Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

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.


Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

The holidays are a time of delicious treats and gifts. But it’s also a time for plastic waste, whether it’s the wrapper on a Christmas cookie or the packaging on a tree ornament.


City of Boise

Oliver Russell owns and operates PlasticWorks, a community recycling facility that processes products other recyclers wouldn't. Idaho Matters looks at the effort to re-use every last bit of plastic and keep it out of oceans and landfills.

Adele Booysen / Flickr

The city of Boise’s program doling out compost for free to residents who want it has exceeded expectations in its first year.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

By and large, Boiseans care a lot about recycling, and are willing to make some big behavioral changes to do it right. That’s according to city official Colin Hickman – who says people are adopting the new orange bag program at surprising rates. The program started in May.


Orange plastic bags are now a part of everday Boise life and Boise State Public Radio's Frankie Barnhill answers your questions about the new recycling procedures.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

Boise's new orange bag recycling program asks customers who live in residential buildings with fewer than eight units to sort their recyclables, after 10 years of a simpler mixed recycling service. | IDAHO STATESMAN | | SCOTT KI / BOISE STATE PUBLIC RADIO

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For years, America has shipped its raw recyclable material to China for processing, but as of January first of this year, China has stopped accepting shipments, which means recyclable trash is starting to pile up and fees are increasing. BSPR's Frankie Barnhill joins Idaho Matters to discuss the problems arising from these new recycling policies and we look at Boise's new residential recycling rules.

Frankie Barnhill / Boise State Public Radio

When China put a ban on plastics at the beginning of the year, it sent shockwaves through the global recycling market. Cities across Idaho and the country have been struggling to find a new use for their recycled material.

AP Photo/Elizabeth Dalziel

Blaine County is the latest part of Idaho to feel the squeeze of falling recycling prices.



newspaper, newspapers, stack
Elizabeth Sánchez / Flickr Creative Commons

China’s recent ban on importing plastics upended the global recycling market, which sent ripples into the Treasure Valley last month. That’s now affecting mixed paper in Boise as well.