Recycling more could help residents save money

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Ada County Solid Waste Management spent nearly $30 million building a new landfill. If people can reduce the amount of trash going in, it could save money in the long run.

When Ada County first switched to single stream recycling, which allows it all to go in one bin, the amount being recycled doubled.

Deputy Waste Manager Ted Hutchinson said even with the effort they estimate about 30 percent of everything thrown in the trash could be recycled.

The current landfill only takes up 53 acres which can be expanded in the future up to 300 acres as needed.

Although the expansions will cost millions of dollars. If more waste can be kept out managers hope the life of the current landfill can be extended.

"If people are throwing away less then we aren't consuming that space, we are able to make it stretch out," said Hutchinson. "The longer you make it last the longer it goes between any type of rate increase."

Residents in Ada County haven't had a rate increase in seven years. Hutchinson said it's not just about recycling more, but also reducing waste in the first place.

Having reusable items like grocery bags, and water bottles. Also taking old furniture, cloths, and electronics to a donation center before the landfill.

Hutchinson estimates for ever year residents can help extend the life of the current landfill. Equals about a half million dollars saved for rate payers.

Not including the amount saved on transportation costs for the waste pickup which is the largest expense.