News & Updates

2.24.20 Updated Acceptable Recyclable Materials: The List & the Background

Changes in How to Recycle, What Materials are Accepted and Why Changes have Occurred

Our Teton Valley community has been exceptional at increasing its diverted and recycled materials.  However, recycling has recently changed. Specifically the acceptable material types and the cleanliness of each material have been updated. These changes are NOT the doing of Teton County Idaho or RAD.  Acceptable traditional recyclable materials are different now because both the global and national recycling industry are going through growing pains and this has impacted the Teton Valley Idaho's method of recycling.  The entities that buy and process recyclable materials from Teton County Idaho are dictating the changes in what can be recycled and how clean the materials need to be. If the buyers’ new guidelines are not followed by Teton County Idaho, materials may not be accepted, recycled or paid for.  With the current recyclable materials market situation, buyers can be picky about who they buy from so we just need to have clean recyclable materials to give to them.

This scenario stemmed from China stopping import of U.S. recyclables in 2017. They did this because there was too much contamination in it, and they had too much overall volume. China made it public that they were going to stop importing U.S. recyclables in ~2010 with the “Green Shield” policy and then enacted the cutoff in ~2017 with what is referred to as “Green Sword.” This immediately dropped the value of the U.S.’s recyclable materials.  The value drop was also due to a minimal number of domestic recyclable material processors. The demand to want to recycle in the U.S. remains strong, but the infrastructure and ability to process the materials is low. Some Teton County Transfer Station processing system &  infrastructure limitations that have caused the elimination of recycling  some materials in Teton Valley. For example, magazines and catalogs are  no longer accepted as a recyclable since the material (currently!) has low market  demand and value. These are fibrous materials and must be stored in a  dry, covered space to be considered sellable. The current problem is  that the Teton County Transfer Station's Recycling Center does not have  enough storage space due to the overall increased volume of diverted materials  and required time to store the proper quantity of bales for a full shipment.

The value of recycling may not be its profitability.

Recycling in Teton Valley Idaho has:

  1. Created Local Jobs
  2. Reduced the volume of landfilled waste
  3. Created the demand for higher volume/more efficient processing equipment.

Thus far, Teton County has been doing a great job in reinvesting any cost-savings associated with recycling back into its processing system and passing it back to the resident. This statement is in reference to the sale of recyclable material vs. processing costs of each material (net financial value of recycling).  The sale of material allows the County to give residents a lower tip fee for diverted materials (Sorted materials are charged at $15/ton while unsorted is $80/ton).  However, most recyclable materials processing cost is more than $15 per ton.  The reinvestment in the processing system is reflected in increasing the staff and upgrading equipment to maximize the waste that can be diverted and recycled. For example, the recently purchased baler can manage a higher volume of material, a wider variety of materials, more safely and more efficiently. The volume of recyclable materials today could not be well-managed with the old baler.

"Processing Cost” is often overlooked when talking about the financial value of recycling, specifically the sale of baled recyclables.  Processing costs include collection bins at the transfer station, onsite weighing and transitioning to the recycling center, decontamination, baling each material, using equipment to move the bales, storing the bales, moving the bales onto a truck, and then transporting the materials to a processor. These operations are labor intensive which can become expensive if done inefficiently. The market value of baled materials is often lower than the expenses, therefore, most materials have a negative net value. Several materials do have a positive net value, such as steel and aluminum, which balance the financial sustainability of the overall recycling operations and provide the cost-savings to legitimize the equipment upgrades or additional labor.

An often unrecognized value associated with diverting materials from being landfilled is “Landfilling Liability.” Teton Valley residents experienced the realization of “landfill liability” to the amount of over $3,000,000 when the local landfill was closed, capped and now requires monitoring for at least the next 30 years. Teton County budgets approximately $25,000 per year, however if a monitor well spikes past permitted levels, and remediation is necessary, costs could be in the $100,000s. Additionally Teton County residents remain liable for the materials landfilled at Circular Butte (Mud Lake). Therefore, if remediation is required at that site, we would have to pay costs associated with the percentage of tons Teton County contributed.

Today’s recyclable material market is asking to provide cleaner and more separated traditional recyclables, hence the new guidelines per material type at Teton County Idaho’s Transfer Station: 

Click Here to Download the 2.24.20 Acceptable Materials Flyer

Aluminum Cans

Guidelines:  Empty & Rinse 

What happens to the material: Sold to Highest Bidder in Market, recycled into new aluminum products

Tin Cans

Guidelines:  Empty & Rinse. Throw out lids as they are sharp and therefore dangerous

What happens to the material: Sold to market with the scrap metal pile, recycled into new steel products


Guidelines:  Remove lids. Empty & Rinse 

What happens to the material: Glass diverted at the transfer station is crushed down and used as subgrade material for roadways on the County transfer station campus.


Guidelines:  Keep Dry. Collection in a closeable plastic jar or bag

What happens to the material: Sold to market

*Non-Accepted Metal Materials

Examples of not currently accepted metals: foil, pie plates or aluminum pans

#1 & #2 Plastic Bottles

Acceptable Guidelines

#1 Plastic Bottles

#2 Plastic Bottles

Must be bottle shaped (neck narrower than body)

Any color

Must remove all caps and lids (they go in the trash)

Empty & Rinse well enough you would drink out of the bottle

Not Accepted

Non-bottle shaped plastics such as lids/caps, wrap, bags, tubs or clamshells

No Dirty bottles

No #3-#7 plastics

*Clamshell Plastic bins at the transfer station are landfilled, they are there to avoid the clamshells from being put into the corrugated cardboard           

Paper –(Office Paper & News Paper ONLY)


Must be Dry

Must be Free of any inserts and coupon flyers

Office Paper (really just white copy paper)

Acceptable Guidelines

Must be Dry

Must be Free of any contaminants

Not Accepted

NO Magazines

NO Catalogs

No Books

NO Packing Paper

NO Staples

NO Coupons

NO Receipts

NO Windowed Envelopes

NO Paper Bags

NO Shredded Paper

NO Paper Clips

NO Junk Mail with Film Laminated to Paper

What happens to the material: (currently and subject to change) Sold to a hydroseed company that pulpifies the materials and integrates seeds to the mix.

