It’s been almost a year since Boise began sending hard-to-recycle plastics to a facility in Salt Lake. The plastics that can go in the orange bags are numbered 4, 5, 6 and 7. Once they’re collected from homes around Boise, they’re trucked to Utah and converted to diesel fuel.
But recently, the Salt Lake City company that turns that waste into fuel has been dealing with equipment issues. About five loads of plastic materials are waiting to be processed.
“We’re hoping that will be just a blip on the radar as we continue to send a lot of material down to Salt Lake City," says Colin Hickman with the City of Boise.
Hickman says the facility should be back online in the next few weeks. Good thing too, because a lot of Boiseans have embraced the orange bag program. He says in less than a year, they’ve collected about 240 tons of lightweight plastic that otherwise would have gone to the dump. Which brings up an even more challenging topic:
“We’re also really interested in starting to turn the conversation to: how do we start to reduce the amount of single-use plastics in our lives.”
But right now, city officials are still focused on educating people in Boise about what can and can’t go in the orange bags.
The City of Boise received a $50,000 grant from Hefty Brands for two years to implement the new program. So far, the program has cost about $700,000.
Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
Copyright 2019 Boise State Public Radio