City of Boise to Sell Excess CurbIt Compost to Businesses 

click to enlarge Over the course of the year, the City of Boise expects to have up to 10,000 extra cubic yards of compost to sell.  - CITY OF BOISE PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT
  • City of Boise Public Works Department
  • Over the course of the year, the City of Boise expects to have up to 10,000 extra cubic yards of compost to sell.
Home gardeners and landscape enthusiasts may remember Nov. 18, 2017, as the day Boiseans went compost crazy. When the City of Boise Public Works Department announced that its first batch of compost from its new curbside collection program was ready for pickup, participating residents rushed to fill their bags, buckets and truck beds, carting home roughly 400 cubic yards in four days.

City officials say they're confident the mad scramble won't be repeated when the second batch of compost drops this spring; so confident, in fact, that Boise City Council passed a resolution Feb. 6 that set a price for the excess compost to be sold wholesale to businesses.

"We know that we will have potentially up to 10,000 cubic yards of compost available over this year, above and beyond what we can give back to customers and use on city facilities," said Catherine Chertudi, solid waste programs manager for PWD. "Customers come first, city facilities or government facilities next and then compost sales for the excess."

In December, the city reached out to local businesses, and four companies submitted letters of interest. But the businesses will have to wait in line behind customers to get their compost cut. Citizens participating in the program will have first pick, with one cubic yard being what Chertudi called "the one-time limit going forward." That's roughly equivalent to filling up the bed of a compact pickup truck.

"Internally right now, the team is working on the customer giveback procedures and protocols ... We're trying to strike that right balance of making sure that customers get easy and convenient access but we also don't want abuses of the system," said PWD Communications Manager Colin Hickman.

Chertudi added, "We're going to have folks fill out forms to say who they are and how much they took, but we're also going to do regular site visits to visit with customers."

The money brought in from wholesalers, who will be able to buy the compost at $8 per cubic yard, will go back into the program, offsetting costs and potentially helping to keep the participation price for customers down over time. The landscape companies in line to purchase the compost plan to put it to various uses, from incorporating it into potting soil for nursery plants to bagging it for commercial sale.

According to Hickman, the second batch of compost should be ready for pickup within the next few months. Participants looking to beat the rush are advised to keep an eye on the CurbIt website—and their buckets at the ready.

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