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Boulder Residents

  • The Vision

    By 2025, All Boulder houses recycle and compost 85 percent of their waste.

  • The Vision

    By 2025, All Boulder apartments and townhomes recycle and compost 85 percent of their waste.


Let’s make it happen

A gum wrapper. A plastic bag. An old pair of tennis shoes. Every day, we hold these things in our hands and decide what do with each one. Throw it away or recycle it? Compost or trash? They're small decisions, but they have a lasting impact.

We’re about to make those decisions a lot easier. How? By helping you recycle and compost at home and when you’re out on the town, by connecting you with recycle and reuse facilities, and by expanding Boulder’s recycling center to collect more materials—all with the goal of turning Boulder into a zero waste community.

The Steps

How to move Boulder closer to a zero waste future.


Reduce and Reuse

Take notice of how much waste you generate each day and challenge yourself to reduce unnecessary waste. Before you buy new, consider borrowing or purchasing used or repurposed materials.


Bundle Up

If you haven’t already, contact your waste hauler and sign up for bundled service that includes trash, recycling and compost pick-up.  See a list of haulers here.



Understand recycling guidelines and collect recyclable materials in your home.



Understand composting guidelines and collect compostable materials including food scraps, yard waste, tissues and paper towels, etc.


Recycle More

Learn what hard-to-recycle materials can be recycled in Boulder (electronics, paint, chemicals, Styrofoam, etc.). Collect and deliver them to the proper drop-off location.


Study Up

Understand what happens to materials that you dispose of. Do they go to the landfill? Are they repurposed and used in the community?


Shape the Future

Read Boulder’s Zero Waste Action Plan, help the community meet new goals, seize opportunities to support zero waste and engage in policy decisions.

What goes where?

Sometimes it’s hard to know exactly which items go into your curbside cart and the waste bins around town. But once you’ve got a solid grasp of things, good zero waste practices become habit. Check out our What Goes Where page for information, tips and local facilities to help you reuse, recycle and compost more.

Turn your gathering into a zero waste event

Everyone likes a party, but no one likes to see plates, cups and wrapping paper go from the store to the landfill in a few hours. Make a statement by hosting a zero waste party, birthday, shower, picnic or barbeque! Get started today!

The Details

How do I comply with zero waste requirements?

We’re so glad you asked! Click below to learn more about Boulder’s zero waste regulations and how you can comply.

  • Universal zero waste ordinance

    The universal zero waste ordinance requires all businesses and properties (including houses, apartments and condos) to recycle and compost.

  • Bear-protection ordinance

    Boulder’s Bear protection ordinance requires all waste carts west of Broadway and south of Sumac to be secured from bears.

  • Disposable-bag fee

    Disposable Bag Fee requires a 10-cent fee for disposable checkout bags at all grocery stores in Boulder.

  • Training Videos

    The Zero Waste training videos are here to help you comply to the Zero Waste Ordinance step by step.  They are available in English and Spanish .

  • Contact us

    Questions about Zero Waste? Contact the City at 303-441-1931 or email us at  [email protected] .

Universal Zero Waste

Training for residents

live, work, and play in boulder?

Find more information to put these ideas into action.