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Boulder's Zero Waste Plan

Our guide for a zero waste future

Boulder’s Zero Waste Strategic Plan serves as a road map for how our community will pave the path to zero waste in the coming years. The plan outlines educational, technical and financial assistance programs, infrastructure and regulation, and guidelines for prioritizing future investments.

In addition to City Council and community feedback, the plan was based on the findings of a program evaluation study, which assessed existing trash tax expenditures and recommended future zero waste investments based on cost-effectiveness and environmental benefits. The plan was last updated in July, 2015.

our action plan

Boulder’s zero waste action plan is part of the Zero Waste Strategic Plan and outlines specific steps our community plans to take in the coming years to advance our goal of reusing, recycling and composting 85 percent of our waste. 

In the next one to years, Boulder aims to:

  • Expand recycling and composting opportunities to all residents, businesses, employees and visitors.

  • Connect community members with uniques zero waste servides to help people reuse and recycle more.

  • Upgrade the Boulder County Recycling Center to allow more materials to be recycled.

See Boulder's zero waste action plan , full strategic plan and zero waste regulations (passed in June 2015), which require all businesses and commercial properties in Boulder to recycle and compost.  

Our Zero Waste History

1989:  Curbside recycling program begins
1994: Voters approve a trash tax to fund community waste reduction efforts
1996: : ReSource Yard opens to collect salvaged building materials
2001 : Boulder County Recycling Center and the Center for Hard to Recycle Materials (CHaRM) open
2006 : City Council adopts first master plan for zero waste reduction
2009 : Curbside compost collection program begins
2011 : Hazardous materials management facility (HMMF) and Art Parts creative reuse center open
2013 : Disposable bag fee takes effect at grocery stores
2014 : Meat and dairy added to the curbside compost collection program
2015 : Universal zero waste ordinance adopted by City Council 

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