Butte-Silver Bow has received 146 responses so far in a survey gauging public support for having grass clippings, weeds, trimmed bushes and other biodegradable waste picked up from homes or neighborhoods.
The survey was posted on the county’s website in mid-October and will likely stay up through the end of January. The results will then be shared with McGree Trucking, said county Chief Executive Dave Palmer.
McGree still provides curbside pickup of recyclables every other week for an additional cost and depending on public feedback, might consider charging for picking up green waste as well, Palmer says.
Ed Banderob, a citizen activist who regularly attends council meetings, has pushed for consideration of such a curbside program that would allow residents to opt in voluntarily and be charged for it, with no support from taxes.
The Butte-Silver Bow landfill accepts green waste and the county has containers for it at their annual Alley Rally site during late spring and summer.
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“But Ally Rally does not open until after a major portion of the green waste comes off in the spring and closes before the major portion of the green waste comes off in the fall,” Banderob said.
“Considerable amounts of lawn clippings, weedings and small prunings are disposed of in the regular black trash bins during the growing season, thus increasing the landfill load,” he wrote in a recent “open letter to the community.”
A green collection and composting service would not only be a convenience, it would take a load off the landfill, he said. And some of the compost could be used in the community to enhance the environment.
Waste disposed in plastic bags can take 20 years to decompose fully, Banderob said.
A link to the survey is on the home page of the county’s website. The direct link is https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/BSB_Green
The brief survey includes seven questions. Among other things, it asks what a fair price is for having green waste regularly removed from your house or neighborhood and if you’re more likely to rent or buy a green container or not participate.
It also asks what month green collections should begin and when they should end, how frequently waste should be collected and if you’re willing to share a container with one or two neighbors.