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City of Great Falls considers options for solid waste collection

Garbage trash dumpster
Posted at 2:02 PM, Nov 01, 2022

When you throw something in the trash in Great Falls, it will likely end up in one place: "The High Plains Landfill,” said Mark Juras, Great Falls Public Works senior civil engineer, referring to the facility located several miles north of Great Falls.

Juras said the landfill is the only feasible solid waste disposal location for people in Great Falls.

That's one reason a study was commissioned in 2021 to look at solid waste service.

"Also, inflation has been rising and with that our disposal fees have been increasing,” Juras explained.

The city recently released five options that the study identified.

Number one, keep service the way it is. Number two, the city contracts with a private company to collect trash. Number three, no changes to service but the city creates a new landfill and an optional self-haul transfer station.

Four, develop a regional waste management authority.

"That includes developing a new landfill with a new city-owned transfer station to haul to that landfill and then partnering with different counties, different cities in the area to team up and come together and use that facility as a regional facility,” said Juras.

Finally, option 5 is a new city-owned transfer station that would allow trash to be hauled anywhere in the state.

Juras anticipates all of this information being formally presented to city commissioners in early 2023, at which point discussion will begin about whether or not to more thoroughly investigate any of the options.