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Zero Waste Boulder

Zero Waste Boulder

Waste Not, Want Not

for City of Boulder

Given its progressive politics and history, Boulder is often considered a leader in sustainability. But in terms of recycling diversion rates, the city still trails other major U.S. cities. So in June 2015, Boulder’s City Council adopted new requirements that sought to expand recycling and composting to all Boulder residents, employees, and visitors by requiring property managers and businesses to do better. The goal? To generate new materials from 85 percent of the city’s waste by 2025 rather than send that waste to the landfill. Vermilion created a website that helps explain the ordinance and its importance, while directing businesses and residents to plenty of local resources to help get it done.

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How Does Boulder Compare to Other Cities?

Boulder is smaller, and very different than many large U.S. cities that have high diversion rates. But cities of similar size and demographics — Athens, GA, Eugene, OR — have already begun to make greater strides. Efforts like the City’s Zero Waste Plan are the first steps to making bigger leaps in the next decade.

Where Does Boulder’s Waste Go?

Like much of the rest of the country, most of Boulder’s waste goes into landfills. The typical person in a developed country produces about 2.6 pounds of garbage a day. But how much of that ‘trash’ can actually go to recycling or compost?

How Do We Get To Zero Waste?

Even committed individuals can inadvertently hamper strong waste diversion if they’re unsure of what they can recycle and how to do it. Helping all of Boulder’s residents understand how they fit into the puzzle is the first step.


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