Thursday, September 3, 2015

Maximum Trip Policy at the Transfer Station Should be Amended to Allow More Trips or Eliminated Entirely

[Update: I should note that I opposed the policy of limiting permit holders visits to the transfer station from the start. The policy limits the value of service provided to permit holders who pay an annual assessment, demonstrated no actual savings, and continues to be a distraction from positive investments that should be made to improve service and realize efficiency at this public facility.]

Recent changes to the City of Helena Transfer Station were in part based on the notion that permit holders should have to pay for all trips to the facility. Comparisons were made to large central facilities, such at the Logan Landfill serving Gallatin County. 

A more apt comparison is rural convenience centers provided across most for persons who haul their own waste, as shown in the following example of drop-off facilities in Cascade County. These facilities provide more trip allowances recognizing some residents may prefer to haul their trash on a weekly basis. 

Note: The City of Helena Commission will, rightly, be taking up this policy in coming weeks. The commission will be exploring establishing a 30 visit per six months (60 visits per year) trip allowance for permit holders or striking the maximum trip policy all together.


- Matt E

Matthew Elsaesser, Commissioner
City of Helena, Montana, USA

Example of Rural Collection Sites:
Cascade County's provides rural residents 26 punches per six months (52 visits per year), which allows for weekly visits to rural sites such as Hardy Creek just north of Lewis and Clark County. Resident can buy an additional punch card or pay per visit is needed (frequently asked questions; Cascade County Solid Waste Services Site).

Photo Taken by Matt Elsaesser, Summer 2015
Photo Taken by Matt Elsaesser, Summer 2015
Photo Taken by Matt Elsaesser, Summer 2015
Link to site in caption.
From: accessed July 2015