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Boise trash collection every other week? City officials seeking waste reduction feedback

A survey is examining how Boise residents can do more to reduce, reuse and recycle. One question looks at decreasing trash collection frequencies.
Credit: Troy Colson/KTVB
Tons of recycling are dumped out on the floors of the Western Recycling facility before workers have to manually sort it out.

BOISE, Idaho — The City of Boise is developing a plan to reduce waste and cut back on trash. 

Boise officials created a survey to gather opinions about potential new procedures for waste reduction, recycling, compost and trash collection. 

One of the survey questions gauges community interest in changing trash collection.

Right now trash collection occurs every week in Boise and recycling is collected every other week. But what if that was switched? 

The option outlined in the survey involves collecting recycling every week while trash is only collected every other week. It also would allow residents to choose smaller trash carts that cost less.

City of Boise Spokesperson Colin Hickman said that the city has long had a focus on recycling, but more attention needs to be put on reducing and reusing waste. 

There's one option that's not currently on the table. Hickman said a question he gets asked often is when will Boise ban plastics, such as plastic bags. However, Idaho state code does not allow the city to regulate such items.

Other survey questions ask how much residents care about waste reduction and who they think is primarily responsible for waste reduction: whether it is perceived as individuals, stores, manufacturers or the local government.

City officials also want to know what is keeping residents from reducing waste: is it lack of education or is it convenience?

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The City of Boise waste reduction survey also asks:

  • Do people reduce, reuse and recycle because it benefits the next generation or is it because waste reduction extends the life of the landfill?
  • If offered the option to go to a "Fix it Fair," an event where residents bring broken items to vendors who then help them repair their own items, how likely would Boiseans attend?
  • Would locals participate in a "Clothing Swap" or a "Zero Waste Shopping Tour" where residents are guided through a grocery store and informed of techniques to reduce waste?

The waste survey also looks at Boise businesses and if residents would choose to shop at a business actively working to reduce waste over one that isn't. 

Hickman said he has seen a lot of initiative from citizens and businesses who are heavily engaged in waste management and City of Boise officials are "excited" to fuel that conversation and take things to the next level.  

For more information about the survey, go to the City of Boise's Facebook page. 

City of Boise Facebook Post: 

Your voice matters. Help us shape Boise's future with less waste. Th... e City of Boise is currently developing a plan to reduce waste in the city. Please take this short survey to help us gain a better understanding of personal values and barriers to waste reduction and to help us prioritize our future programs and investments in waste reduction, recycling, compost and trash collection.

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