We are told not to put trash in our recycle bins, but what happens if we do? If your trash container is full, does anyone notice if you put that one bag of trash in your blue recycle bin?

In some states, putting non-recyclable items in the recycle bins is illegal. I was surprised to learn the truth about the recycling laws in Idaho.

Is it illegal to put trash in a recycling container in Boise, Idaho?

No. While it's not preferred, according to the Boise Police Department, there is nothing criminal about it. However, you may be subject to penalties from Republic Services, the company contracted by the City of Boise, for trash services.

What are the potential penalties for putting trash in a recycling container in Boise, Idaho?

According to Republic Services, you could theoretically be charged an additional trash pickup fee of $13.68. However, they have no record of this ever happening. If the problem persists, you could potentially have your recycle container removed from service.

Clearly, the City of Boise doesn't care much about the recycling program or would add some teeth to its policy. This seems more like a policy made to check a box than one to actually promote recycling.

Most of us put things in the weekly recycling bin that shouldn't be there. For example, used pizza boxes, books, clear plastic salad containers, foil wrapping paper, gift bags, plastic water bottles, wax paper, ribbons, and bows should all be in trash cans, not recycle bins.

See below for more information about what can and can't go in a recycle bin if you don't want to face those "penalties."

What You Can and Can't Put In A Boise Recycling Container

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