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Talking Trash: Helena looking to public for feedback on solid waste plan

City of Helena seeking input on waste management plan
Posted at 4:35 PM, Jan 26, 2022
and last updated 2022-01-27 14:16:20-05

HELENA — People sure do love to talk trash online. But if you want to talk trash for a good cause, the city of Helena could use your help. Going on right now until February 28 the city is hoping residents will give some feedback on the website BeHeardHelena.com on the future of solid waste in the Queen City.

“Really what we’re trying to do is find ways to reduce the amount of waste that is going to the landfill and what we really need is input from the public to find out what the public is willing to do to help us meet those goals,” City of Helena Public Works Deputy Director Ed Coleman told MTN.

Specifically, a 35 percent reduction of what goes in the landfill by the year 2030 and 50-percent by 2040.

Coleman did say that this is not because we are not facing any kind of space issue right now when it comes to our solid waste disposal, but with a city service this important, the community can’t afford to kick the can down the road.

Solid Waste Web Extra

“It’s minimizing the amount of waste that goes into our landfill," Coleman said. "We only have so much space and if we keep filling it up waste, that’s going to be detrimental and there is also plenty of opportunities for reuse, recycling, composting, etcetera that are good for the environment.”

“The more people that are coming in here, the more responsible we need to be," added Coleman. "We need to try and be managing the city, managing the population so we’re having a minimal impact on the environment. It’s just better for us, better for the planet, said Coleman. "And so really what we’re trying to do is get ahead of the game. We don’t want to wait until out landfill is full before we try to find ideas or options to how to minimize waste. Let’s start early, let’s be proactive instead of reactive, which seems to make great sense these days.”

In addition to the survey, on February 17th from 4:30 -6:00 p.m., the city will hold a virtual public kick-off meeting via zoom with the goal of giving the public a chance to share any thoughts and learn more about the planning process moving forward.