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Boulder Zero Waste Resources

We are here to help

The City of Boulder wants to encourage compliance and has created a number of resources to help you achieve success at complying with the Universal Zero Waste Ordinance

Guidebook & Toolkits

The city has developed a step-by-step guidebook to assist with DIY compliance. 

There are also short documents which can walk you through the steps of what you need to do to comply. We have a resident toolkitbusiness toolkit and a property owner toolkit.

Training Videos

We have a video for business owners and a video for property owners walking you through on overview of steps to compliance with the ordinance. 


These local waste haulers can help you sign up for recycling and compost-collection service.  The city does not determine or have any way to control rates nor does the city dictate appropriate levels of service. The city encourages customers to ask for cost estimates from multiple haulers.  If you contract for trash services, contact these haulers directly to sign up for service. If trash service is provided by your property manager or owner, let him or her know about Boulder’s new requirements, which include recycling and compost service.

commercial rebates and incentives

The City of Boulder's Trash Tax provides several limited time financial incentives to help your business or property comply with requirements and implement a successful zero waste program. Rebate descriptions and forms are below. All incentives are subject to fund availability.

  • If you need to expand your collection bins to comply with new universal zero waste requirements : The city will rebate 50 percent of costs (total rebate up to $500) toward the purchase of interior bins. Rebates are also available to cover the purchase of compostable bin liners for food-related businesses. Submit a expanding service bin rebate application to

  • Property owner rolling grant program : This new program will fund up to 50 percent of the cost of outdoor enclosure expansions needed to accommodate proper containers for landfill, recycling and compost collection. Grant amounts awarded subject to staff discretion. Please contact Jamie Harkins at or  303-441-1846 to learn more.

*All incentives provided through the city’s Trash Tax and subject to funding availability.

free recycling and compost signs

Stock Signs

Clear, visible signs are an important tool to show your employees and customers what materials go where. Click on the links below to download and print as many stock signs as you need. Your property or business can also order up to three sets of laminated posters and bin labels, and two sets of bathroom composting posters at no charge.

Email to request signs. Include your contact info, mailing address and the number of signs you would like.  Please also have in mind which type of sign or signs you would like. View the different versions by clicking on the PDFs below.  All recycling, composting and landfill signs have options of three different levels of detail. If you have trouble deciding, we recommend the medium level of detail.

Custom Signs

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


In limited cases, a business or property owner may apply for a one year exemption  from complying with the requirements of the Universal Zero Waste Ordinance. City staff will review exemption applications and work with the applicants to bring the location into compliance. In order to be granted an exemption, applicants must demonstrate they have considered all reasonable options that would bring their business or property into compliance. 

To apply for an exemption, review exemption descriptions. If you think your business or property may be eligible to receive an exemption, submit an exemption request intake form. 


To see examples of proper bin setup, please view our bin setup guide


Contact or call 303-441-1931 to inquire about the availability of assistance from a City of Boulder advisor.


Check out our What Goes Where page for information, tips and local facilities to help you reuse, recycle and compost more. 

There are also Zero Waste training videos are here to help you comply to the Zero Waste Ordinance step by step. There is a  video for business owners and a video for property owners walking you through on overview of steps to compliance with the law.  More videos coming soon! 

Zero Waste Event Information

Read more about zero waste requirements and special events here.

Hosting a birthday party, BBQ or other small gathering? Learn more about how to keep your plates, cups and wrapping paper out of the landfill.

Contact us

Please contact or call  303-441-1931 to request assistance, or refer to the City Manager's Rules for additional details about how to comply with new requirements.

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