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Billings garbage pick-up will change in the September

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Posted at 9:11 PM, Jul 22, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-28 21:02:29-04

More than half of what's in the Billings Regional Landfill can be composted or recycled.

That's led to a city of Billings cardboard collection program and also to make garbage pickup more efficient.

The whole idea with the changes is for the landfill to last longer.

The city collects 50,000 to 60,000 tons of trash a year, and all that goes into the landfill of that material. 27% is yard waste and 12% is cardboard.

"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.

Foreman says what is now the extra day for trash pickup will turn into collecting cardboard from the curb.

"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 that will mean more room in the 96 gallon trash cans, something some families need.

If we would have our own bigger trash can, that would be great," said Vanessa Boyer, a Billings resident.

"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."

An estimated 10% or 4,000 residences may need smaller cans, according to the city.

Starting on Monday, they can request a 64-gallon can which takes $4 off the $13.90 cent fee.

Currently trucks are spread out all over Billings on any given day.

So the new, more efficient routes mean 85% of the residents will now have a new garbage day.

"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 cardboard collection program could be the beginning of a long-term plan for recycling.

"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.