Corrugated Cardboard*

*also referred to as O.C.C. = Old Corrugated Containers

Acceptable Guidelines

Must be corrugated(tear the side, needs to have a wavy interior)

Must be Dry

Must be free of any other type of material and/or packing materials

Not Accepted

Cereal boxes and greyboard

No carton or separators

No waxy boxes

No egg cartons

*Greyboard bins at the transfer stationary landfilled, they are there to avoid the greyboard from being put into the corrugated cardboard    

Continuing to recycle may be best done by re-starting small. Recycling fewer materials while following the new guidelines. A basic and manageable set of materials to recycle the correct way and has the least confusion and guidelines may be corrugated cardboard, glass, batteries, aluminum cans & tin cans.

A local resident recently posted on social media, “The recycling center in Driggs is a privilege. If your intention to recycle lacks the discipline to do it properly, you’re just exhausting the resource. It works just like any other industry; the time and money spent on labor picking out garbage and contaminated recyclables increases the cost to process the material. The cleaner recyclable material we all provide, the better and less costly it is to process. If you don’t have the time or energy to wash it don’t feel guilty about throwing it in the trash.

It’s just going to end up there anyway, and you won’t be contaminating other material. Everyone is trying their best!! But just pretend you’re the guy who has to find obnoxious things at work all day before you toss your dirty plastic pasta jar in the recycling bin.”

Recycling and the recycling industry will continue to evolve. Participation and volumes may suffer if there is a limited tolerance by the public to adjust to the changes. Clear and strong educational efforts by the local entities in the collection and processing system is essential to sustain recent years successes in increased recycling participation.

2.26.20 - RAD Curbside, Inc


The Cost and Use of Money for the Management of Solid Waste in Teton County Idaho

In follow up to a recent Solid Waste Fee Town Hall Meeting, below is more insight about the cost associated with operating the waste management system and services in Teton County Idaho. Addressing all misconceptions in a written piece is near impossible, but we have selected a few key topics to provide more clarity on how residents’ money is used for solid waste management.

A common misconception - residents think they are paying for the same waste management service more than once, which is not the case and the below identifies the costs to residents and the use of the monies.

  • Solid Waste Fee (County) – These monies pay for having the physical assets of the Teton County Transfer Station. The funds are used by Teton County for such costs as the bond payment for owning the Transfer Station Property, its buildings, equipment, and future infrastructure planning. Owning any property has cost, which typically includes general property repairs, maintenance, infrastructure replacement, improvement, etc. This fee also covers a pretty big legacy issue of managing and monitoring the closure of the old Teton County landfill.
  • Tipping Fees (County) - This is the fee paid when crossing the scales at the Transfer Station. These fees cover operational costs to process the waste as it comes across the scales such as labor, fuel, equipment repairs and maintenance as well as the transportation to and disposal at the Circular Butte Landfill (which is ~87-miles away!)
  • Curbside Service (RAD) rates are associated with the convenience of curbside collection and include the County tipping fees. Like any hauling company, curbside service requires trucks, labor, fuel, maintenance, insurance and all the typical overhead of running a small business such as administration and customer service. A common question heard - “Why isn’t recycling collection free? Don’t you get paid for recyclable materials?” – The revenue from selling the recyclable materials does not currently cover the costs of providing the operation of trucks and trailers coming to each resident’s home. The valley’s population is spread out and, for the most part, has a rural dirt road system, therefore making curbside service expensive.

Financial Reality for RAD

The only revenue to RAD is from subscribers’ service rates. (*RAD does NOT receive any revenue from the local governments nor does RAD sell any recyclable materials) The reality, RAD’s operational overhead include several costs paid to Teton County

  • $76/ton tipping fee upon delivery for household landfill-bound waste
  • $210/ton upon delivery of Construction and Demolition waste
  • $10/ton in franchise fees for landfill-bound waste
  • $15/ton* to deliver recyclable materials

*So…why is there a tipping fee on recycling? Because the revenue from selling the recyclables materials does not cover all the processing costs incurred to prepare it for a commodity buyer. However, even with these costs, revenue from recycling makes recycling 75% less expensive than landfilling.

Waste management in Teton County is expanding operationally since recycling represents such a significant economic opportunity (in operational cost-savings, not profit).

Recycling is ~75% less expensive than landfilling, recycling operations have also created 5-times more local year-round, living-wage jobs in Teton Valley. In 2016, our community achieved a 32% which caused over $280,000 in cost-savings due reduced overhead and revenue from sold recyclables. And still, over half of the material currently being landfilled could be recycled or diverted. Diversion empowers our community economically by minimizing our dependence on something we have little control over such as tipping costs at Circular Butte Landfill. It is beneficial to use the cost-savings associated with recycling to employ our residents and re-invest that money back into our local economy.

On a different note - ARE YOU “SELF-HAULING” BECAUSE YOU THINK YOUR SAVING MONEY? – It’s time you break down the real cost of your time going to the transfer station – read our blog post which includes a simple math equation to help you compare self-hauling vs. curbside service -  Give RAD a call 208.220.7721 or send us an email to inquire about service, especially recycling!  

Thanks for being RAD, Teton Valley, we love living here.


Rural Recycling: A Cost-Savings and Waste Diversion Opportunity for Teton Valley Idaho

Developing a successful rural diversion and recycling program has been an educational experience and a challenge over the last decade.  Small communities, such as Teton Valley Idaho are attempting to meet lofty recycling and waste reduction goals of 15 to 70 percent increases.

For areas like ours, solid waste volumes fluctuate due to seasonal residents and tourism. And without growing participation in recycling, we can have difficulties accumulating enough processed materials which limit cost-effective, commodity-marketing options. (The higher the volume, the easier it is to sell). Additionally, our efforts can be limited due to low population, low-density housing and tax base, as well as limited budgets to develop processing infrastructure and hire personnel for processing.

However, Teton Valley has strengths that have assisted us in developing and operating recycling programs. For example, our residents have a strong sense of community, a history of volunteering (such as the TVCR or Teton Valley Community Recycling Organization) and a proactive waste management team at the Transfer Station.

