Boise’s Orange Bag Recycling Program Gets Tweaked for Second Year

Boise (670 KBOI News) – Last Spring, the City of Boise started a new recycling program, after China announced it would no longer buy soft plastics from the United States.

The City began collecting soft plastics in special orange plastic bags, provided to each home, so they could be shipped to a company in Salt Lake City, where they’re converted into diesel fuel.

At Tuesday night’s meeting, the Boise City Council approved a change to the program. Rather than delivering bags to each home in the City, they’ll mail out vouchers so anyone who wants to participate can pick up the bags themselves.

Senior Program Manager Haley Falconer says the real value of the program is keeping recyclable garbage out of the landfill, but the program probably isn’t paying for itself.

“The estimates are right around $700-800,000,” said Falconer.  “That includes delivery costs for every bag, and also the communication and outreach associated with that, our staff time.  That is included in our budget for 2019, so there’s no additional cost that’s part of our trash and recycling rates,  that folks pay.”

Falconer estimates 30-35% of Boiseans actually participate in the program.  The vouchers should be mailed out sometime in April.  Those who want to participate in the program to Albertson’s and exchange them for bags.

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