Monday, August 6, 2012

Western Recycling begins curbside service in Idaho Falls

The containers being used for curbside recycling.
Western Recycling began making its first curbside pickups in Idaho Falls this morning, a program the Boise-based company announced earlier this summer.
For $5 a month ($10 for businesses), Western will supply you with your own plastic trash basket in which you can put all the recyclable paper, plastic, tin and aluminum cans you want. There is no sorting on a customer's part. Everything is baled up and taken to a sorter.
General Manager Rick Gillihan said they have signed up about 1,200 households since they announced they would be launching the program. They hope to eventually have 5,000 or more homes participating.
Although Western has participated with other contractors and municipalities in Idaho, this is their first attempt at trying it themselves. The company employs six people in Idaho Falls, and all the labor at the moment is being handled by them. "As people sign up, that will change. I anticipate we'll have to hire two drivers," he said.

Billing is conducted quarterly. The cost includes a 65- or 95-gallon container (customer's choice). Pickup will be every two weeks on the same days as regular trash pickup. Containers must be placed at least four feet away from other trash containers.
“I think (curbside recycling) is something that the people in Idaho Falls have been wanting to do,” said Craig Stephenson, Western Recycling's manager.
Idaho Falls residents can still drop off their recycling at sites located throughout the city. Western Recycling’s management hopes that if curbside recycling catches on these sites will be phased out, ultimately saving the city money.
With the Western Recycling program, no sorting is necessary. Here's what can be placed in a container: 
  • Mixed paper products: newspapers, magazines, phone books, catalogs, cardboard boxes, cereal Boxes, frozen food boxes, paper towel cores, office paper, note pads, index cards, coated paper, brochures, envelopes, manila folders and junk mail.
  • All plastic beverage, food, and household cleaner containers #1-7 (must be rinsed of contents and caps replaced).
  • Tin and aluminum cans (must be rinsed of contents).
Materials that can't be recycled include glass, plastic bags, medical waste, food waste, packaging materials (peanuts, bubble wrap, styrofoam, etc.)
Neighborhoods outside of city limits will be included in the program case by case, depending on participation levels and distance from city limits.
You can sign up by visiting Western Recycling's Web site,, or by calling 1-888-977-4733.