Typically, rural waste streams come from residences and small businesses. As a result, our waste stream is lighter than what is found in urban waste streams with large amounts of commercial wastes. A successful rural recycling program will focus on and extract heavy items such as glass, metal containers and newspapers. Although not considered heavy, cardboard containers and other commercial wastes have boosted the diversion rate as well due to its volume. Uniquely, +20% of Teton Valley’s waste is being generated through construction and demolition and is a current focus of the effort to educate general contractors that if they sort materials, the tipping cost is $15/ton; if they do not sort it is $210/ton. With just 3 tons, it is significant savings.

It may not be well known, but recycling often is not a money-maker, despite its many benefits. Because markets can be volatile, recycling sales revenues cannot be relied on to solely support a regional program. Instead, view recycling costs as part of the entire municipal solid waste management strategy. A diversion and recycling program should be considered a viable method for reducing overall disposal costs and improving the overall waste budget.

Keys to Continued Success

  • Avoid High-Cost Items - Avoided landfill tipping fees; Avoided landfill-liabilities
  • Increase Revenues - Higher volumes of recyclables can make materials easier to sell
  • Regional Economic Stimulus - New collection and processing jobs
  • Improved Participation - Convenient and easy recycling opportunities and services

Liability of Landfilling… The Next Generation’s $2 Million Problem?

A key misconception about the waste produced in Teton County Idaho is that landfilled trash is gone and no longer our problem. That is far from the truth. Landfilled trash remains a long-term liability that we are STILL responsible for.

The harsh reality for Teton County residents is we have paid over $2,000,000 and continue to pay out of pocket for the closure, cap management and monitoring of our “closed” local landfill. Unfortunately, this cost will continue since the DEQ and EPA require a 30-year monitoring and management plan once the landfill closes. These costs are an example of landfill liabilities becoming a reality.

In the past, “dry-tomb" landfilling, the cheapest method available, was used for the management of solid waste. "Dry-tomb" landfilling allows the placement of untreated municipal solid waste (MSW) in lined landfills that are covered with low-permeability covers (caps) at the time of closure. The idea is if buried waste can stay dry, it will not generate leachate; if no leachate generates, ground water will not be polluted. The technical deficiencies associated with the "dry tomb" approach are becoming well-recognized. Disposal of waste in these landfills carries a significant liability for potential clean-up of contaminated ground waters and worst case scenarios, such as a "Superfund Site” designation for waste removal and proper management.With "cradle-to-grave" liability of our waste in place, we can better evaluate the near and long-term costs and liabilities. We have the choice to make the behavioral change to divert and recycle. The reality is reuse, diversion and recycling are the best solutions.

Recycling is around 75% less expensive than landfilling and creates 5-times more local, year-round, living-wage jobs.

It’s time to reduce the amount of waste landfilled. Recycling, diversion, and reuse, reduce immediate cost as well as long-term liabilities associated with landfilling. It empowers our community economically by minimizing our dependence on something we have little control over (tipping costs at Circular Butte Landfill). It's beneficial to use the cost-savings associated with recycling to employ our residents and re-invest that money back into our local economy.

Common Questions:

“Why isn’t recycling collection free? Can’t recyclable materials be sold?”

The revenue from selling recyclable materials does not currently cover costs of providing the operation of equipment coming to each home. However, the value of landfilling liabilities is not factored in yet.

“Why is there a tipping fee on recycling?

Because the revenue from selling the recyclables materials does not cover the processing costs incurred to prepare it for a commodity buyer. Even with these costs, revenue from recycling makes recycling 75% less expensive than landfilling. And again, the value of landfilling liabilities has not been factored in yet. Waste management in Teton County is a growing operation since diversion and recycling represent such a significant economic opportunity.

Currently, over half of the material landfilled could be recycled or diverted.

Therefore, our annually compounding liabilities could reduce by 50%!Bottom line… The less our community CHOOSES to landfill, the less it costs now and in the future.


2016 Diversion Statistics for Teton County Idaho

2016 Fiscal Year Diversion Statistics

  • 2016 Diversion Rate: 33.17%
  • Increase of 7.4% (vs. 2015 Diversion Rate of 25.71%)

Tonnage Breakdown

  • 9508 tons of material were accepted at the Teton County Transfer Station
  • 6354.36 tons were shipped to and landfilled at Circular Butte Landfill
  • 3153.64 tons (33.17%) were not shipped to and landfilled at Circular Butte
  • 2167.21 Tons of Recyclables were sold or exported
  • 933.63 Tons filled in the C&D Pit, put into piles* or are currently baled**Piles or baled materials are considered “Carry-Over” Materials

Financials Realized in 2016

Total 2016 Cost-Savings: $284,781

  • Landfill Cost-Avoidance: $239,676.64**
    Calculation: 3153.64 tons diverted x $76 per ton*Includes “Carry-Over” Materials since tonnage did not go to the Circular Butte in FY2016
  • Revenue-Generating Materials: $69,933.27 See Chart - 2167.21 tons with an average revenue of $32.27 per ton
  • Cost-Causing Diverted Materials: Oil*, Tires*, Paper & Wood: -$24,828.50 1132.13 Tons with an average cost of $21.93 per ton (vs. $76/ton to landfill)*Diversion of these materials is federally required
  • Landfill Liability Cost Avoidance: $ TBD (calculation in Progress)
  • Calculation: 3153.64 tons diverted with a $XX value per ton
  • Calculation to be based on cost of closing and maintaining Teton County landfill and the estimated tons within the landfill

Carry-Over Materials

  • 933.63 tons of Diverted Materials carried over into FY 2017 which consists of baled & piled recyclable materials, grass, manure, and C&D.
  • Purposes for carrying over materials
  • Market value fluctuation – wait for the market value to increase
  • Freight availability
  • End destination acceptance
  • Accumulation Rate – carry until there is a full truckload to avoid “Light-Load Fees”

Chart 1: FY2016 Materials Accepted at Transfer Station

(Provided by Teton County)About Chart: White and Yellow cells in Columns FY15 & FY16 represent weights of materials coming into the transfer station, weighed as they come across the scales. Glass is an exception, historically a multiplier was established to estimate glass brought in by RAD.

Negative Deltas: Carry-Over Materials from 2014 to 2015 contribute to the reason for the negative deltas. Markets were soft in 2014, therefore the Transfer Station carried materials until the material market value increased, freight was available, the end destination processor was accepting material and/or the accumulation of material was great enough to be shipped out/purchased.

