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New garbage routes off to good start in Billings

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Posted at 5:51 PM, Sep 12, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-12 19:51:11-04

BILLINGS — The city of Billings has made some changes when it comes to garbage collection and that includes new routes and garbage pick-up days.

It might seem like another day on the job for Billings garbage truck operator, Shane Kloepfel, but it’s second day of his new route in the city.

“Everybody so far has been really good. Just more of questions,” said Kloepfel on Tuesday.

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Shane Kloepfel

The new collection system is optimized by zone, meaning 85% of residents have a new garbage day.

“Much more efficient for us, so that’s going to lead to less miles driven, less fuel, wear and tear, maintenance, all that stuff that comes with less miles,” said Kyle Foreman, Billings Solid Waste superintendent.

Another change residents will experience has to do with its new cardboard recycling program.

“The most important thing is that this stuff was being buried. Starting today, it won’t be,” Foreman said.

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Residents can place a stack of clean cardboard next to their garbage cans once a month to be picked up for free.

“Before we made that switch, 50% of what the extras were when we drove around was cardboard. It’s your Amazon boxes, your Costco boxes, your Sam’s boxes,” said Foreman.

But that means people must call in to get extra garbage collected at a cost of $5 per item.

“Billings residents get virtually free access to the landfill. So, if it’s something that we can’t get to or won’t get to or now that we’re charging to get to, if you have the ability, take it out there, it’s free,” Foreman said.

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Kyle Foreman

As for Kloepfel, a new route is a welcome change.

“It’ll take a little longer to get bored 'cuz we’re still trying to learn them,” said Kloepfel.

But he does have one request for Billings residents.

“All I ask is have your stuff out by seven o'clock. If it’s your garbage day with your extra cardboard, have it about four feet apart or so, it’s a little easier on the driver,” Kloepfel said.