Is Recycling Worth Your Money?

Document Type


Publication Date

April 2010

Faculty Sponsor

Dr. Samia Islam


In 2009, Boise started its no sort recycling program. In this program unsorted recyclables are picked up from residents and taken to a pre-processing facility. The recyclables are smashed into cubes at that facility and loaded on to the back of trucks. These trucks transport the recyclables out of the state over 400 miles away to Tacoma, WA and Clackamas, OR, where it is sorted and finally recycled. Given the current situation, would a local recycling facility be economically beneficial? We will look at the expenditures of shipping and recycling out of the state and the cost of opening a recycling plant in Boise. We also intend to look at the social costs and benefits related to landfill expansions and job creation if the city continues to manage its waste under the current system. Necessary data for our analysis will be collected from current recycle sorting plants in Tacoma, WA and Clackamas, OR. We will determine the Net Present Value of a hypothetical recycle sorting plant in Boise, and its' benefit to the area. Given the current cost of shipping the recyclables out of the state, we expect to find that opening a sorting facility in the Boise impact area is not only socially beneficial but also economically sound.

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