People living in Northwest Boise should start receiving their compost carts June 5. They will be among the first.
A couple days later, Southwest Boise will receive its carts. Other neighborhoods will receive their carts on a similar schedule or later. Homes in much of the Foothills and Harris Ranch are scheduled to get their carts in mid-July.
This is according to a map Boise has released showing its schedule for delivering compost carts. The arrival of the carts signals the beginning of a program that’s been more than a year in the making.
To find when your cart is scheduled to arrive, follow this link, then click on your neighborhood or type your address into the search field.
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As soon as the cart arrives at your house, you can start throwing organic materials, such as food scraps (no meat or dairy) and yard waste (no poop of any kind) into it. Set it out every week with your garbage, and Republic Services, the city’s garbage, recycling and compost contractor, will pick it up.
Have more questions? Here are some answers:
Q: How much is this going to cost me?
Most households will pay an extra $3.40 per month, or $6.80 per bi-monthly billing cycle, for the new service. But many different pricing levels are in play, depending on the number and sizes of trash, recycling and composting carts customers order.
See the box below for a complete list of rates.
Q: Who has to pay?
Residents of any home inside Boise city limits that now use Republic Services’ plastic carts for garbage and recycling. Mostly, that’s single-family homes, but it includes duplexes and small apartment buildings with as many as seven units.
Businesses are part of the program for now.
Q: When do the new fees kick in?
Q: When does composting service begin?
A week before customers’ composting carts arrive, Republic will put tags on their trash carts, reminding them that the program is about to begin and to set out any unwanted trash carts. A schedule for cart delivery will be online soon at curbitboise.org
Service will start at each home as soon as its cart arrives. Republic will pick up materials from the composting carts once a week on the same day as trash pickup.
Q: I missed the time period for picking which carts and sizes I want. What can I do?
If you didn’t opt out of the composting program, the city automatically enrolled you. You will receive a single composting cart the size of your trash cart. You may have to wait until the composting carts are all delivered to reduce your number of trash carts otherwise change your cart selection. For more information, contact Republic Services at (208) 345-1266.
Q: I ordered one of the indoor compost pails. How will I get it?
The pails will be delivered to the homes of the fewer than 4,000 customers who ordered them. The city and Republic are working out details.
Q: What, exactly, can I put in the composting cart?
Mainly, food scraps and yard debris. Here’s the full list from the city’s website: leaves and branches, grass clippings, fruits and vegetables, yard and garden cleanup, coffee grounds and filters, tea bags, eggshells, pine cones and needles.
No meat or dairy. Also, no poop of any kind.
The composting carts’ lids will have images stamped on them to remind people of what’s allowed and what isn’t.
Q: What happens after I set out my composting cart?
Republic will collect the organic materials every week and take them to Boise’s Twenty-Mile South Farm.
At the farm, workers will place the materials in rows around six feet high. A giant machine called a windrow turner will churn the rows periodically, allowing proper composting to take place. Workers will test the materials regularly to make sure the process is working, city spokesman Colin Hickman said.
Q: Can I use the compost?
Yes, if you’re a Boise resident. After about 100 days, composted materials should be mature and usable as an additive to yards and gardens. At that point, the city will package some percentage — maybe half — of the final product to sell to businesses that deal in garden and farm products.
The rest would be for city residents and use on ground owned by the city government. Boise plans to dispense the compost for free from three or four sites scattered around the city.
Q: How clean is the compost? Can I put it on my vegetable garden?
Stay tuned. The goal is to produce compost that will be clean enough to put on food gardens. But without having a finished product to test, there’s no way of knowing for sure.
Potential contaminants that could raise health concerns include herbicides that don’t decompose in the process.
Proposed trash, recycling, composting fee schedule
Similar to its recycling program, the city of Boise proposes a $5-per-month rebate to encourage residents to participate in a new composting program. City staffers believe this will convince 80 percent of single-family households to participate.
Proposed prices for people who do and don’t participate in the recycling and composting programs:
Trash only (no recycling or composting rebates): $28.64
Trash and recycling (no composting rebate): $23.64
Trash, recycling and composting (both rebates apply): $18.64
Trash, recycling and composting, with extra trash cart: $23.64
Trash, recycling and composting, with extra composting cart: $19.24
Trash, recycling and composting, with small (48- or 65-gallon, instead of 95-gallon) trash cart: $17.64