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Flathead citizens fight for green-box sites

By Kevin Lessard, KCFW Reporter, klessard@kcfw.com
Published On: May 30 2014 05:40:10 PM MDT
Updated On: May 30 2014 11:25:09 PM MDT
KALISPELL, Mont. -

Flathead county officials have decided to hold off on plans to consolidate some of its green-box trash and recycling sites.

Two were slated to be consolidated.

One was a site off Blacktail Road and Soren Lane in Lakeside.

The other one is in Bigfork, off Highway 83 near Bigfork Stage Road.

But when the county asked about consolidating the sites, people fired back.

"Folks love their green box sites.  I think that's the best way to phrase it.  The convenience factor is incredible," said Flathead County Public Works Director David Prunty.

Mayre Flowers is the President of Citizens for a better Flathead.

She's been fighting to keep the green box sites as is.

Flowers believes that the convenience of the recycling bins at these sites directly impacts whether someone will recycle.

"Keeping those open and looking at opportunities to partner with the communities to do that so that we have them, those services not only at the green box sites but elsewhere in the community is important,” said Flowers.

Prunty says they were planning on removing some of the sites for a number of reasons, and at the top of the list was cost.

The county's recycling program has been losing money, so saving the sites means they'll have to look at other ways to cut costs.

"There's just less to do when there's two sites versus four sites.  The garbage trucks aren't running as far which is where the money really adds up.  It's in that truck running up and down the highway everyday, 363 days out of the year," Prunty said.

But for now, Prunty says they'll take a step back and review their options.

"That's the goal here is to have the community input, the staff's input, the consultant's input," said Prunty.