Meeting Minutes
February 26, 2018


  • Chad Bell
  • Dave Bieter
  • Gheen Christoffersen
  • Tammy de Weerd
  • John Evans
  • Brad Holton
  • Debbie Kling
  • Nathan Leigh
  • Stan Ridgeway
  • Joe Stear
  • Darin Taylor

Staff and Guests

  • Dave Fisher – Republic Services
  • Rachele Klein – Republic Services
  • Diana Lachiondo, City of Boise
  • Lana Weber, Idaho Outdoor Business Council
  • Bill Larsen – TVP

Open Discussion

Mayor Darin Taylor welcomed everyone to Middleton. He asked everybody to go around the room and highlight what is going in each of our jurisdictions.

Gheen said in Homedale they are going through the process of trying to get grants for safe routes to school.

Stan said they would be introducing a gas and oil ordinance that will be up for public hearing. There are oil leases in city limits at the M-3 property. They worked with another municipality to draft this ordinance. No matter what you do in this vain, you can’t win.

Nathan said they are getting ready to receive a shipment of solar lights for their airport. Because of that project, he has been asked to speak at the Airport Manager’s Association in Sun Valley.

Joe said Kuna is growing very fast and things are busy.

Brad said they are dealing with the EPA again. It is a different environment after the election. Since they are the newest permit holder, they had a lot of new requirements they were going to impose on them next. However, the EPA is quiet at the moment which makes him nervous.

Chad said they had an apartment complex that had people all fired up. It went to Judicial Review. The judge ended up coming back and telling them they needed to rehear it. This was because there was such a big hearing that they had to go to a different site. They went to a school to have the hearing, however, a portion of their recording of the hearing failed. So they are going to rehear this in the near future.

Stan asked how many people came to the hearing. Chad said they had about 300 people at the hearing. Chad said they also have a new 1,500 acre application NW of them. This also drew a 300 person crowd at its hearing.

Chad said Albertson’s has broken ground and should be done in the next 60-90 days.

John said they are seeing the impact of the uptick of the economy. The old part of town between the fairgrounds and the Riverside Hotel is really starting to turn over. They have significant areas that are converting from trailer parks to condo projects. So far, they continued to be involved with a CBD oil retailer that wants to come into town. So far, the retailer has not been able to prove their product is produced without trace amounts of THC.

Joe said they have had a similar request and are following Garden Cities lead.

Recycling Changes

Rachel Klein said she was here to talk about changes in recycling that are coming our way. They provide curb side residential and commercial recycling in Ada and most of Canyon County. Historically they have collected tin and aluminum cans, plastics, cardboard and mixed paper. In years past they have collected glass at the curb but still have drop sites for glass.

Everything that is collected on their trucks is taken to their recycling center and it is called Western Recycling. Everything that we mingle in our carts is taken there and separated into piles of tin, aluminum, cardboard, paper, etc. Then everything is baled and shipped to markets. Much of it is going to China. That market has sections that are shutting down. Contamination levels are too high so they are not getting materials into China like they used to. And this has driven prices down and driven recycling markets into a tail spin.

Historically when they bid these contracts they bid contracts with an estimated revenue given a commodity to offset the cost of the program.

Dave Fisher – General Manager of Republic services said they use the value of the commodity to help offset the costs of the service they provide. For years, the revenue on recycled commodities was positive numbers. Back in 2014, their net revenue started to be a negative number. There was a 65 cent/ton swing in the value of the commodity.

In late 2017, China put in a program called natural sort. They got tough on plastics and mixed paper. For example, mixed paper could only be contaminated ½ of 1 percent. Traditionally, their mixed paper is contaminated by 4-5 percent. As a result, China has gotten to a point where it is no longer a viable market for our recyclables.

They are going to these other markets in Vietnam and other countries, but these markets are small and are not that stable.

Dave said it costs them currently about $55/ton to get rid of mixed paper. In the past, they have seen the market for these recyclables go up and down and they have kind of weathered the price swings. But they don’t see the market improving with China changing the rules to the game.

They can still get rid of the mixed paper, but they are paying a tremendous amount to do so. At $56/ton, it costs about $200,000/month to move recyclables.

Tammy asked if there are options. Dave said, there are options, but they would cost more than what they have been doing.

They are going to go to Western Recycling and ask them to sharpen their pencil to see if costs can be reduced. However, he doesn’t see that costs can be reduced a whole lot.

Darin asked if there was a reason that residents can’t just use the gray cart instead of the blue cart. Dave responded that there are some commodities that still have value. One option is to look at what is more economically viable. That would be tin, aluminum, No. 1 & 2 plastic and cardboard.

To cover costs as they currently sit with the services they are providing, it could cost as much as $2.00/month increase. If they just concentrate on the recyclables that are still economically viable, they are still looking at an increase of approximately $1.00/month.

One of the things that can help is to reduce contamination. This happens when customers just throw trash in the recycle bins. They are going to work on a public relations campaign to try to get the contamination reduced.

Darin asked, if the City of Boise, for example decided to keep the current program and the City of Middleton did not, could that happen. Or does everybody need to be on the same page.

Dave said, operationally it is easy for them to mix and match the wants and needs of each community. Each community can and does have a different menu of services. But from a messaging standpoint, that becomes more problematic.

The big thing they are looking at now is mixed paper. That is about half of what they pick-up.

