.