Chart 2: FY2016 Materials Exported from Transfer Station

(Provided by Teton County)About Chart: The weights of materials represent the tonnage leaving the transfer station, weighed as they go out on the transfer station scales. Glass is an exception, the glass tonnage shown (124.5) is glass from our onsite bins measured when emptied. historically a multiplier was established to estimate glass brought in by RAD.

*Chart does not include Carry-Over Tons (933.65) or those tons diversion value

Do your part and sign up for curbside trash and recycling pickup.


$205,000 Saved in 2016…. from What?

It’s the result of recycling and diversion!

Teton County’s Transfer Station’s report on October 20, 2016, confirmed a net savings of $205,000 due to recycling and diversion during the 2016 Fiscal Year. However, the question “Is recycling worth it?” can still be oddly difficult to answer in social conversation. Here are three simple facts to know and reply with:

Saves Tax Payer Money

  • On October 20, 21016, Teton County Idaho’s Transfer Station Supervisor reported a $205,000 cost-savings between October 1, 2015, and October 1, 2016, due to diversion and recycling Diversion and recycling are approximately a $56/ton cost savings vs. Landfilling

Recycling Services Create Local Jobs

When the County Contract was awarded to a locally owned and operated company…

  • 3 new full-time local jobs with benefits were created
  • 2 part-time local jobs became full-time with benefits

Reduces Our Communities’ Financial Liabilities of Landfilling

  • The former, and now closed, Teton County Landfill has cost residents over $1 Million dollars in tax money and will require significant annual costs for monitoring and management for the next 30 years (and that’s if there are no issues).
  • Did you know our community is financially responsible for material we landfill at Circular Butte/Mud Lake? For example, if there were a $1 Million environmental issue at that landfill, Teton County would be responsible for the cost proportionate to what we have sent there since 2010. For example, if the transfer station contributed 20% of the landfill material, Teton County would be responsible for a $200,000 cost with minimal notice. The point, by diverting and recycling, we reduce the weight of material we send to Circular Butte Landfill, therefore reducing our percentage of contributions and related costs.

Walk-Away Stats:

July/Aug/Sept 2015 = 16 tons of cardboard recycled through RAD.

July/Aug/Sept 2016 = 40 tons of cardboard recycled through RAD.

Next Steps?

  • Invest the cost-savings in the processes and equipment that will help save more money in the long-term? We think so! Why wouldn’t you invest in something that saves money?
  • Normalize service costs amongst all tax-paying citizens of Teton County so the value of recycling and diversion can be more clear.

Interested in seeing the full report? Download it here.

Let's see if we can beat that number next year. Do your part and click here to sign up for curbside trash and recycling pickup today!


You PAID what for WHAT?

Over $1 Million of your taxes has been used to close and monitor the former landfill in Teton County. Unfortunately, that is just the reality of landfill management.  

What can you do about it now?  While our local landfill is closed and will continue to be an expense burden in our taxes for the next many decades. It’s time to avoid repeating the problem that will cost us millions in the long term by recycling and therefore reducing the amount trash we send out of our Transfer Station to the landfill.Think burning it is a solution? Ask Casper Wyoming their opinion – in recent history, a wood chip fire jumped into a residential area and ended up burning down over 14 homes.The Current Situation - We are currently dependent on the Circular Butte (Mud Lake) Landfill to 1) accept our trash, 2) To have reasonable tipping fees and 3) be managed correctly to avoid environmental issues.   However, tipping fees can change at any time as we have no control over that and if the Circular Butte Landfill has an environmental issue… guess what, Teton Valley residents are going to get the bill! This potential cost presents the opportunity for each of us to make the choice to send less to the landfill by recycling and diverting.History shows that like all man-made structures, landfills will eventually fail. If you are not buying the idea of recycling, then take the time to contact the County and ask what the cost is to manage our former landfill, call our transfer station and ask questions or research the actual cost of a landfill online.  A good article for further reading: “Forester Daily News Landfill Economics” Part 1 & Part 2

Avoid costs for both yourself and the next generation …start recycling and diverting.

What is recyclable? - Any of the following materials can be sorted out of the waste stream, including Aluminum Cans, Tin Cans, Glass, Plastic #1&#2 Bottles, Paper, Corrugated Cardboard, view the below link for more material details.  Construction and Demolition sortable materials, such as wood, scrap metal, drywall, insulation, etc. For these materials to be accepted as “Sorted,” they must be “clean” and separated with no other materials attached to them - i.e.: drywall cannot have wood attached or wood cannot have metal attached

Add recycling to your account today!


The Cost of Getting Rid of Waste in Teton County

People have been very interested to learn more about the cost associated with operating the waste management system and services in Teton County.When facts do not reach everyone clearly, assumptions can be drawn.Addressing all rumors and misconceptions in a written piece is nearly impossible, but we have selected a few key topics to provide more clarity to residents’ costs…and hopefully, initiate a few more questions.A key misconception about waste management in Teton County Idaho is the feeling that you are paying for the same waste management service more than once - through County taxes, tipping fees and curbside service cost. Below is a brief overview of the different costs and its use.

  • Solid Waste Fee (in your County Property Taxes) –These monies pay for having the physical assets of the Teton County Transfer Station. The funds are used by Teton County to keep the doors of the transfer station open, to pay for the costs of ownership of the Transfer Station Property, its buildings, and future infrastructure planning. Owning any property has cost, which typically includes general property maintenance, equipment upgrades, labor necessary to receive materials, and labor for administration and supervising the facility. This fee also covers a pretty big legacy issue of managing and monitoring the closure of the old Teton County landfill.
  • Tipping Fees (County) - This is the fee paid when crossing the scales at the Transfer Station. These fees cover costs to process the waste as it comes across the scales such as labor, fuel, repairs and maintenance of equipment as well as the transportation to and disposal at the Circular Butte Landfill (which is ~87-miles away!). FYI - this is include within curbside customers costs.
  • Curbside Service (RAD) rates are associated with the convenience of curbside collection and include the tipping fees. Like any hauling company, curbside service requires trucks, labor, fuel, maintenance, insurance and all the typical overhead of running a small business such as administration and customer service. A common question heard - “Why isn’t recycling collection free? Don’t you get paid for recyclable materials?” – The revenue from selling the recyclable materials does not currently cover the costs of providing the operation of trucks and trailers coming to each resident’s home. The valley’s population is spread out and, for the most part, has a rural dirt road system, therefore making curbside service expensive.