Rachele said they will come out and visit each jurisdiction to look at menu items. They are more than happy to come out to participate in a town-hall meeting or local discussion. She indicated they recently had a town-hall meeting in Nampa. What they found was that when they explained what was happening, she felt the people that came understood the increases. They especially understood the piece about contamination and how this raises costs.

Debbie stated that no matter what. it appears we are looking at an increase. Dave said they have been bearing the negative number the last couple of years hoping the prices would turn around. But the numbers have gotten worse.

Stan said that with everything Dave and Rachele has said, and with what has been in the news, it is really confusing. He asked when we were going to get proper information to our people. Rachele said they have had the information ready on plastics, but have put it on hold for a while. People will be getting a post card in the near future on what plastics people can recycle.

Instead of trying to do the whole message at once, Rachele said they are going to sending out recycling instruction cards on one recyclable at a time. Meridian recently had a billing insert on plastics. The next step will be paper, once we get a decision on it.

Debbie asked if Rachele would send out a jpeg flier to them so they can send it out. Dave, they will be scheduling out the different options and costs and will be coming to speak to each jurisdiction very soon. Rachele said she would send the jpeg to all the jurisdictions.

Rachele said that when we reduce to just the movable commodities, those markets are domestic in the U.S. and they are viable markets.

Tammy said that maybe we ought to have a treasure valley wide meeting of staff members on a regular basis. This would help the staff know and understand the issues so when we are talking in council members and the public, our staff is well informed and consistent information could be shared.

Recreation Economy

Lana Weber said her role her today is as an executive committee member of the Idaho Outdoor Business Council. This is a council of many businesses that advocate for outdoor recreation in the State.

Darin said recently, the organization sent many of us a letter requesting support/endorsement for a letter to our congressional delegation. Lana said this was a letter to our congressional delegation to advocate for keeping public lands open.

Tammy said this is very compelling in that many of our smaller communities are dependent on outdoor recreation for their economies. She suggested the handout literature for the Outdoor Business Council could reflect these realities.

Lana said she looks at the Weiser Trail as a good example. The community is trying to grow the knowledge of the trail as a tourist destination.

Opioid Updates

Diana said she wanted to come back and provide an update on what she has been doing. Last month they brought in Officer Terry Weir that provided some numbers. For the City of Boise, they are seeing a definite increase in Opioid related crimes and an increase in Opioid related deaths. Their police department has been looking at a variety of solutions and realize they cant arrest their way out of this problem.

She has been asked to start to have some discussions with the Dept. of Health and Welfare and the Office on Drug Policy. What they originally started discussing is localizing the State-wide strategic plan that the Office on Drug Policy has prepared. There is a tremendous amount of work being done on communication and education. Perhaps, collectively we need to have some unified messaging.

How do we create a pathway for what is called law enforcement assisted diversion. So if a law enforcement officer picks someone up, is there a pathway to get them into treatment.

Where they think they might be headed is some kind of summit in the Treasure Valley.

Dave said he thinks it will be a combination of Health and Welfare, law enforcement and local government. Health and Welfare will serve in a lead role if we are there to help hold them up. With our collective ability to convene and gather attention, we will have a positive impact.

The medical community has kicked in and is working on this problem.

John asked through the discussions with the Office of Drug Policy, is Diana seeing enthusiasm from them. Diana said the State-wide Strategic Plan is active and many people are working on it. She is working with the facilitator of this plan to see what it would take to localize it. They at the City of Boise are looking at standing that up from a financial standpoint.

Debbie said she wanted to be a part of this project. In talking to their police, heroin is getting cheaper than pills and they have seen more of it recently. They are going to take an aggressive stance about educating people on this issue.

Dave said the problem doesn’t know any boundaries. We need to get integrated and be consistent across the valley. If we do, the resources will go further.

He feels Health and Welfare needs to help and that they are ready to help.

Tammy said they have an anti-drug coalition. She feels you don’t have to wait for this summit or group to get together. If we have a sense of urgency, you need to start doing things in your own community. She is not looking for additional meetings for her staff members. If people, have a real sense of urgency or interest, feel free to check in and see what their anti-drug coalition is doing.

Brad said, in November we instructed Bill to move forward on this subject through an AmeriCorps Vista program. He was getting a coalition together to work on this. Is this the same thing? Are we laying down the thing the TVP was going to do? Diana said this was the same thing. They in Boise felt that this warranted some resources behind it so we can get a professional facilitator behind the effort.

Diana said she has a lot of experience in her current position facilitating large discussions and they have some ideas on how this could look. She plans to generate some meetings with elected leaders and meetings with content experts and merge meetings together to start generating some product.

Debbie asked how our mental health crisis centers are affected by this. Diana said in the continuum of care, the crisis center serves as the front door. It is a door that you walk through and it helps you for 24 hours. The crisis center’s is a great place to start to divert people from jail. But you also have to have a place for them to go. In Ada County we have the Allumbaugh house. But even this is only a six day deal.

There are some opportunities for funding through this IROC grant and several legislators are looking at ways to generate some funding.

Joe stated that Diana had come out to speak to their City Council about getting some funding for the Allumbaugh House. The council was overwhelmed and unanimously voted to support the house.

Director’s Report

Bill stated that in the packet there was a listing of RSVP’s for the dates we had lined out for the Strategic Planning Meeting. After some discussion, Debbie indicated that March 23rd will work for her. John said it is going to be tough to get everybody together. It was agreed to hold the Strategic Planning Meeting on March 23rd.

Joe Stear moved we approve the financial statements and the minutes, seconded by Nathan Leigh. Motion passed unanimously.

Meeting Adjourned