Boise's Compost Program Surges In First Two Months Of Operation

Sep 7, 2017

Apparently, there was a lot of pent-up demand for composting.

That’s what the City of Boise has discovered two months after launching the program. Catherine Chertudi oversees the city’s waste management and says the most popular things filling up compost bins are:

“Grass clippings, tree trimmings, shrub trimmings [and] weeds," she says.

Chertudi says while they had predicted to get about 45 tons of material per day, July estimates show 106 tons per day actually made it in the city’s compost heap. The city plans to have free treated compost ready for people to pick up in the fall.

“Once those tests say we have a mature, finished compost material that’s safe, then we will grind it again and screen it and make it available to the public at a number of drop-off locations that we’re working on around the community.”  

She suggests using the compost in flower beds and in lawns, but not on veggie gardens.

“Contamination has been really very low. But we really have to make sure that folks continue to have a nice quality product by [not putting] plastics, no plastic bags, no contamination of any form into that cart. Leave it loose and leave us really good quality compostable materials.”

She says only about 1 percent of the stuff people have put in their bins has been from home kitchens. Chertudi says they’ve received some good questions from folks, including one wondering if sawdust can be added to the bin. (The answer is yes – as long as the wood is not painted or stained.)

The bins cost each household $3.40 each month and are picked up by contractor Republic Services along with recycling and garbage.  

Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill

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