Riding The Green Wave

Document Type


Publication Date

April 2010

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Samia Islam


As the Boise metro area continues to grow, the need to manage our material waste gains greater urgency. The city may seem environmentally conscious at a glance, but when 84% of Treasure Valley’s Municipal waste could be diverted from the landfill to be recycled, composted, or reused, being labeled as a ‘green’ city is hardly accurate. Our research project will closely examine Boise’s environmental footprint regarding recyclable materials and the costs and benefits associated with (and without) expanding current recycling practices. We will also look at similar metropolitan areas and their various recycling practices that could potentially be implemented in the Boise area. For instance, Oregon’s ‘Bottle Bill’ requires all cans, bottles, and other carbonated beverage containers to be returned for a refund value. Before passage of the Bottle Bill in 1971, beverage containers in Oregon made up as much as 40% of roadside litter. By 1973, after passage of the law, they were only 10.8%, and by 1979 they were down to 6%. Such regulations, as well as various recycling practices across the country, could be extremely beneficial to the Boise area. Our project will highlight the two programs and/or practices that could be the most viably implemented and the costs and benefits associated with each. We expect to have a quantifiable idea of Boise’s environmental footprint regarding recycling, the costs and benefits associated with improving participation in the current system, and viable alternatives being practiced in similar metro areas.

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