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zero waste boulder reporting Ordinance Compliance

This page contains resources to report compliance with the city's Universal Zero Waste Ordinance. All Boulder restaurants and grocery stores are required to report by June 30, 2019. 

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Boulder is working to become a zero waste community, where we reduce the waste we create and then reuse, recycle and compost most of what we throw away.

The city’s Universal Zero Waste Ordinance requires all businesses to:

  • separate recyclables and compostables from the trash
  • provide correctly placed containers
  • have required signs
  • train employees on proper sorting 

The city is beginning to phase in self-reporting, where businesses will be required to report their compliance with the ordinance to the city. In 2019, all restaurants and grocery stores are required to report.


How to report compliance 

Businesses reporting compliance need to fill out this application. 

Please note you will need to attach photos of your waste stations and signs to the compliance form.


Who needs to report and Deadlines

By June 30, 2019 and annually thereafter: All restaurants and grocery stores

By June 30, 2020 and annually thereafter: All food producing businesses

No sooner than June 30, 2021 , the City Manager may also require other businesses and property owners to annually report.


frequently asked questions

  • what do i do if my business is not compliant with the ordinance yet?



    • The City of Boulder wants to encourage compliance and has created a number of resources to help you achieve success. You can find all the materials, including how-to videos, a step-by-step guidebook, free signs and employee training materials on the zero waste resources page.


  • Does my business qualify for an exemption?


  • What happens if my business does not report when required?


    • Businesses that do not report when required are assumed to be non-compliant. These businesses will then be subject to enforcement action and may receive fines. 
  • How does my business complete the employee training requirement?



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