Insight to RAD

The only revenue received by RAD is from subscribers’ service rates. (*RAD does NOT receive any revenue from the local governments) The reality is, RAD’s operational overhead include several costs paid to Teton County:

  • $76/ton tipping fee upon delivery for household landfill-bound waste
  • $210/ton upon delivery of Construction and Demolition waste
  • $10/ton in impact fees for landfill-bound waste
  • $15/ton* to deliver recyclable materials

*You may be asking why is there a tipping fee on recycling? Because the revenue from selling the recyclables materials does not cover all of the processing costs incurred to prepare it for a commodity buyer. However, even with these costs, revenue from recycling makes recycling 75% less expensive than landfilling. Waste management in Teton County ID is a growing operation since recycling represents such a significant economic opportunity (in operational cost-savings, not profit). Currently, over half of the material being land-filled could potentially be recycled or diverted. In addition to the fact that recycling is 75% less expensive than land-filling, recycling operations ALSO create 5-times more local year-round, living-wage jobs. Diversion empowers our community economically by minimizing our dependence on something we have little control over such as tipping costs at Circular Butte Landfill. It is beneficial to use the cost-savings associated with recycling to employ our residents and re-invest that money back into our local economy. If you have any other questions about waste/recycling costs, please feel free to give RAD Curbside a call at 208.220.7721 or the Teton County Transfer Station at 208.354.3442.


1st Class with Glass …Recycling

Glass Recycling Shows Us the True Solution - Self-Sufficiency in managing our Recyclables (Locally)

Were you aware that Teton County Idaho is regarded as one of the most efficient glass recyclers in the State… and beyond?

Glass crushed and bulldozed to roadbase at the Teton County Idaho transfer station

Glass crushed and bulldozed to road-base at the Teton County Idaho transfer station[/caption]Clear, brown or colored it’s all accepted and getting a long-term second life without ever leaving our County Transfer Station!

Recycling Glass saves money TWICE!

  • First, because glass would be more expensive to landfill by ~75%. So for every ton of glass not landfilled, there is a cost savings of ~$56!
  • Secondly, since glass is an inert material, it is stockpiled and crushed over time at our Transfer Station, then used as road base (under the ¾ in crush stone) throughout the transfer station campus roadways. So instead of buying fill or crushed stone, the County uses the collected glass when they resurface the campus roadways!

Why do recycling services still cost money?

Two (main) reasons:

  1. “Island Economics” applies since we live in such a remote area. Teton Valley is like living on an island, you always need to go a long distance to get to the next nearest metropolitan area that has a recycling processor. And it is costly to transport recyclables to that processor, but luckily not as costly as land-filling. The commodity buyers will only pay fair market prices to buy recyclable material. However, when you consider the cost of labor and operations to prepare, then load glass onto a truck, then pay for the transportation out of the valley, the market value does not cover the expenses. On top of that glass is DENSE & HEAVY to transport! Therefore transportation volume can be maximized, meaning that you can't fill an entire tractor trailer with glass, it's too heavy.  This is actually one of the benefits for a micro-brewery to offer their beverages in aluminum cans...they can ship more product in each shipment.
  1. Curbside pickup is just that… it’s a convenience service at your curbside so you don’t have to bare the time and expense to take it yourself. It has cost in labor, insurance, equipment, repairs/maintenance…and there is a tipping fee to pay at the Transfer Station to cover processing costs. But that’s why the service is optional, so you can still take it yourself. And as part of the service RAD accepts glass from both businesses and residences.


The great thing is that we are insulated from the cost-barrier of transportation and fluctuating market values for glass since we have identified a local re-use for it, improving the roadways at our transfer station, therefore its 110% worth recycling glass. With Glass, we’ve accomplished the key goal of recycling that cuts out both the financial cost and environmental cost of transportation out of the Valley! We simply ask to take an extra second before you choose to put that glass bottle in a trash can, and instead choose to find a recycling bin.  It’s you thinking about your children and/or the next generation. The reality: it's 75% more expensive financially to landfill versus recycle in Teton Valley and guess what? Recycling creates 5-times as many jobs while costing less.  Thanks for choosing to start recycling, encourage a neighbor or a friend to as well.

Add recycling to your account today!

Consider share the graphic below on social media to help increase diversion. Thank you.

4th Page RAD Ad Choose to Recycle 1mill

WAIT... Self-Hauling Trash is More Expensive than RAD's Curbside Service ?


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IN THIS POST - How much does it really cost to self-haul trash and recycling to the Teton County Idaho Transfer Station?

Our objective is simple. We want to help you (our potential customer) understand the cost difference between bringing your trash to the transfer station yourself or using curbside pick-up with RAD. You will be shocked at how much serious money and valuable personal time you will save by having your waste picked up at the curbside. Service frequencies, like twice per month trash service, is only $18.74 per month. That is cheaper than hauling it yourself! Besides affordably priced service options, the County Transfer Station seems busier than ever before which means waiting in lines!

The REAL Cost to Self Haul

  • Value of Your Time: ~$15 per trip - From start to finish consider that you need to collect trash bags, load them into your vehicle, drive to the transfer station, wait in line, unload (add ~30 minutes in sorting time for those that recycle), wait to exit and pay, drive home, unload bins. Value your time at $15 per hour. Your spending $15 in labor. Is that really how your Saturday or day off is best spent?
  • Fuel Cost: ~$2 per Trip – The average person lives 4 miles from the transfer station (8-mile round trip). With a 15 mile per gallon vehicle and current fuel cost, you’ll spend about $2 in fuel.
  • Tipping Fee: $5 per Trip - (minimum) - It is a minimum $5.00 fee to bring up to 150 lbs of trash and/or recycling to the transfer station. Go over that weight and the cost increases incrementally.
  • One Trip:  $21.83        Two Trips:  $43.66

Fill out the equation - what's your actual Cost?

