People Force County To Hold Off On Green Box Closures - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

People Force County To Hold Off On Green Box Closures

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KALISPELL - "Trash czars"-- that's what one man thinks of Flathead county's solid waste board.

He's not alone.

Dozens came out to vent Thursday about closing the green box sites where people take their trash, and the threat of more consolidation to come.

Green box sites, that is, rows of green trash dumpsters in Kila and Marion have already shut down and moved to Ashley Lake and the original plan called for more of the same across the Valley.

Drop off sites in Lakeside and Bigfork were both on the chopping block before people started pushing back at about the same time the economy soured. Now things are kind of up in the air.

"Our original plan had a timeline on it for closing of some container sites. I would say at this point in time no, as for right now, no, that's not going to happen," said David Prunty, the public works director for Flathead county.

The county has brought in an out-of-state consulting firm to help decide what to do, but even that's bugged some people, who see it as a waste of money.

"I hope that the Flathead county government will see the need and maybe change their thinking," said Lakeside resident Susan Repa.

Something has to give.

"I think an upswing is coming and these container sites get to the point where we can't move the garbage efficiently or safely out of them," explained Prunty.

An idea that was floating around was paying for a private pick up service. Several people shot that down today, wondering how a big dump truck could make it up some of the winding country roads in winter.

"They're not giving us any alternatives except to say 'you're on your own, you're going to have to hire your own private land hauler.' Well we can't do that," said Repa.

Almost everyone at the Foys Community Center Thursday wanted to keep the green box sites in Bigfork and Lakeside. One woman even turned over a petition with more than 700 signatures to that effect.

Prunty says nothing is set in stone yet. He's going to keep working with the consultants to come up with a plan, but in the end, it's in the hands of the commissioners.

There are 11 green box sites up and running now, 8 of them can take recyclables.

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