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Boise considering whether to continue recycling ‘mixed paper'

Posted: 5:08 PM, Feb 13, 2018
Updated: 2018-02-14 00:08:12Z

Paper is one of the first things that comes to mind when you think of recycling, but the City of Boise will decide whether or not to stop collecting it. This, after new recycling restrictions took effect just last month.

The new changes stem from a recent announcement from the People’s Republic of China, stating the country would stop accepting low-grade plastics for recycling.

“We’ve known for a while that paper, as a result of that plastics ban, could be a challenge for us moving forward,” said Mike Journee, City of Boise Spokesman. “…and that’s what’s happening now.”

On average, the city spends about $100,000 a month to cover the cost. 

Now, the Boise City Council will decide whether to implement a $2 rate hike, or stop collecting what’s called “mixed paper.”

“You’re thinking about printer paper, lots of office, the kind of paper that’s often in what we call ‘junk mail,’ those types of things,” Journee said. 

Mixed paper makes up roughly 65 percent of Boise’s recycled materials. 

If city leaders decide to do away with mixed paper recycling, only cardboard and high-grade plastics will be covered under the city’s current recycling program.

“97 percent of Boiseans participate in the recycling program,” Journee said. “So, it’s obviously something that they value.”

The city council will receive a briefing on the mixed-paper recycling Tuesday, Feb. 13, but a decision isn’t expected at this time.