(Trips Per Month   x     Time / Trip     x      Your time/Hour )  +     Tipping Fee   =   YOUR Cost    (  ____Trips         x     ____Hours     x              $ 15      )         +         $_$5_         =    $_______

Compare:  Self-Haul vs. RAD Curbside Service

*** Remember, it usually takes 10-20 minutes for unloading recycling, if so add ~$5 to each self-haul cost ***

Self-haul downsides...

  • Uses up time on your day off or when you can be doing something enjoyable
  • Build-up of trash at your house or business
  • Spillage and aroma in your home or vehicle --> often leading to mice or pests
  • RAD is already driving routes. Driving to the transfer station is additional environmental impact


There is a better way to spend your valuable time. Enjoy life, be with family and/or friends, exercise or just kick back and relax. This is a great opportunity to give your significant other curbside service as a gift, so that they are not using their time to haul. It’s not bad idea for a Father’s Day gift either, if Dad is the one dealing with the stinky trash all the time. RAD donates 4% back to the community and is a proud supporter of wonderful organizations such as the Teton H.S. Booster Club, Teton Valley Ski Education Foundation (TVSEF), Teton Valley Youth Mtn. Bike Team, Teton Valley Community Recycling, Teton Valley Foundation, Teton Scrapers Youth Basketball, Teton Valley Soccer Assoc., Teton Valley Youth Baseball Assoc.

Save money and free up your weekends. Click here to sign up for curbside pickup today.


All About the Cardboard

The big question: What kind of cardboard can currently be recycled through RAD?Recent conversations about cardboard helped us realize that people need more information about what cardboard is currently accepted. This will be especially helpful to our wonderful businesses now using the blue cardboard-only commercial dumpsters.When we talk about cardboard, we are usually referring to CORRUGATED cardboard. This is the thicker kind of cardboard with a wavy layer inside two flat layers. Most everything shipped from online orders and bulk business shipments arrives in corrugated cardboard boxes. In the recycling business corrugated cardboard is referred to as “OCC,” which stands for Old Corrugated Cardboard.What is type is currently accepted by RAD?


Corrugated - has a wavy layer inside two flat layers – the majority of online order boxes and bulk business shipments are corrugated

Not Accepted

Waxy Coated - Milk and juice cartons

Greyboard - Cereal and cracker boxes, Egg cartons, Six- & twelve-packs

Brown Paper - Brown bags and packing paper

How does the process work in Teton Valley?RAD collects business cardboard via 3- and 6-yard dumpsters with one of the commercial front load trucks. Residential cardboard is collected manually by the recycling team with the pickup truck and trailer. Each of the trucks bring the loads to the Teton County Transfer Station where it is unloaded in the recycling center (white tent), then hand loaded into the baler, baled and stored until a full semi-load is ready to be shipped. Once the appropriate number of bales are accumulated, the County sells it to a processor that recycles it into post-consumer content new boxes or packaging, brown paper bags, mailing tubes, or paperboard, such as cereal or shoe boxes.[caption id="attachment_705" align="aligncenter" width="300"]

Corrugated Cardboard

Only flattened corrugated cardboard is currently accepted by RAD[/caption][caption id="attachment_706" align="aligncenter" width="300"]

Materials NOT accepted in Cardboard loads

Materials NOT accepted in or with Cardboard loads collected by RAD[/caption]ContaminationNo other materials, except corrugated cardboard, can be included in the bales. Any not-accepted materials or any other foreign materials would be considered contamination which can cause the load to be devalued or even rejected at any step in the process.Most common contaminants (to date)

  • Trash and food waste (either as a mistake or illegal dumping)
  • Plastic shrink wrap and bubble-wrap
  • Styrofoam packing materials
  • Cereal and cracker boxes
  • Brown Bags and packing paper

QUESTIONS? Wondering why greyboard is not currently accepted? There are definitely many more details associated with recycling cardboard and other accepted recyclable materials. If you have questions, we encourage residents to send email inquiries to is excited to be Teton Valley’s stewards of service, community and environment. To learn more about the materials that are recyclable via RAD - Download RAD’s Acceptable Recyclable Materials Flyer at:


RAD Awarded Trash and Recycling Hauling Contract - What do You do Now?

August 18, 2015 – “RAD Curbside” (formerly known as “R.A.D.” or "The RAD Recyclers”) was awarded Teton County Idaho’s waste and recycling contract on Monday July 27, 2015 at the Teton County Idaho Commissioners’ meeting. The County selected RAD after a comprehensive eight-month process that included organizing a procurement team, identifying community goals, scrutinizing contract options, producing a detailed “Request for Proposals,” then finally forming a selection committee to review bids and make a recommendation to the Commissioners. Of the two companies that submitted bids (RAD and Voorhees), per Teton County staff report, RAD’s cumulative score was the higher.

“We are excited to bring this critical service back to a local owned and operated business, and it's great to see how much positive impact we can have on the community we live in. We will create new year-round living-wage jobs in our community through expanded recycling operations and will raise community awareness about responsible waste management. Even the regional economist from the Idaho Department of Labor analyzed our plan and identified substantial local financial impacts due to our “Local Purchasing Policy,” said Co-Owner David Hudacsko. “We will also be one of the first trash and recycling service providers in the United States to file as a B-Corporation*.

*B-corporations have a single difference from an S- or C-corporation in making a legal commitment in their operating agreements to use the power of their business to help solve social and environmental issues. The State of Idaho just began recognizing B-Corp filings in July 2015.RAD will focus on providing safe, reliable curbside pickup services for both trash and recycling, providing lower cost service options, educating the Teton Valley community about the environmental and financial value of recycling, and identifying the impacts it has on our local community. RAD has committed to increasing the diversion rate in alignment with the Teton County Transfer Station’s processing systems by providing services that make recycling easier and more convenient. RAD’s Local Purchasing Policy and Environmental Purchasing Policy will guide the company towards achieving goals of positive financial and environmental impact to the community. These policies will be available to review and download on RAD will encourage businesses, public entities, non-profit organizations and households to adopt these policies. The new waste-resource management and operations plan is aligned with the Teton County Comprehensive Plan, its Economic Development Plan, and the Teton View Regional Plan.


