City Challenges Local Businesses to Lead on Waste Reduction

September 19, 2019

Now through the month of October, the City of Boise is challenging all Boise businesses to take on waste reduction throughout their operations.

The challenge is part of the city’s broader effort to reduce Boise’s overall waste footprint, increase the reuse of materials and bolster its sustainability as the city continues to grow. The Business Waste Reduction Challenge builds on the recent success of the Boise Plastics Challenge. In July, nearly 1,000 individual residents signed up to eliminate certain plastics throughout the month.

Mayor Dave Bieter announced the challenge yesterday during his annual State of the City address.

“For too long, this country has focused on the wrong end of addressing the challenges of waste,” Mayor Bieter said. “It goes back to the fundamentals: reduce, reuse, recycle. We’ve been so caught up in recycling, we’ve neglected reducing and reusing.”

For those businesses that are already prioritizing waste reduction, the challenge provides the opportunity to share their stories with the community and their customers on their social media channels using #BoiseWasteReduction. Participating businesses will be featured on the city’s website so that ideas can be shared among other businesses. Boise residents are encouraged to get involved by tagging and recognizing businesses that are doing good work reducing waste in our community.

Examples of business waste reduction efforts include limiting or eliminating packaging and single-use plastics, altering purchasing policies to prioritize waste reduction and finding creative ways to reuse waste that has been generated. While many businesses are already employing innovative techniques to reduce waste, there is still much work to be done. About half a million pounds of waste per day is generated by Boise businesses. In a recent online survey of Boise residents conducted by the city, 93 percent of respondents indicated they think about reducing waste often or every day, and 74 percent said they are likely to shop at a business that is reducing waste over one that is not.

As the international recycling markets continue to shift and commodity prices fluctuate, it has become increasingly clear that recycling cannot be the only means to address waste in our community. The city is exploring its role in other waste reduction efforts and has been working to gather community input about residents’ personal values and barriers, as well as views about how waste reduction should be addressed in Boise.

Contact: Public Works Media Relations

(208) 972-8497 | chickman@cityofboise.org

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