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Zero Waste Resources

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

Green Bag Giveaway! 

The City of Boulder is offering a FREE six months’ supply of compostable bags through its Green Bag Giveaway program, paid for by the Disposable Bag Fee. To qualify, Boulder businesses of all types simply need to fill out the application which shows they are composting and recycling. Businesses should be prepared to submit photographic evidence of their waste stations demonstrating ordinance compliance.

Funding is limited and applications will be approved on a first come first serve basis, so we are encouraging interested businesses to apply soon!

More information on our Green Bag Giveaway page

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.


Introduction and Set up videos


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.

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 [email protected] to request signs. Include your contact info, mailing address and the number of signs you would like. Or, click on the PDFs below to print your own.  

Custom Signs

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


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

  • Contact [email protected] if you need help with bin ordering options and common bin sizes



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. 


Contact [email protected] 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. 

Zero Waste Event Information

Download horizontal zero waste event signs or vertical .

Read more about zero waste requirements and special events here.

Contact us

Please contact [email protected] 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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