  • Curbside garbage and recycling collection by one company - One point of contact and one bill
  • Preserve all current services and service delivery
  • More service choices - Such as 65-gallon trash roll-carts and once per month service
  • Lower cost options - as low as $11.70 per month
  • Metric-based analysis and planning - RAD’s “Diversion Metrics & Values Model”
  • Service expansion plans - Supported by qualitative and quantitative analysis<
  • Increased availability of service information – Via annual communications plan
  • Educational outreach about responsible waste management - via annual communications plan
  • Better customer service through more communication channels Optional - Customers can receive service reminders via text, email, calendar or all three
  • Increased local economic impact
  • Sponsorship and support of community events, organizations and individuals
Combining trash and recycling will make recycling easier, more convenient and affordable for valley residents and save the County money by diverting more recyclable materials from the landfill,” said RAD’s Co-Owner/Operator Aaron Powers. Powers is also Co-Owner/Operator of locally based Powers Excavating and Cowboy Compost.

An example of savings through recycling according to Teton Valley Health Care’s former operations manager back in 2011, “RAD’s recycling services have helped to lower our operational expenses by approximately $208 per month, which is a $2496 savings per year.” That’s a 5-year estimated savings of over $12,000 for our local hospital. Craig Bennett has been hired as RAD’s Operations Director. He brings 6 years experience as a National Safety and Operations Manager for Waste Management. Bennett anticipates new service efficiencies to accompany his management. A property owner in Teton County for several years, Bennett was looking for the opportunity to relocate here year round. "My fiancé and I fell in love with Teton Valley on our first trip here in 2010 and have been working to realize our dream of living here since then. This position will allow us the opportunity not only to be in the valley, but to contribute to the community at the same time."… Service Moving Forward, Transition of Service Provider and Actions …More service choices will be available to both residents and businesses. There will be new lower cost options, and more pickup frequency options (such as once per month service). Residents will have a limited-time opportunity by August 31st to select a 65-gallon trash roll cart for service. Over half of the options RAD will offer combine both trash and recycling services. Recycling will NOT be mandatory, however due to the value of recycling, combined service options may have incentivizing prices. RAD’s new website,, will soon host a complete set of service information. The new website is expected to launch later this month.

About Service Delivery Trash Services (Residential, Business and Commercial) will be provided in a similar (all the same service choices and more), but more efficient method as the previous provider with updated vehicles, equipment, receptacles and a bolstered approach to customer service. Service areas and days will likely remain the same as the current provider, however, since there is a significant change in number of service options some changes are likely.Recycling Services (Residential Only) will be provided in a similar way in which RAD currently provides service with “Dual Stream” pickup. Each residential recycling subscriber will receive two (2) 18-gallon locking lid bins; one bin is for metal and glass and the other bin is for paper, plastic and other select materials described on RAD’s current website ( Corrugated cardboard is to be flattened and placed under the bins on the collection days. If a home is in need of additional bins, they may be requested.Recycling (Business and Commercial) entails commodity separation and businesses will be offered the appropriate receptacles for their volumes. Construction and demolition dumpsters will now be offered in a way that allows entities to separate landfill trash from such materials as concrete, lumber, metals etc. RAD will provide businesses of all types an onsite walk-through evaluation to help determine service receptacles and frequency.

Customer Participation Responsibilities - Service subscribers will need to set out their household garbage and recyclables for collection on a designated day for their particular area. Residential recyclers will be asked to ‘dual-stream’ sort, while business, commercial and “Construction & Demolition” subscribers will need to separate each commodity into different receptacles due to volume of materials. Further detail, such as Bear Proof containers and prohibited hazardous wastes, can be found on and in the Customer Agreement.

Transitioning Service Providers - There will be a 90-day transition period for the service provider change to allow RAD to set up customer accounts and modify operations to accommodate all service commitments. Service information and customer required actions will be forthcoming. RAD’s Trash service provision and applicable changes will become effective on November 1st, 2015. In an effort to provide insight to the community, RAD is planning a public presentation of their plan and services, which will include a question and answer session. Presentation date, time and location will be announced in the coming weeks. For more detail go to

What Does this Mean to You? The previous hauler will cease service provision to County Residents at the end of October and RAD will begin providing services starting November 1st. All of the same and additional service options will be available to you through RAD. To continue service uninterrupted, you will need to create a new account with RAD and select a service level. Service options, rates and our recommended service level chart will be provided on, via email, print advertising and a direct mailer brochure


To avoid service disruption, you MUST create a new account and select a service level by Sept 15th.   *LIMITED TIME 65-gallon Can Service Due to ordering new roll-carts, manufacturing and distribution timing, if you want a 65-gallon trash can for your service, you MUST sign up by midnight on August 30, 2015.

You can create an account by one of the following actions:

  1. Go online to and fill out the new sign up form (Preferred)
  2. Fill out the direct mailer form (to be sent out in August) and mail to RAD
  3. Call us at 208.220.7721

*Existing RAD customers: you have an existing account, but will still need to re-select your service choice, we will call you to discuss. Businesses may request a free onsite assessment for service needs.

Managing Your Account - Customer accounts and methods of payment will include online bill pay, auto-pay, pay by phone, pay by mail and walk in service. Walk-in service will be available after we relocate to our new facility, location to be published shortly. More details will be available on the RAD website.

Additional service expansions, such as an increase in the types of recyclable materials, are planned throughout the term of the contract to support RAD’s vision for Teton Valley to have “No Wasted Resources.” RAD will be working with Teton County staff to explore expanding the accepted recyclable materials and modify the overall waste management system. RAD’s purpose is to “leverage the value of waste to improve the community.” Since trash is inevitable, growing and over 75% has value… By diverting materials of value from going to the landfill, such as sellable recyclable commodities, RAD will help Teton Valley realize new revenues.

