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Environmentally Sustainable Community

75% of Boise residents are interested in both energy efficiency and water reduction incentives for their businesses and homes. (2016 citizen survey)

In Boise, sustainability isn’t just a buzz word; it represents the city’s genuine commitment to lead through policies and projects that ensure the stability, longevity, and resiliency of the community, economy, and environment. An environmentally sustainable community promotes, protects, and conserves our environment in areas of energy, materials management, air quality, water resources, and open spaces.


Rows of piled compost with large compost vehicle.


Citywide Compost Program

Since its launch in 2017, the city’s new residential compost program has been an incredible success story. More than 70,000 Boiseans participate in the program and to date have produced nearly 40 million pounds of high-quality compostable materials. Along with the recycling program, the city has kept nearly 41 percent of its total waste out of the landfill, far exceeding goals. The city offered a free compost give-back event; within four hours, hundreds of participants received 300 cubic yards of high-quality compost. More give-back events and ongoing availability are planned for the future.

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Idaho's First Commercial Net-Zero Energy Building

Construction of the state’s first net-zero building demonstrates how a super-efficient structure can offset its small amount of energy use by generating renewable energy. Serving as the operations center of the city’s 20-Mile South Farm, the new building produces a surplus of electricity every year, showing the positive return of annual energy savings despite a higher initial investment. This innovative facility is part of a larger story for the city, which is implementing energy-reduction measures for existing buildings to 50 percent by 2030, and new buildings to be net-zero by that date. As Idaho’s first commercial net-zero structure, the building is setting the bar and challenging others to follow suit.

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Net-Zero Energy Building



Dixie Drain

A first-of-its-kind project, the Dixie Drain Phosphorus Removal Facility greatly enhances water quality of the Boise and Snake rivers by removing up to 140 pounds of phosphorus per day from water flowing downstream. In its first full year of operation, the facility removed 7,250 pounds of phosphorus in 92 days of operation in 2016, exceeding current federal permit removal requirements. The city and its partners devised this ground-breaking approach, which is more effective and has a much higher environmental return on investment than typical approaches.

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Goal Areas: Safe and Secure Community, Healthy Community, Responsible Built Environment, Connected Community, Environmentally Sustainable Community, Strong, Diverse Local Economy, Creative and Informed Community