BILLINGS — The Solid Waste Division may be the hardest working crew in Billings these days. It will continue Saturday service for at least another two weeks after picking up nearly 100,000 pounds of debris last Saturday related to a large thunderstorm on July 24.
"That’s a rather large number for one day," said Kyle Foreman, the city's solid waste superintendent.
Much of the 48.18 tons came from full-size trees that were knocked down by high winds, but the storm affected pretty much the entire city from Foreman’s perspective.
"Our volume of phone calls is well north of 100 calls a day," he said. "And it's basically one person handling that."
Foreman is pulling in resources from the Streets and Distribution and Collections divisions just to handle the Saturday service, with each working overtime. They started with Zones 1 and 2 last weekend, which comprises much of Central and West Billings. This Saturday, they’ll move to Zones 3 and 4.
"We will be south of Broadwater to Montana Ave," Foreman said, "and then if we have time we’ll move over to South Side."
Then Saturday, Aug. 13, they’ll work their way east of downtown and toward the Heights. You can see the interactive map here.
Right now, all of the debris goes to the landfill, but Foreman is hoping for a more sustainable solution.
"We're working on a compost program - it’s being designed and potentially built," he said. "If we can get all of that material out of the landfill, it will extend our landfill life substantially. I think it would be really beneficial not only to us, but to the residents in the form of a reusable product."
For now though, if you have debris that you want gone, just follow one simple rule.
"Just get it to the curb and we’ll get it picked up for you," Foreman said.
Hopefully that will save them a few phone calls.