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Rising costs make hauling recyclables impractical for Idaho Falls

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI) - Due to a significant increase in fees associated with the recycling process, the Idaho Falls Sanitation Division will no longer provide recycling bins or haul recyclable items, with the exception of glass, effective Jan. 16, 2024. 

For more than 20 years, the Idaho Falls Sanitation Division has provided the community with large bins at various locations where residents could drop off cardboard, aluminum and tin for recycling. Employees from the Sanitation Division would then haul the items away to a local company to be recycled at no cost to the City of Idaho Falls. 

In 2022, the Sanitation Division hauled 549 tons of recyclable material from the waste stream to a third-party recycling company in Idaho Falls. In March of 2023, the company increased the recycling fee from $0 to $84 per ton, making it unreasonable for the city to continue hauling cardboard, aluminum, and tin.

“We understand and value the importance of protecting and conserving resources, but the rising cost associated with recycling those items just became too expensive for the city to continue,” Idaho Falls Sanitation Superintendent Jordan Rechenmacher said. 

There is another option for Idaho Falls residents to recycle items. Western Recycling, a privately-owned company provides both drop-off and curbside recycling. For more information about this service, go to or call (208) 529-9908. 

“Although we will no longer recycle certain items because of the fee increase, we will still provide bins for glass recycling, as that process is handled differently,” City of Idaho Falls Public Information Officer Kerry Hammon said. 

In January 2019, after residents and elected officials expressed a desire to expand recycling services, the city began offering glass recycling by placing 3-yard blue containers at the 13 recycling sites scattered throughout Idaho Falls. Sanitation employees haul the glass to a concrete pad located on city-owned property.  A private glass recycling company out of Salt Lake City, Utah sends a tractor-trailer to Idaho Falls to pick up the glass. The glass is then transported back to Utah where the glass is recycled into products such as fiberglass. The city has collected nearly 1,000 tons of glass since 2019.  

The Sanitation Division manages the collection of all solid waste in Idaho Falls for the purpose of maintaining a clean and healthy community. For more information about the Sanitation Division, click HERE

Article Topic Follows: Idaho Falls

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