BOISE, Idaho — Learning how to ride a bike is a childhood right of passage, but it's an experience not every family can afford.
The Ada County Landfill is working to make sure no kids miss out on that milestone through their bike salvage program.
"If people bring bikes up, or throw them away, or if they bring them up for metal recycling, we'll salvage bikes out even if they're not in great shape," explained Tom Otte, Deputy Director of Solid Waste at the landfill. "(We) take those bikes, get them repaired, and then get them given out to people who need them in the community, whether kids or just needy people in the community."
The landfill partners with Republic Services and the City of Meridian to restore bikes donated to the landfill. It's one of the many diversion programs the landfill has put into place in order to maintain the overall health of the landfill.
As Idaho News 6 has reported, growth is happening all over the Gem State, and most of it is happening in Ada County. All that growth means a lot more trash in the Ada County Landfill.
The landfill estimates they get somewhere around 450 tons of trash each day. As the county grows, so do they; but they say they've got several programs in place to keep up with the growth, like reducing the amount of trash that goes into the landfill in the first place.
"We're looking at what ways we can keep waste out of the landfill to increase the lifespan of the landfill," explained Otte. "Our newest diversion program is actually our concrete diversion program! It's a pilot program the commissioners approved just a couple of months ago."
Otte says even if the growth trends continue at this pace, they should have plenty of room.
"It looks like 2068 is when we'll be full if trends continue the way they are, we're just trying to find ways to increase our usable space," Otte explained.