BILLINGS — Flooding across the region last week left a path of destruction, which, in turn, meant the landfill in Billings has seen a spike in traffic and material.
After the rivers had receded last week, many of the homes, roads and structures they engulfed became waste. Without a landfill, Carbon County doesn't have the capacity to handle all the levels of waste the flooding produced, which means that the Billings landfill is seeing much of the overflow.
"We've gotten roughly 40 tons of it so far. It's really early in the game for something like this when this happens" said Kyle Foreman, the solid waste superintendent in Billings.
That may just be the start.
"I suspect here probably by the end of this week we should start to see a lot of the hauling activity pick up," Foreman said.
With the uptick in waste, Foreman suggests "utilizing gravel and dirt to help rebuild roads" instead of bringing them to the dump.
"Stuff like drywall, insulation and furniture need to come here, absolutely," he said. Dirt and gravel are hard on the machinery and can be put to better use, he added.
Flood victims can bring their trash to the landfill at $22 a ton. The typical rate for non-Billings residents is $32 per ton.
For Red Lodge residents, there's another option as well.
"I do know that there is a foundation out of Red Lodge that has opened up an account with us. So, at the end of the day, whatever tonnage comes in under that account, they will pay the bill but if you're a property or home owner in Red Lodge you can use the account and it's no charge to the owner," Foreman said.