RAD’s ideals will follow the ethic of Reduce, Reuse & Recycle and believes reducing consumption and understanding purchasing choices are the key components to effectiveness. We will communicate these efforts and intentions to meet the community’s pre-determined diversion goals through the annual educational outreach plan including print advertising, editorial, monthly e-newsletters, direct mailer, social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Blog on Website and Linked In), etc. Our community involvement will include annual events, organization and individual sponsorships and grants. In the first year, RAD will select who they support from a variety of cultures in the valley such as sports (ie. rodeo/fair, mountain bike, powersports, etc.), arts (ie. music and leisure events) and non-profits. As part of the future sponsorship applications, RAD is considering a request to applicants to provide a waste-resource management plan and suggest adopting a “Local Purchasing Policy” and a “Green Purchasing Policy. ”RAD is excited to be Teton Valley’s Stewards of Service, Community and Environment. Our focus is on providing easy and efficient trash and recycling collection. If you have questions about RAD’s services, please visit our website at, some specific and common questions are answered on the FAQs page. RAD is currently accepting resumes for salaried and hourly positions with benefits - CDL driver (trash truck) and recycling route operators. Email resumes to

About RAD

PO Box 366 | Victor, ID 83455


Phone: 208.220.7721


R.A.D. or "Recycling Alternative Distribution,” is now RAD Curbside, Inc.; a Benefit Corporation. RAD is the first ever curbside recycling pickup service in Teton Valley Idaho and has been serving the Valley since 2010. RAD has been dedicated to improving and educating the community about the value of diversion. RAD's focus is to educate our community on the effects of recycling, the impacts it has on our local community both environmentally and financially and the impacts recycling has on our future. As RAD grows with community support, RAD will increase educational efforts, employ community members and abide by both it's "Local Purchasing Policy" and "Green Purchasing Policy". RAD believes in the reduction in consumption of resources and will "Leverage the Value of Waste to Improve the Community." RAD is owned and operated by local businessmen, David Hudacsko and Aaron Powers.

About Powers Excavating (PEI)Aaron and Bob Powers, co-founders, have operated fleets of heavy equipment for a combined 40+ years and have seven years heavy hauling and excavating experience in Teton Valley under PEI. PEI brings the RAD Curbside Team experience with regulatory protocol compliance, heavy hauling experience and mechanical expertise. PEI operates and maintains a fleet of heavy equipment including dump trucks, excavators, a screener and loaders. A full time mechanic services all equipment in-house. PEI operates and processes various aggregate, operates the Fox Creek Quarry and produces and sells high quality compost and topsoil.


Limitation of Recyclable Materials in Small and Rural Communities: Teton Valley Idaho

Why can't certain materials be recycled in Teton Valley Idaho?

Hearing this comment used to be a source of my frustration, but now it is music to my (RAD) ears. The most common question is – “Why can’t we recycle #3 - #7 plastics and greyboard/paperboard?I could do it in (insert former location).” These comments scream that we want to divert more and it’s important enough to us to fight for. Passion is the fuel progression requires. Harnessing passion to constructively impact our community is the next step and it starts with education. There are over 35 divertible or recyclable commodities, so what is the next most important and valuable commodity for our community to divert? Great question. My response-question takes a step back and requires collaboration to answer: “Is it sustainable to increase the spectrum of materials we process to satisfy the ~25% of the community that current recycles… or should our energies be put into increasing participation so that we maximize the diversion of materials that have highest net value and lowest market value fluctuation in order to gain momentum and overall value?”

Understanding our current recycling system provides insight to what our community is able to process now and why. The feasibility of processing any commodity and overall a greater spectrum of commodities comes down to what RAD refers to as the “Equation of Diversion and Participation”

Participation + Volume + Value = Increase in Participation

The great part about the equation components, is that they are cyclical and self sustaining. As participation increases, volumes increase. As volumes increase, values increase. As value increases and is publicized, participation typically increases.

The “Value” component of the equation can have a misleading controlling effect. It does have a few dependencies, such as our relationship with commodity buyers. Commodity buyers rely on two key things:

  • 1 Sources of commodities, like Teton County, to provide consistent volumes that are uncontaminated.
  • 2 Market Values. Teton Valley residents have the ability to control part of #1 - participation in recycling, Teton County’s transfer Station has a final control of zero contamination. At a critical mass of participation and volume, recycling can translate to a direct return value, such as lower costs of service due to revenue generation.

Right now, “Participation” is one of the keys to success for Teton County, specifically enabling participation through convenient easy method of recycling, incentivizing rates and clear benefits that are all conveyed through significant education and outreach efforts. Both are needed, but which is more important for Teton Valley right now? While we consider making the choice between maximizing current material recycled and more materials, we must avoid a critical mistake – Don’t provide services or choices that are not sustainable and scalable. Designing the approach that does not overwhelm the current processing capability is key. Doing it all, or even larger scale projects such as food waste composting, right now is not realistic. A well-planned and balanced hybrid approach on a set timeline seems most suited, including:

  • 1 Pilot Programs to increase processing capabilities for new materials increasing the spectrum of process-able materials.
  • 2 Participation Strategies supported by Educational Outreach to increase participation and maximize the use of our current processing capacities.

This is what the Transfer Station staff has successfully been doing and they deserve high-fives for the progress achieved over the last 4 years. Did you know Teton County went from 18.5% diversion rate in 2013 to 28% diversion rate in 2014? Oh, by the way our animal composting program, which managed 86 tons in 2014, is heralded by the Idaho DEQ as the state’s model animal composting program! (so awesome!) And use of crushed glass to firm up Transfer Station roadways gets kudos as well.

We are moving in the right direction, and know that our County holds itself to a higher standard and a more global approach to recycling with our (Recycling) Disclosure Policy. This policy was initiated by RAD, revised by the Teton Community Recycling and adopted by the County in 2011. We don’t just sell materials, our County takes the time to ask commodity buyers – Where do the materials go? What do they get turned into? Our county doesn’t always get an answer since commodity buyers don’t have to tell us, but we have the responsible approach to try and find out, so the County can provide clarity to homes who are recycling in Teton Valley and thus earn a greater trust from its residents that recycling is purposeful and valuable.

A more inclusive and long term approach is: How do we insulate our community from uncontrolled factors such as commodity market values, increasing fuel costs that erode commodity sales margins, or worse, increased tipping fees to landfill at Mud Lake? Analyze the creation of local cottage industry as a local outlet for the recycled materials – Food Waste is a valuable grade compost; recycled plastics can be used for simple plastic injection molding, etc. This direction bolsters our local economy too!

Fight for it! Whatever your perspective is – in a constructive and educated way. Take the time to understand the whole situation, but be persistent. What questions do you have? What are RAD’s current goals? Tell us what you think our initiatives should be. Email or call RAD your thoughts and ideas – or call 208.220.7721


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