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Frequently Asked Questions: Solid Waste

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Q:  Someone dumped something on or adjacent to my property.  How do I get it removed?

A:  Unless there is a witness to the dumping willing to identify the responsible party, this ultimately becomes the responsibility of the property owner to have the dumped garbage/item(s) removed to the landfill.  Unfortunately, the City/County does not have any resources available to pick up these items from private property.  Extreme cases may be eligible for reduced cost disposal at the landfill – call the Health Dept. for assistance.

Q:  I have an old refrigerator or freezer to dispose of.  What do I do?

A:  DO NOT CUT THE LINES, REMOVE THE COMPRESSOR, OR ATTEMPT TO REMOVE THE FREON YOURSELF!  Free coolant is extremely hazardous to the Earth’s atmosphere.  Used appliance dealers in town may accept non-functioning units in otherwise generally good condition.  Pacific and Axmen recycling will both accept units with the coolant in place for free.  Pacific and Axmen recycling will only pay scrap prices for units with documented legal Freon removal by a certified operator.  These recyclers will also accept damaged units free of coolant with a signed statement, but will not pay for them.

Q:  My neighbor has lots of junk in their yard.  It’s an eyesore.  Can you make them clean it up?

A:  This is a big, fat 'maybe'.  It is legal for someone to have “stuff” in their yard.  It is not legal to maintain solid waste on their property.  “Stuff” like indoor furniture, clothing, and other natural materials may quickly transition from usable items to solid waste in an unprotected outdoor environment.  Building materials and other usable items may be stored in public view as long as they are organized and/or neatly stacked.  Please see the community decay ordinance on our website for additional information.

Q:  I was told that my landlord is required to pay for garbage service in a rental situation.  Is this true?

A:  It is the responsibility of the owner (or 3rd party manager) of any rental property to provide commercial garbage removal service with a minimum pick-up of 1 time per week.  There is nothing preventing the owner or manager from passing this cost on to the tenant, but the account for billing must be in the owner or manager’s name.  This has been a county code requirement since 1994.


Q:  How do I dispose of old oil-based paint, pesticides, or other hazardous waste; the landfill won’t accept them?

A:  Missoula County Water Quality District sponsors HAZWASTE DAYS at the City shops just north of the Scott St. Bridge mid-September every year – free for individual county residents.  Store items in a cool, dry environment until disposal time.  Unsealed wastes should be stored in a well-ventilated, uninhabited space.  If you need immediate disposal, Safety Kleen is a Spokane, WA based for-profit disposal company (509-928-8353) that services our area.  Other disposal firms may also operate here.

Have more questions?  Contact Us!

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