Compost

SERVICE ALERT: Republic Services sanitation workers may begin residential collection service as early as 5:30 a.m. from July 10 to July 19 to protect their health and safety during forecasted record-breaking heat. Please place carts at the curb or alley the night before your service day or before 5:30 a.m. on your service day.

farm equipment turning rows of compost with blue skies in the background
Turning compost at the City of Boise 20 Mile South compost facility

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.

Compost Test Results (PDF)

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

Free finished compost is available to participating Boise households at two pick-up sites. You can check the live compost cameras to see how much compost is currently available at each site.

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

Live Compost Cameras

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 standing next to a large pile of compost, holding a shovel.

Community Compost Giveback

In addition to the permanent compost pickup sites, the City of Boise offers bulk compost deliveries directly to your neighborhood or organization.

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 20 - 25 cubic yards of compost at no cost. For more information, please contact us or call 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 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 property owner of the delivery location, the organizer must obtain signed consent from the property owner on behalf of the city.
  • The organizer must develop a communications strategy to inform the community of this opportunity, such as announcements via neighborhood social media, email groups, websites or meetings.
  • The organizer is responsible for managing giveback safely and responsibly.
  • The organizer must develop a plan to use any leftover compost. The city will not pick up any unused compost.

Delivery Requirements

  • How much is 20 - 25 cubic yards? For reference, 20 - 25 cubic yards of compost will measure approximately 15 feet wide by 15 feet long by 5 feet tall. The delivery truck needs a turnaround area of at least 70' with a dumping area of at least 16' x 20'. 
  • The truck needs a height clearance of 14 feet. The dumping area must be free from power lines, tree branches and structure overhangs. 

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

Certified Compost

Bulk Compost Purchase

Use this form to request purchase of bulk compost produced at the City of Boise’s Twenty Mile South Compost Facility. The City’s compost is STA Certified through the US Composting Council. The most recent compost test composition results, including nutrient content, bulk density, material maturity and stability, heavy metals, and pathogen results can be found here.

Purchase Request Form

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.
  • If setting out leaf bags, you must also put out your compost cart. Compost trucks are top-loading, so the truck operator will need to place the bags in your compost cart and lift them with the truck's mechanical side arm into the top of the truck.
  • 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 at which Boise residents can deposit leaves free of charge. The locations, listed below, will have a large dumpster marked “Leaves Only”. These locations are open October 17 - December 11.

  • Only leaves and paper lawn bags in the dumpster.
  • No plastic bags.
  • Do not leave bags outside of the dumpster. If the dumpster 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 sites at any time.
  • Businesses are not permitted to use the drop-off locations and should take leaves to the Ada County Landfill.
Leaf Drop-Off SiteAddress
Elm Grove Park2200 W Irene St
Cassia Park4600 W Camas St
Kristin Armstrong Municipal Park500 S Walnut St
Willow Lane Park4623 W Willow Ln
Borah Park801 S Aurora Dr
Fairmont Park7925 W Northview St
Joplin Road Compost Pick-up Site12142 Joplin Rd
Ada County Landfill10300 Seamans Gulch Rd.
Christmas tree branches with pine needles

Christmas Tree Collection

Residents who participate in the compost program can compost live (not artificial) trees. First remove all lights, ornaments, tinsel and anything else that is not part of the tree. Cut or saw trees into segments  and place in your compost cart so that the lid can fully close. If you cannot fit all your tree into the cart, bundle remaining segments and set the bundles next to your compost cart on collection day.

Whole Christmas trees placed beside your cart will not be collected.

Residents who do not participate in the compost program but would still like to recycle their tree can take live trees to the Ada County Landfill at 10300 N Seamans Gulch Rd, Boise. Tree disposal is free from December 26 to January 2. Trees will be recycled through the wood waste recycling program.

Residents who are unable to compost their tree can dispose of a live tree in the trash by cutting it to fit in the trash bin. Wreaths and trees sprayed with artificial snow or flock should also be placed in the trash.

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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