Solutions sought after project to cleanup Downtown alley moves grease & trash juice onto sidewalk

A new location for some of Downtown Boise’s trash is making for a sticky and smelly situation along Bannock St.

In 2017, the alley behind the Union Block got a makeover. The Capital City Development Corporation worked to make physical improvements to the alley, including new pavers and lights.

Several property owners in the area also worked together to relocate their trash collection facilities from the alley to an area inside the parking garage for the Idaho building, which sits along Bannock St.

On several recent occasions, grease and liquids oozed from the new trash area, across the sidewalk and into the gutter.

The shared dumpsters and grease collectors sit on property owned by Ken Howell. He said he did not know about the seepage issue, but said the garbage collection area is an ongoing challenge.

“Owners on the alley have issues with the central collection system,” he said. “(Restaurant) staff sometimes doesn’t get trash into the dumpster. It’s quite a free for all.”

He said moving the trash moved the challenges from the alley to the private area.

Regular cleanup challenge

Crews work to clean up the sidewalk along Bannock St. in Downtown Boise Thursday morning. Photo: Don Day/BoiseDev

While taking pictures for this story, members of the Downtown Boise “Maintenance Matters” team arrived and started cleaning the pavers.

“The leakage is coming from the trash compactor just behind that gate. The Downtown Maintenance Matters Team (DMMT) has literally been hand scrubbing the sidewalk almost daily to clean it up,” Downtown Boise Association Executive Director Lynn Hightower said.

A member of the team told BoiseDev they hadn’t gotten to it in a few days, but responded to a cleanup call. The maintenance worker said they would probably have to visit more frequently now that the weather is warming up.

Next steps: this alley – and another

“The DBA office has reached out to the folks who own and use these trash facilities and requested their assistance with a permanent solution that prevents the leakage,” Hightower said.

She said the relocation of the trash facilities off the alley was a “great project,” and sometimes these types of projects create other issues.

“As with lots of large projects, side issues happen that need addressed and this is one.”

Howell said he planned to take a look at the situation after our call.

Matt Edmond with CCDC, which is currently working on a similar project behind the Basque Block, said the approach in that area differs.

“We plan to install some screening fence around existing dumpsters,” he said. “Businesses at the east end plan to relocate their compactor further east in the alley.”

He also said the dumpsters would not be along a street frontage like they are on Bannock St.

Your help powers BoiseDev

This exclusive content comes thanks to the members of BoiseDev FIRST. They get our popular daily newsletter packed with scoops.  Sign up today

First look at student housing in Winco Foods parking lot

BoiseDev first broke word of a new 7-story building along Myrtle St. in Downtown Boise earlier this year. Now...

‘Impressive’ new addition to Boise skyline about to take off

A long-awaited new addition to the Downtown Boise skyline is about to start sprouting up. Scott Schoenherr with Rafanelli...

High profile Vista Ave. art project still in the works – details & timeline

A multi-year attempt to add art to the Vista Ave. corridor could slide into 2020. The idea sprang from...

Partnership brings Women’s Business Center back to Treasure Valley

The Boise and Twin Falls areas will soon have new Women's Business Centers up and running after several years without one.

Black Box to open world’s second VR gym in Downtown Boise

A new virtual reality workout gym is set to open soon in Downtown Boise. It will be the second public offering...

Ahead of mayoral run, a look at McLean’s 2015 campaign donations

In January, BoiseDev published an in-depth look at the 2015-cycle campaign finance records for Boise Mayor Dave...