As we discussed in the “Local Recycling Efforts In Boise” post, recycling is a way for individuals to do their part and reduce the need for new, potentially environmentally damaging materials. While these programs can vary wildly from state to state, county to county, and even city to city, some cities (like Boise) offer alternatives to help amp up your ability to contribute.
Enter… Boise’s Hefty ReNew Program
Alongside Boise’s CURB IT program, Boise also offers the Hefty ReNew program, (formerly the Hefty EnergyBag Program). This program lets participating residents have a new way to collect plastics that are not accepted by traditional recycling. These include plastic grocery bags, plastic utensils, cups and plates, and food packaging that can then be used for other energy resources instead of a landfill – sounds like a win-win. (The program does not accept #1 plastics such as PET or PETE products – see more information on plastic numbers from Miller Recycling.)
This program does differ from the easy-to-use CURB It program. To participate in the Hefty ReNew program, individuals have to buy the ReNew orange bags from participating retailers, including Hefty themselves, Albertsons, the Boise Co-op, Fred Meyer and Target. These come in containers of 26 13-gallon bags, and can be bought in multiple packs, running at about 40 to 42 cents per bag (as of February 2023). For comparison, a standard trash bag is also 13 gallons. These bags do use 20% recycled materials, which is a big plus! Unfortunately, this can become a fairly heavy price to pay, and the City of Boise does not offer any freebies to encourage utilizing this program.
What Exactly Happens With The ReNew Bag Contents?
As reported by KTVB, Boise sends ReNew orange bag contents to a company in Salt Lake City to create “cement to replace coal as an energy source.” Boise has also partnered with ByFusion that has successfully created a bench in in Manitou Park that diverted 1,100 pounds of waste from the landfill. Why is this important? The Ada County landfill fills up rapidly, and within the next century will be overflowing with trash – a big problem for us to be facing in the future.
I’m Eager To Get Involved – How Do I Start?
We recommend checking out the Boise Hefty ReNew program page to get started! Our next post, will to dive into the benefits of recycling. In the meantime, please email us at AllenWilson472@boisestate.edu or RuthJebe@boisestate.edu with any tips, tricks, questions or stories you’d like to share on recycling and other sustainability efforts!