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Boulder Businesses

Looking for resources to help with compliance? Check out our Resources page or view our Guidebook .

The Vision

By 2025, the average Boulder business recycles and composts 85 percent of its waste.


Why Zero Waste?

You play a key role in Boulder’s zero waste future. 

In making sustainable resource and disposal choices, your business can cut costs on supplies and raw materials, enhance overall efficiency, lessen your impact on the environment, and convert waste into a valuable product.

what are the requirements?

Boulder’s Universal Zero Waste Ordinance requires your business to recycle and compost, provide zero waste signs and educate employees on what items go where.


And we're here to help you do it.

See the Universal Zero Waste Ordinance

Take Action

How to move Boulder closer to a zero waste future.


Get Service

If you contract for trash services, contact a local waste hauler to sign up for recycling and compost collection services. If trash service is provided by your property manager, let him or her know about Boulder’s requirements, which include recycling and compost services. 


Set Up Bins

Strategically place recycling and compost containers (near every trash container) to collect materials. 


Hang Signs

Obtain free signs from the city or your waste hauler to clearly identify each container and what goes in it; free custom signs for restaurants are also available. See our Resources page for more information and the step-by-step guidebook for specific sign requirements.


Train Employees

Train employees on what materials go in each container and janitorial staff on where to empty each container. Our sorting 101 video and quiz to complete this requirement can be found on the employee training page. There's also a video resource for custodial contractors in English or Spanish 


Recycle More

Identify hard-to-recycle materials generated in your business (electronics, printer toner, etc.), set up a hard-to-recycle collection with signage, and dispose of materials at the RecycleRow .


Reuse and Purchase Wisely

Consider additional ways to reuse products in your business and update your purchasing policies to buy environmentally preferable products.


Set the Bar

Work with Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE) to identify more zero waste opportunities at your business and learn about becoming zero waste certified.

Zero Waste Ordinance

How can you comply with zero waste requirements?

Follow the links below to learn more about zero waste requirements and how to comply.


Universal zero waste ordinance

Recycling and composting at your business.

Learn more

bag fee

10-cent fee for plastic and paper checkout bags at grocery stores.

Learn More

Trash tax

An occupation tax on trash haulers serving customers within the city limits.

Learn more

zero waste resources

Advising, Rebates and Incentives

We’re here to help you. All businesses in the city of Boulder have access to FREE zero waste technical assistance through the City of Boulder and Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE).

  • Assistance

    Need to comply with zero waste requirements? We've designed a step-by-step guidebook and training video to help you get started.

    Ready to take the next step? Through Partners for a Clean Environment (PACE)*, all businesses in the city of Boulder have access to free technical assistance. PACE will help you achieve your waste reduction goals, connect you with financing tools and incentives, provide personalized guidance and help you gain recognition for your efforts. PACE Business Sustainability Advisors can help you:

    • Measure your business’s zero waste efforts and help you figure out how to do more;

    • Explore sustainable purchasing policies and engage employees in your efforts;

    • Identify opportunities to minimize waste through reuse, recycling and composting programs; and

    • Identify and apply for rebates and incentives.

    Schedule a free advising session today by calling 303-786-7223 or emailing [email protected].

    *PACE services are provided to Boulder businesses through the city’s Trash Tax and CAP Tax .

  • Current Rebates and Incentives

    The City of Boulder is offering a FREE six months’ supply of compostable bag liners through its Green Bag Giveaway program, paid for by the Disposable Bag Fee. To qualify, Boulder businesses of all types simply need to fill out a Compliance Reporting Form which shows they are composting and recycling. Businesses should be prepared to submit photographic evidence of their waste stations demonstrating ordinance compliance.

    Note: funding is limited and applications will be approved on a first come first serve basis.

    Visit our Green Bag Giveaway page for more information.

  • Free Signs

    Stock Signs

    Clear, visible signs are an important tool to show your employees and customers what materials go where, and achieve your business’s zero waste goals. Click on the links below to download and print as many stock signs as you need.

    Your business can also request laminated signs and bin labels at no charge by emailing [email protected]. Include your contact info, mailing address and the quantities and types of signs you would like. 

    Custom Signs

    Custom signs are made just for you, and show materials used at your business. Contact [email protected] for instructions on how to submit photographs and get custom signs created for free.

  • What Goes Where?

    Great question! The following resources should help your business to properly dispose of most general waste items. Visit our What Goes Where page for a full list of Boulder’s zero waste facilities, services and helpful tips and tricks.


    A-Z recycling guide – find out what materials can be composted and recycled

  • Training Videos

    The Zero Waste training videos are here to help you comply to the Zero Waste Ordinance step by step. Use them to help train your employees and to get a quick overview of the requirements. They are available in English and Spanish .

  • Contact us

    Questions about zero waste?

    Contact the city at 303-441-1931 or [email protected].

Universal Zero Waste

How to Comply with Boulder's Zero Waste Law for Businesses

Training for Businesses

live, work, and play in boulder?

Find more information to put these ideas into action.