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Boulder CO Businesses May Need to Recycle, Compost to Meet Zero Waste Goals

Originally published in 2014.

**Updated 07/2023

The Zero Waste Strategic Plan had lofty goals from the outset and has engaged the monumental reality of waste management ecological issues. Taking from the Denver Colorado Gov website here:

The Zero Waste Strategic Plan has begun addressing the many business realities and human behavior changing task the Strategic Plan was formed to address, and realizing the best way to deal with waste is to not create it in the first place.

One amazing feature of the Zero Waste Strategic Plan is the composting roll out this summer. Read more about that here.

The Zero Waste Strategic Plan produced this forever information about How To Compost! Awesome!

-Updated 3/2020-

Upon being officially adopted by City Council, Boulder’s universal zero waste ordinance passed in June 2015, requiring all businesses and commercial properties in Boulder to recycle and compost. Through these ordinances, Boulder aims to connect community members to unique zero-waste services, upgrade the Boulder County Recycling Center, and expand recycling and composting opportunities to all residents, businesses, employees, and visitors within the next 3 years. Here’s what happened, leading up to this decision.

-Original 2014 Article-

A 2014 report from LBA Associates and Kessler Consulting showed that Boulder, CO businesses should recycle, and even compost, to meet the Zero Waste Strategic Plan. The city should also consider requiring all homeowners to subscribe to trash service.

Boulder’s Zero Waste Goals

“LBA/KCI found ways for the city to reduce costs and maintain service while planning for system-wide improvements such as every-other-week trash collection, mandatory trash/recyclables collection, mandatory commercial recycling/food waste recovery, and C&D diversion. We estimated that these improvements would earn the city long-term net annual revenues in excess of $500,000. Boulder staff and council are currently building their zero waste plan update around these improvements and others.”

City officials had not yet endorsed the recommendations but would’ve struggled to reach the 85-90 percent goal of waste diverted from landfills without changes, according to Jamie Harkins of the Local Environmental Action Division (LEAD).

The Boulder City Council held a study session on July 29, 2014.

Written by Sam Hauling

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