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Zero Waste Resources

Boulder Zero Waste Resources

ZERO WAste in the time of Covid-19

Please see this page for the current status of recycling, compost and trash collection in the City of Boulder, along with other important information as pertains to partner facilities and confusing materials.

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 with the Universal Zero Waste Ordinance

reporting Compliance with the ordinance

With the exception of 2020 and 2021, beginning June 30, 2019 and annually thereafter all restaurants and grocery stores in Boulder will need to report compliance with the city's Universal Zero Waste Ordinance.

Businesses must submit a Compliance Reporting Form to demonstrate compliance. Please note that photos of waste stations and signs are required to complete the form.

See more information on our Reporting Ordinance Compliance page.


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


Train employees and tenants on how to separate recyclables and compostables with a sorting video and quiz that can be found on our Employee Training page. We also have a Spanish version of the Sorting 101 video

Introduction and Set up videos


The City of Boulder  is offering a FREE six month 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 Compliance Reporting Form to show they are composting and recycling. Businesses should be prepared to submit photographic evidence of their waste stations demonstrating ordinance compliance.

Note: funding is limited and applications will be approved on a first come first served basis.

Visit our Green Bag Giveaway page for more information.


These local waste haulers can help you sign up for recycling and compost-collection service. The city does not determine or control rates nor does the city dictate appropriate levels of service. Customers are encouraged 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 collection services.

free signs

Stock Signs

Clear, visible signs are an important tool to show your employees, customers and tenants what materials go where, and achieve your zero waste goals. Click on the links below to download and print as many stock signs as you need. 

Your can also request laminated signs and bin labels at no charge by emailing [email protected]. Include your contact info, mailing address and the quantities and types of signs you would like. 

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.


In limited cases, a business or property owner may apply for a n exemption  from complying with the requirements of the Universal Zero Waste Ordinance. 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. 

Please review the exemption descriptions before submitting the Compliance Reporting Form that includes a section for exemption requests.


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

Read more about zero waste requirements and special events.

Download horizontal zero waste event signs or vertical .  

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 the requirements.