Boise has been composting since June 2017, and the program has been an overwhelming success. Since the launch, we have collected over 70,000 tons of compostable material! Completed compost is available at our pick-up sites at the Idaho Botanical Garden and Joplin Rd. Residents can pick-up two cubic yards per year for free.
- Curbside compost collection is weekly. Place any overflow compost in paper bags next to your cart
- No plastic please! Put your compost in paper bags or loose in the cart
- Double check your yard waste for dog toys, such as balls and frisbees
- Just because something says 'compostable' does not mean it can go in your compost cart. Compostable bags and trays are made to break down in a landfill and cannot be processed at our facility.
Watch the video below for a quick overview.
Leaves are collected each week, so you don't need to wait to fill leaf bags and set them out on the curb for pick up. Simply fill your compost cart first, place extra leaves in paper leaf bags and set out on the curb on your scheduled collection day. To help ensure we can pick up everyone’s leaf bags in a timely manner, we’re asking customers to set out no more than 5 leaf bags per week.
During the peak of the season, Republic Services will use “sweeper trucks” that pick up only leaf bags after the first truck collects the compost cart and up to 3 bags. Although customers may think some of their bags were missed, another truck will come along later in the day to collect up to 5 bags total.
Drop Off Locations (Free)
There are also several leaf drop off locations for residents to deposit leaves free of charge. The locations are listed below will have large dumpster marked “Leaves Only”. These locations are available from October 18- December 3 and the leaves will also be composted.
- Please don’t leave bags outside of dumpsters/containers. If a container is full, take bags to a different site or return the next day.
- ONLY LEAVES AND PAPER LEAF BAGS are accepted at these drop off sites. No plastic bags allowed.
- Residents may drop off paper leaf bags at any of the locations listed below at any time.
- Businesses are not permitted to use the drop off locations, expect the Ada County Landfill location.
- Elm Grove Park
- Cassia Park
- Kristin Armstrong Municipal Park: Open every day (dirt road on north end of the park)
- Joplin Road Compost Pick-up Site – 12142 Joplin Rd. Boise, ID: Open every day (Look for large blue container just off Joplin Rd at the bottom of the hill)
- Willow Lane Park
- Borah Park
- Fairmont Park
- Simplot Sports Complex
- Ada County Landfill (October 11th to December 10th) - 10300 Seaman’s Gulch Rd. Boise, ID: Open Monday - Saturday
Compost Pick Up Sites
Material is delivered to both sites Monday through Friday as available. Compost is available on a first come, first serve basis.
You can pick up compost at:
Idaho Botanical Garden | 2355 N. Penitentiary Road. Boise, ID 83702
Hours of Operation: Monday - Sunday, normal business hours – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Joplin Road Compost Site | 12142 W Joplin Rd, Boise, ID 83714
Hours of Operation: Monday-Sunday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Compost is delivered to a site as it becomes available.
Ongoing pick-up of finished compost 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 customer per year. Compost is available for Boise participating compost customers only; no commercial use is permitted. For more information, please contact us.
Application for lawn improvement, mulch around trees and plants at your home for landscaping and as a soil amendment for vegetable gardens.
What Can You Compost
- Leaves, tree branches, stumps, and limbs (up to 4 ft in length and less than 60 pounds)
- Fruits and vegetables
- Yard and garden waste
- Coffee grounds, coffee filters, tea bags and egg shells
- Pine cones and needles
- Fats, oils and grease
- Pet waste
- Grains, bread and pasta
- Meat, fish, bones or any other animal by product
Keeping Your Cart Clean
Watch the video for a quick tutorial on how to keep your compost cart clean.
Other Cart Tips
A few simple steps will keep your new compost cart clean and reduce potential odors.
- Set out cart every week (even when it's not full). Regular collection will make sure material doesn't sit in your cart too long.
- Line your cart with newspaper or a piece of cardboard to keep material from sticking to the bottom of your cart.
- Store cart in cool, dry place out of direct sunlight.
- Place kitchen scraps in layers between grass, leaves or other garden material.
- Use paper bags (not plastic, biodegradable, nor compostable) to keep kitchen scraps contained.
Residential customers can request larger cart sizes, if needed. Cart sizes are available in 48, 65 and 95 gallons.
- If your cart needs to be cleaned, rinse out your cart with a hose and dump rinse water out on your lawn (not in a storm drain).
- Compost collection is unlimited. Simply fill your cart first, then place any extra materials in paper leaf bags and set out next to your cart for collection.
- Finished compost is available free to participating residents.
- Only compost program participants receive year-round leaf collection.
- By participating in the compost program, customers receive the lowest rate.
- Compost cart is conveniently serviced the same day as your trash.
Community Compost Give Back
What is it?
In addition to our permanent compost giveback locations at the Idaho Botanical Gardens and near the Boise WaterShed, the City of Boise is pleased to offer neighborhood compost giveback. This is a great opportunity to build community and pick up free compost close to home. The program is free to participate for all City of Boise neighborhoods.
How does it work?
Homeowner’s Associations, Neighborhood Associations, local organizations, and private citizens representing their communities are all welcome to apply below. Applications will be reviewed and the applicant will be notified if they meet the requirements and are approved for the giveaway. The City makes no guarantee that any application will be accepted; approval depends on availability of material and alignment with program requirements.
If approved, the City of Boise will deliver approximately 25 cubic yards of compost at the designated giveback site on the agreed upon date and time.
How much is 25 cubic yards?
For reference, 25 cubic yards of compost measures approximately up to 40ft x 20ft x 10ft (LxWxH). This volume is about the size of a school bus.
The drop off location should be large enough for this amount of material and for the delivery truck to access. The delivery truck will need a turnaround area of at least 70’ with a dumping bay of at least 16’x20’. The truck will need a height clearance of 13’8”.
How do I get approved?
To be approved, all applications must meet the following requirements:
- All neighborhoods must be within the City of Boise limits.
- Compost is for neighborhoods and community groups. The city will not provide compost for any or commercial operations through this program.
- Each neighborhood giveback must have a primary organizer.
- Each neighborhood 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.
- Applicant must develop a communications strategy to inform community of this opportunity.
- Applicant is responsible for managing giveback safely and responsibly.
- Applicant should have a plan to use any material left over within 72 hours of delivery. The city will not pick up any unused compost.
Are there rules or restrictions?
In order to keep compost giveback safe and fair, there are a few requirements all accepted applicants will need to follow.
- Every primary organizer will need to collect waivers from each individual who takes compost (the City will provide these).
- Compost must be delivered to private property and cleaned up within 72 hours of delivery.
- A minimum of 20 cubic yards will be delivered.
- Individuals are limited to five cubic yards of compost each.
- 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.
© 2021 City of Boise. All rights reserved.
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