Beginning mid-April, a year’s supply of Hefty© EnergyBag™ orange bags will be delivered to each residential recycling customer. Delivery of the orange bags is expected to take approximately five weeks to complete. The innovative recovery program accepts a wide variety of hard-to-recycle plastic items including some food packaging and pouches, foam products, plastic bags and other plastic packaging. The materials collected in the orange bags are eventually converted into fuel.
Detailed instructions on how to participate in this new program and a home reference guide will be delivered with the orange bags. Citizens can begin collecting specified plastic materials in the bags immediately upon delivery. Once full, the tied orange bags should be placed in the customers’ blue carts for collection along with other recycling materials on their regular recycling days.
“This new program demonstrates the commitment of the City of Boise to seek out local and regional solutions and reuse and recover more of the waste we generate, keeping more out of the landfill,” said Boise Mayor David Bieter. “Sustainability in Boise is something we work at every day. We know there is a lot of work to be done in responsibly managing what we generate in our homes, and this is a big step towards that end.”
Until a recent ban and restrictions were placed on specific materials, many of the recyclables from Boise households were collected, sorted and shipped for sale to markets around the world, primarily China. The Hefty© EnergyBag™ program allows the city to collect residents’ hard-to-recycle plastics and deliver them to a Salt Lake City company, Renewlogy, where they are turned into synthetic diesel fuel - instead of continuing to ship materials around the world or putting them in the landfill.
“We are excited that we have found a better solution for these hard-to-recycle plastics. We thank the public for their patience as we have continued to explore our options and encourage them to continue to work with us to find more local and innovative solutions to the remainder of our recycling needs,” said Council President Pro Tem Elaine Clegg.
Along with the implementation of the Hefty© EnergyBag™ program, there are several other changes taking place in Boise:
- Milk jugs, laundry detergent tubs and soda/juice bottles are the only plastic items that can go in the blue recycle carts. The items must be loose and not bagged before being placed in the cart.
- All plastic water bottles and plastic hinged-lid (clamshell) containers now belong in the trash cart.
- There are no changes to paper, cardboard or metal recycling. Customers can continue to recycle these items in their blue carts as usual.
To help educate customers about the new changes, the city has open houses scheduled for April and May at libraries across Boise:
April 7 | Library! at Collister, 1-3 p.m.
April 10 | Downtown Main Library, 6-7:30 p.m.
April 12 | Library! at Cole & Ustick, 7:30-9 p.m.
April 14 | Library at Bown Crossing, 1-3 p.m.
May 8 | Library! at Cole & Ustick, 6-7:30 p.m.
May 10 | Library! at Hillcrest, 6-7:30 p.m.
May 12 | Library! at Bown Crossing, 1-3 p.m.
May 19 | Library! at Collister, 1-3 p.m.
In January, the City of Boise was awarded a $50,000 grant from the Hefty© EnergyBag™ Grant Program, funded by The Dow Chemical Company in collaboration with national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful. The funds were used to assist Boise in getting the local Hefty© EnergyBag™ program up and running. Happy Family Brands, an organic baby food company with roots in Boise, initially identified the grant opportunity and approached the City of Boise to partner on the grant application.
Boise maintains a 98% participation rate in residential recycling. Along with recycling, the City of Boise recently implemented a citywide compost program which to-date has collected over 38 million pounds of compostable material from Boise households. The city also partners with a local glass recycling company, and operates a household hazardous waste collection program with free collection sites across Boise. The Hefty© EnergyBag™ program will complement these existing waste management initiatives.
Additional information and the home reference guide can be found on curbitboise.org.
About the City of Boise: Our vision is to make Boise the most livable city in the country by fostering vibrant communities, innovative enterprises and lasting environments on behalf of our nearly 225,000 residents. Visit cityofboise.org to learn more.