HELENA – As the weather starts to warm up and the sun starts to shine, suddenly you can see all those cobwebs that have been hiding out during the winter. It’s probably more than just cobwebs that need clearing out.
Pete Anderson with the Helena Transfer Station said this is a busy time of the year as people rush to get rid of old couches, paint cans, car batteries and just about anything else you can think of.
“Typically, our busy months in the garbage industry are April through November,” Anderson said.
At the Helena Transfer Station, residential permit holders are permitted to dispose of up to 3,000 pounds at the transfer station without incurring additional fees.
That means you can drop off used tires, even refrigerators and freezers up to the 3,000 thousand pound limit over the course of the year. Anything above that limit will cost extra.
For non-permit holders, cash rates apply starting at as little as $6 for waste between zero and 200 pounds. The current transfer station tipping fee is $56.75 per ton (2000 lbs). The transfer station also has sections for car batteries, oil and antifreeze.
If you have a summer painting project in mind, there’s also an upcoming opportunity to acquire some free paint. The transfer station will be collecting paint from the public starting May 24 and ending May 31. That following Sunday on June 2, whatever paint collected will be available to the public.
“Our staff will go through that and sort it, mix it by color. Put it back out free for pick up by the public for use on any projects they may have this summer,” Anderson said.
Just remember, everyone is looking to get their homes in order, so consider planning a visit for a weekday rather than the weekend. Anderson said as many as 1,200 vehicles come through the facility each day on the weekend.
If you’re clearing out your home and think some items still have value, consider donating them to local thrift shops.
Corbin Bruursema, Development Coordinator for Good Samaritan Ministries and Thrift Store in Helena said spring and summer tend to be the busiest times for the thrift store. He estimates it can be five times busier than normal.
“People are out doing spring cleaning and summer garage sales. Those are two of our busiest,” Bruursema said.
Just like at the transfer station, cars can pile up at peak times with people waiting to drop off their unwanted items. Good Samaritan accepts just about any item with a few exceptions, which you can find on their website. What they can’t resell, they do their best to recycle.
“During the winter, we store stuff to get it out in the proper season. And in the summer, we store the winter stuff,” Bruursema said. “It’s a good time to come and look for shorts and summer stuff because that’s what we’re going to be pushing out.”
Bruursema also added it’s a good time to find gardening tools or other things that might be coming out of someone’s garage. What’s more, because it’s Good Samaritan, the money raised is going back into the community.
“Anything you give here will go to support one of your neighbors,” Bruursema said.