Does the Treasure Valley Have a Responsible Waste Management Program?

It can be hard to tell if the area you live in takes care of waste. Without doing a lot of research, it's almost impossible to figure out exactly what the city does with trash and other waste. You hope that it is taken care of responsibly and in a way that won’t cause harm to the environment or the people in the community, but is it really? Luckily, if you live in Boise or in the surrounding area, the local government is very open on where all of this waste goes! A look into the plans that Boise and the Treasure Valley have established will show that they really are making efforts to accomplish their goal of being friendly to the environment and keeping the community clean and safe.

The City of Boise has made a lot of efforts to take care of trash in the city, and to help make residents aware of how they can best help the city manage waste as well. The City picks up your trash, recycling, and even your compost regularly and they have helpful information and conveniences readily available so that citizens can know how to best dispose of hazardous materials, medications, syringes, and needles to keep those in the community clean and above all, safe!

It is pretty common to have to dispose of things that could potentially be dangerous, a lot of which you may not even be aware are unsafe such as automotive products like old gasoline, motor oil, or anti-freeze, various types of batteries, items that contain mercury like many thermometers, thermostats and fluorescent light-bulbs, different stains and paints including wood stains, paint thinners, or any stains and paints with oil as a base, electronics like TVs, computers, and related devices, or any of the various chemicals that you would use in a garden. Luckily the City has provided a free service open one day a month from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. in which you can safely dispose of the many hazardous materials that you need to get rid of from around your house! There are various collection sites all over the city, so chances are you won’t have to travel too far in order to reach one of the sites. If you have questions about what would be considered hazardous, the City’s website goes into great detail and provides helpful information. If the items you are trying to get rid of are labeled with any of the various warning signs such as Caution, Poison, Danger, etc. chances are it belongs in and would be accepted at one of the City’s collection sites. 

Other things that you may often need to dispose of that wouldn’t be the safest to just throw away include medical supplies like needles, syringes, and medications. Similar to the sites for hazardous waste, the City offers many different locations where one can conveniently drop off their medical supplies in a manner that will not allow them to get into the wrong hands. All of these locations are open during regular business hours and so allow easy access during the majority of the week. These drop-off locations are free to use and they help the community immensely by disposing of materials in a safe manner, as they will be assisting in preventing drug abuse, reducing diseases spread through needles, and even protecting the water quality of the Boise River.

Another very important part of managing waste in a responsible manner is recycling. Having convenient access to recycling is one of the ways that the City of Boise best strives to accomplish its goals of keeping Boise clean. You can recycle easily from your very own home in Boise, as recycling will be picked up every other week. A lot of your recyclable items can be placed in your recycling bin, especially plastic bottles, but the City has a great way to help you recycle other things too. Other forms of plastic, such as juice pouches and candy wrappers, can be recycled using the Hefty Energy Bag program. When you put these other forms of plastic in one of these orange bags, they will be taken to a facility where they can be turned into synthetic diesel fuel! You can also sign up for glass recycling service if you have a lot of glass items that you would like to be recycled. And if your bin gets too full, just label a box “recycling” with your other recyclables and it will end up in the right place.

So just what about all of that trash that gets picked up each week? Where does it end up? For most of the Treasure Valley, it goes to the Ada County Landfill. In addition to the great services that are provided by the City of Boise, the Ada County Landfill thoroughly strives to manage and take care of what comes in by being active in their efforts to provide and maintain waste disposal facilities located throughout the county, enforce necessary codes to ensure things are moving in the right direction, and give environment-friendly options to help residents dispose of hazardous waste. The Ada County Landfill complex covers 2,700 acres and offers many services that help the community maintain responsibility for managing waste. The facility that disposes of hazardous waste operates throughout the entire year, so those dangerous items won’t linger to potentially harm the environment or people. Much like the City of Boise, the Landfill does make an extra effort to make people in the community aware of different types of waste, making sure that they end up in the most appropriate place. It is one of their main goals to inform the community about what “ordinary waste” is. When items are disposed of in the proper manner, it not only helps the County keep the Landfill up and running, but it also provides a service to the greater environment.

As you can see, the Treasure Valley makes it a huge priority to manage waste responsibly, so you can rest easy knowing that everything that you need to get rid of is going where it needs to go! The City and the County have both provided many great ways to manage waste, so be sure to take advantage and help both the environment and your community!



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