We can help you take the next step!

The Center for EcoTechnology (CET) is building relationships in Colorado with stakeholders that are interested in addressing wasted food. With support from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), CET will evaluate and provide feedback on current and future food rescue and recovery efforts to improve food waste reduction and recovery in Denver

CET is exploring partnering on projects to increase the capacity to address this important issue in Colorado. To learn more about CET’s work in Colorado and to get involved, contact CET today at 888-813-8552 or e-mail wastedfood@cetonline.org.

Helpful Colorado Wasted Food Resources

  • NRDC and Food Matters in Denver Resources
    • The city of Denver was selected by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to be a model city for Food Matters, a project aimed to encourage food waste reduction through broad policies and programs.
    • In the NDRC’s Strengthening Denver’s Food Rescue Ecosystem report an analysis was conducted that identified ways to improve Denver’s food rescue landscape. An additional report by NRDC, Modeling The Potential to Increase Food Rescue, discusses the opportunities to redirect foods to food-insecure individuals. According to their methodology, expanded food rescue efforts in the Denver area could fill 46 percent of Denver’s meal gap.
  • Colorado Green Business Network
    • The Colorado Green Business Network program helps Colorado businesses increase the efficiency and sustainability of their operations through assessments, networking, and recognition of excellence.
  • Colorado’s Food Waste Policies
    • The U.S. Food Waste Policy Finder by ReFED details Colorado’s current food waste prevention, rescue, and recycling policies. This includes Colorado labeling regulations, liability protection regulations, tax incentives, animal feed regulations, and organic waste recycling laws.
  • Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act
    • The Federal Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act (Public Law 104-210) protects donors from liability when donating to nonprofit organizations and protects donors from civil and criminal liability should the product, donated in good faith, later cause harm to the needy recipient.
  • Wasted Food Solutions for Denver, Colorado: Stakeholder Engagement and Initial Findings
    • With support from EPA Region 8, and in partnership with the Denver Department of Public Health & Environment (DDPHE), the Center for EcoTechnology developed a report on food donation activities at Denver restaurants. This report outlines current successes and opportunities to further food redistribution activities from this sector and provides recommended next steps to foster action.

Colorado Legal/Regulatory Requirements

  • Currently, Colorado does not have any statewide laws on wasted food diversion.
    • In 2005, the City of Boulder adopted a goal to have 85% of waste diverted from the landfill by 2025. In 2015, Boulder adopted their Universal Zero Waste Ordinance requiring all properties in Boulder to have separated organic waste, recycling, and trash service. The ordinance became effective in 2016, requiring businesses to provide suitable collection containers, required signage, and provide employee training on proper sorting. The ordinance also requires both residential and commercial property owners to subscribe to organic waste, recycling, and trash service and to provide any occupants with the location of each collection bin. As of 2018, Boulder has increased the amount of waste diverted from the landfill to 57% from 39% in 2015 when the ordinance was originally adopted.


For more information regarding food waste estimates, source separation guidance, and how to start a food donation program, open CET’s Toolbox.


Contact CET to learn more about food recovery and waste diversion opportunities for your business, institution, customers, or association members: