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boulder Trash tax


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 a waste hauling ordinance that applies to all 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 reduction facilities  at 6400 Arapahoe Avenue. 

  • $3.50 per month for households; and

  • $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 Users

Over the years, the trash tax has funded a variety of waste reduction activities including: