Compost

Fall Leaf Collection
chopped vegetables next to a knife on a wood cutting board

Curb It Compost Program

Boise has been collecting residential compostable waste since 2017Currently, about one third of residential waste is diverted from our landfill to make compost.

Compost Collection

  • Curbside compost is collected weekly, year-round.
  • Finished compost is available for free to participating households.

Using Your Compost Cart

What Can You Compost?

Accepted Materials

  • Yard waste: leaves, grass clippings, garden debris, pinecones, pine needles, and weeds. 
  • Tree stumps, branches and limbs cut to fit in your compost cart.
    Extra can be placed beside your cart in bundles up to 4 ft. in length and less than 60 pounds.
  • Kitchen food scraps: fruit and vegetable scraps, eggshells, coffee grounds
  • Kitchen waste: paper bags, coffee filters, tea bags, popsicle sticks, toothpicks, disposable chopsticks, and wine corks made of real cork

Not Accepted

  • Plastic bags or any type of plastic, including compostable and biodegradable plastics
  • Animal products: dairy, meat, fish, bones
  • Fats, oils and grease
  • Pet waste
  • Rocks, sod and soil
  • Charcoal and ashes
  • "Compostable" bags, plates, cups, silverware and trays
    The city’s compost facility does not accept compostable products. See FAQ.
  • Pet toys - double check your yard waste for toys, balls and frisbees.

View Digital Sorting Guide

egg shell, orange peel, banana, and cantaloupe rind on grass.

What's in the Compost?

Boise’s compost is STA certified through the US Composting Council. Compost is regularly tested by an independent lab for nutrient content, metals, and pathogens. The most recent test results are available below and include approved uses and recommendations for applying compost.

Learn More

Use compost for lawn improvements such as mulch around trees and plants for landscaping, or as a soil amendment for vegetable gardens. Curb It Compost is STA Certified and approved for the following uses:

STA approved compost is trees and shrubs, flower and garden vegetables and lawn.

How to use compost

Picking Up Your Compost

Get Free Compost

Finished compost is available, free of charge, to participating Boise households at two pick-up locations. Neighborhoods and community groups can apply for a free compost delivery through the Community Giveback Program. The City’s Compost is STA certified through the US Composting Council.

Pick Up Site Locations

  • Idaho Botanical Garden
    2355 N. Penitentiary Road. Boise, ID 83702 

    Hours: Monday - Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
  • Joplin Road Compost Site
    12142 W Joplin Rd, Boise, ID
     83714
    Hours: Monday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. | Map

Pick Up Site Regulations

  • Compost is only available for Boise households who participate in the compost program. Commercial use is not permitted.
  • Compost is available on a first come, first serve basis.
  • Pick up is self-serve. Come prepared to load your own compost with shovels and sturdy containers (e.g. bags, boxes, buckets).
  • Limit two cubic yards per household per year. We do not sell additional compost.
person jeans and working gloves shoveling compost from wheel barrel

Community Compost Giveback

In addition to the permanent compost pickup sites, the City of Boise offers community compost giveback deliveries of 25 cubic yards of compost.

Neighborhood groups, community organizations and groups of at least five households are all welcome to apply. If approved, the City of Boise will deliver approximately 25 cubic yards of compost at no cost. For more information, please contact us at 208-608-7506.

Requirements

  • Giveback deliveries must be in the City of Boise. 
  • Compost is for neighborhoods, groups of neighbors and community groups.
  • When unaffiliated groups of neighbors apply for delivery, a minimum of five households who participate in the compost program must be accessing the compost delivery.
  • Each community giveback must have a primary organizer.
  • Each community giveback must designate a site for delivery. The location must not block storm drains, roadways or sidewalks and must be safe for delivery and loading material.
  • If the organizer is not the owner of the delivery location, the organizer must obtain consent from the owner on behalf of the city.
  • The organizer must develop a communications strategy to inform community of this opportunity.
  • The organizer is responsible for managing giveback safely and responsibly.
  • The organizer must collect waivers, provided by the city, from any individual who takes compost. 
  • The organizer must develop a plan to use any material left over within 72 hours of delivery. The city will not pick up any unused compost.

Delivery Requirements

  • How much is 25 cubic yards? For reference, 25 cubic yards of compost is approximately the 12 to 13 full-sized pick-up truck loads. 
  • The drop-off location should be large enough for this amount of material.
  • The delivery truck needs a turnaround area of at least 70’ with a dumping bay of at least 16’x20’.
  • The truck needs a height clearance of 14 feet.

Restrictions

To keep compost giveback safe and fair, applicants must follow these rules: 

  • The city does not provide compost for any commercial operation through this program. 
  • It is forbidden to sell, re-sell, or trade any goods or services for compost. 

For any questions about compost giveback, please complete this contact form or call 208-608-7506.

APPLY NOW

green rake raking up leaves on green grass

Leaf Collection

  • Compost collection includes leaf collection in the fall. Fill your compost cart first, then use paper leaf bags as needed.
  • Never use plastic bags for leaf collection: they will not be collected.
  • Set out up to 10 additional lawn bags next to your full compost cart on your regular collection day. Leave at least 3 feet of space between bags and the cart.
  • If you have more than 10 bags of leaves in one week, all additional bags placed at the curb will be collected, but only 10 bags will be collected each week. When larger quantities are placed at the curb, it may take several weeks for them all to be collected.
  • During the fall, please leave your green compost cart at the curb after it is initially emptied. Often, a second truck will come to pick up bags and will need your cart to lift leaf bags into the truck.
  • There is no end date for leaf collection. All bags will be collected eventually. Please be patient and put out your compost cart each week. Leaf bags are sturdy and can withstand snow and rain.

Leaf Drop-Off Sites

There are several leaf drop off locations for residents to deposit leaves free of charge. The locations are listed below will have a large dumpster marked “Leaves Only”. Please remember, these locations are available from October 17- December 4.

  • Only leaves and paper lawn bags in the dumpster.
  • No plastic bags.
  • Do not leave bags outside of the dumpster. If it is full or has been taken to be emptied, take bags to another site on the list below or return later.
  • Residents may drop off leaf bags at any of the locations listed below during daylight hours (sunrise to sunset).
  • Businesses are not permitted to use the drop off locations and should take leaves to the Ada County Landfill.
LEAF DROP-Off SITESADDRESS
Ada County Landfill (Non-city site)10300 Seamans Gulch Rd
Elm Grove Park2200 W Irene St
Kristin Armstrong Municipal Park500 S Walnut St
Willow Lane Park4623 W Willow Ln
Borah Park801 S Aurora Dr
Fairmont Park7925 W Northview St
Cassia Park4600 W Camas St
Joplin Road Compost Pick-Up Site12142 Joplin Rd
Christmas tree branches with pine needles

Christmas Tree Collection

Real Christmas trees can be composted. Please remove all decorations, cut your tree into 4’ segments and place inside your compost cart. Set any additional segments out in bundles of less than 4’ in length and less than 60 lbs in weight out next to your compost cart for collection.

  • There is no time limit for setting your tree out for collection.
  • Trees must be placed fully in your cart. Whole trees will not be collected.
  • Flocked trees may not be composted and must be placed in your trash cart.

Collection Information

Collection Days

  • Your compost cart is collected every week on your designated trash day. To determine your trash day, visit Republic Services' collection day map.

Missed Collection

  • If you had a missed trash, recycle or compost cart pick-up, please email our service provider Republic Services or call at (208) 345-1266.

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