Recycling FAQ:


Q.  Why isn’t the county supporting the recycling program financially?
A.  In answer to citizen requests to start a recycling program, the Idaho County Commission convened a Task Force with a mandate to develop proposals for a cost neutral (no added cost) recycling program in the county.  The Task Force completed its work in 90 days and delivered the cost neutral recycling program envisioned.  By unanimous vote the Idaho County Commission then adopted the cost neutral program presented, and recycling was born again in Idaho County.Although the recycling program was designed to be cost neutral to the county, in fact the county is supporting the program in many financial ways, including the provision of a liability umbrella, the facilitation and provision of program bookkeeping, the provision of some supplies,  and the provision of a contract with Lewis Clark Recyclers as managers and facilitators of the program.  Further, the commissioners have given their personal support and time to help get the program started and running smoothly.

The County Court House is also contributing to the recycle waste stream using the LCRI Bag It system available for businesses.  Every month the courthouse maintenance staff haul a full pickup load (roughly 600lbs.) of recyclable material to the Fenn site; including plastic bottles, aluminum cans, cardboard, newspaper, magazines and office paper-all the product of the efforts of the courthouse staff and visitors.

Q:  Why are there restrictions on what can be recycled?
A major key to maintaining a successful program is to maintain marketability of materials being collected and when markets are soft or weak (such as today) their delivered market quality standards are far less forgiving.


Q:  Why do I have to remove labels from tin cans?
A:  Another aspect of marketability is not to be single market dependant in how recyclables are collected.”  As an example: there are three steel mills on the west side of the Rockies that purchase baled steel cans, one accepts cans with labels attached and the other two do not.  So, the safe market bet is to make sure labels are removed from the cans so marketability is not limited to a single steel mill.


Q:  Why don’t you accept loose tin can lids? 
A: LCRI does not accept them because of mechanical and safety reasons at their facility.  Leave them attached to the can, safely fold inside, and then they are acceptable.


Q: Why do lids need to be removed from plastic containers?
A: When the lid is gone one can assume (in most cases) that the container is content free and clean. (For marketability purposes it is important that the recycle products be contamination free.)


Q.  Why don’t you recycle the loose plastic lids?
A.  LCRI does not accept loose lids due to mechanical and safety issues in the work place.        (Imagine trying to work while walking (stumbling) around on several thousand loose plastic bottle caps and dodging the darn things as they fly through the air from being pinched between the edge of moving equipment, tires and the concrete floor.)


Q:  Why does Moscow recycling accept things LCRI does not?
A.   1. Moscow recycling is owned and operated by Latah Sanitation receives local governmental (per ton) subsidies for all recyclable passing through the recycling center at Moscow.
2. Moscow Recycling processes 13 tons of various types of recyclable material per day in 10,000 square feet of operations. LCRI’s daily volumes exceed 45 tons in the same size facility.
3. Glass collected at Moscow Recycling is used for daily cover at their local inert landfill.  The key word here is landfill.
4. Moscow Recycling moves a measurable portion of their baled plastic and paper goods into other facilities, where it is again sorted or cleaned prior to being sent to a secondary market for reuse. LCRI sells most of its products directly to markets.

“Simply put, Recycling facilities differ based upon volumes, markets and manage style!  Moscow Recycling provides a tremendous service to residents of Latah County.  (However, we ask that you support Idaho County Recycling. As Idaho County’s volume and participation grow, we will be able to explore options for convenience and options for other to recyclable material.)


If you have questions or need clarification on anything, email janieflu@mtida.net

Remember the greater the marketability of the product the larger the monetary return Idaho County Recycling will receive to reinvest into the program.  Idaho County’s recycling program is funded from donations and the return received from the products. Please help the volunteers by separating your recyclables and following our recycle guidelines.

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