In order to have a license to collect waste in Boulder County, haulers must provide their residential customers with unlimited recycling service at no charge as part of their trash collection. Recyclables collected include cardboard, paper, steel cans, aluminum cans, glass containers, and plastic bottles, jugs, tubs and jars.
Haulers are also required to provide curbside composting service at no additional charge for 96 gallons of compostable materials from residents in designated urban areas. Compostable materials include food waste and yard debris. Residents of some areas can only compost yard waste in their curbside service but centralized urban areas can compost food waste as well (see linked map for program boundaries).
Boulder County is aiming for Zero Waste by 2025, with an interim goal of 50% diversion by 2010. These goals apply to both the county as a whole and the county government.
The county adopted Zero Waste “as a guiding principle for all county operations and for outreach and actions within the community.” In an effort to model Zero Waste, all county offices have recycling & compost bins, hold Zero Waste events, participate in hard-to-recycle collections, and take other steps to reduce and reuse waste.
An updated county purchasing policy reflects Zero Waste goals by including trade-in and take-back language, giving preference to electronic bids and proposals, discouraging bottled water use, and using locally-sourced compost.
Key short-term steps in Boulder County’s Zero Waste action plan include pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) pricing and recycling services for all unincorporated areas, increased composting in unincorporated areas, and a conversion to single-stream recycling. Construction and demolition waste recovery efforts are included as well, along with leveraging local partnerships and creating education campaigns.
Mid-term actions include supporting state landfill bans, increasing services to multi-family residences, expanding education campaigns to businesses, and requiring Zero Waste plans for large events held on public property.Back to map