Pocatello Recycling Frequently Asked Questions

When is my recycling picked up?

Recycle carts are collected every other week on Yellow Schedule A or Blue Schedule B on the same day as regular garbage collection. Place carts out by 7 a.m. to ensure collection.

What items cannot be recycled?

See what items cannot be recycled.

Why aren't we sorting, removing caps and labels, and washing containers?

It is not needed when recyclable waste is co-mingled. It makes the effort to recycle more convenient, which hopefully increases participation and recycling rates.

Who is going to do all the work of sorting the materials?

Recyclable materials collected by the City curbside program (and the drop-off program) will be transferred to Western Recycling who will then bale the material and send it to a Material Recovery Facility (MRF) in Boise.

What is an MRF and where is the nearest one?

An MRF is a Material Recovery Facility. These specialized, state-of-the-art recycling facilities process and sort recyclable materials. The facility contracting with Western Recycling is located in Boise, Idaho.

Why should I recycle?

Recycling saves natural resources. The national recycling rate of 30% saves the equivalent of more than 5 million gallons of gasoline, reducing dependence on foreign oil by 114 million barrels. Paper recycling saves up to 70% of the energy needed to create paper from new timber. Aluminum recycling saves up to 95% of the energy required to make new aluminum from raw ore (equivalent to filling the can 2/3 full of gasoline). Recycled paper uses 80% less water and produces 95% less air pollution than virgin paper production. Landfills last longer when recyclables are being diverted. Recycling creates far more jobs than do landfills or incinerators.

With all the land around us, why do we need to recycle? We could keep building landfills forever.

Idaho’s abundance of land can be seen as both a blessing and a curse, when it comes to being stewards of the environment.

For example, the State of Idaho is one of few states that has no landfill diversion goals. Yet, the Department of Environmental Quality states, “As existing landfills fill up, it will be necessary to build new landfills, which are very expensive to construct. Higher disposal fees will be needed to cover the cost of building new landfills, which may tip the economic incentive to recycling and pollution prevention.”

Not only are we filling our landfills faster than necessary, but we’re spending money to bury valuable materials!

If I have more questions about recycling who should I contact?

If you have additional questions about the City’s recycling program, please contact the Sanitation Department at 208-234-6192.