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Increased composting contributes to leaf collection delay

Boise Public Works admits there is a delay but expects to have the bags that have already been sitting out on curbs to be picked up in the next two days. (KBOI Staff Photo)

If you step outside you can see that leaves are already blanketing yards in Boise.

Many residents who have raked and gathered those fallen leaves are still waiting for the city to pick them up.

Boise Public Works admits there is a delay but expects to have the bags that have already been sitting out on curbs to be picked up in the next two days.

They understand how frustrating this may be but say the delay is a sign of something great for the city.

"The amount of material that we've been receiving that have been set out on curbs has really been astonishing," says Boise Public Works Communications Manager Colin Hickman. "There's been houses that have been setting out up to 80 leaf bags."

Hickman says the leaf collection delay begins with a drastic increase of leaf bags from last year to this year, but that's not the only reason. There has been a huge spike in participation in the city's compost program.

"Boise residents already have kept over 18 million pounds of material out of the landfill," says Hickman. "It's an incredible story and all credit due to the residents that have embraced this."

97 percent of households, some 70,000 customers in Boise are now a part of this change. Between the bins and the bags, collectors are having a little trouble keeping up.

Public Works has brought in additional trucks and crew members who are working long hours to get the job done.

"We get daily reports from our public services, who is the collector and we kind of strategize and prioritize to where the collections have not been happening to really put resources to make sure that those happen as soon as possible," Hickman says.

This Saturday Public Works is hosting a Compost Giveback event at four locations across Boise from 9 am to 1 pm. They are providing finished compost free of charge.

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