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Garbage collection in Billings will change in the fall



Billings, Montana – The Billings Regional Landfill contains more than 50% of recyclable or compostable materials.

Due to this, the city of Billings now has a program for collecting cardboard and has improved garbage pickup efficiency.

The landfill is meant to survive longer as a result of the changes.

Every year, the city gathers 50,000 to 60,000 tons of rubbish, all of which is disposed of in a landfill. 12% of it is cardboard, and 27% is yard garbage.

“When I drive around on extra days, probably 50% of what I see at the curb is cardboard,” said Kyle Foreman, city of Billings solid waste superintendent.

According to the foreman, cardboard will be collected from the curb in place of the extra day currently allotted for garbage removal.

“The extras program, as it stands now, is horribly inefficient,” Foreman said. “We can’t keep up with it. We can’t keep it staffed. It takes two employees for one truck to staff those routes, whereas it only takes one to collect the black 96-gallon carts.”

And some households may require additional space in the 96 gallon garbage cans as a result.

It would be fantastic if we had our own bigger trash can, said Billings resident Vanessa Boyer.

“We’ve had the smaller garbage cans and you know cardboard really fills them up,” said Ken Boyer, Vanessa’s dad, who also lives in Billings. “We’ve had to take extra trips to landfill.”

According to the city, 4,000 homes, or 10%, may require smaller cans.

They can ask for a 64-gallon can starting on Monday, saving $4 off the $13.90 charge.

On any given day, trucks can be found everywhere across Billings.

In light of the new, more effective routes, a new garbage day will now be available to 85% of the population.

“So if we’re traveling less miles, less fuel, less wear and tear, get the garbage collected a little bit quicker, because we’re all going to be in this more condensed area,” Foreman said.

The scheme for collecting cardboard might mark the start of a comprehensive recycling strategy.

“Most cities are already recycling right now,” said Jennifer Duray, deputy public works director. “They’re doing the curbside program of some type. We’re a little late to the game on this actually, but it’s been very successful in other cities.”

“Definitely something to address and look at to improve in our city,” said Ken Boyer.


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