Montana Case Studies
Location: City of Billings, Yellowstone County
Contact: Barb Butler, Environmental Compliance Coordinator, Billings Solid Waste Division, PO Box 1178, Billings, MT 59103, (phone) 406/247-8633
Duration of Program: 1995 to present
Program Description: One day a year, Billing businesses that generate less than 220 pounds of hazardous waste and no more than 2.2 pounds of acute hazardous waste in any calendar month can participate in a hazardous waste collection program. The program is designed to help prevent hazardous waste from being deposited in the local municipal landfill by providing an affordable disposal option for small businesses in the city. Conditionally exempt generators (CEGs) are charged to participate in this event; however, disposal costs for CEGs are significantly reduced as labor and transportation costs are covered by the city. To participate, CEGs must preregister at least one week in advance. The city does limit the types of waste brought to the event; for example, radioactive and infectious medical wastes are prohibited.
Goal(s) of Program: Divert conditionally exempt generator (CEG) waste from the landfill by providing an affordable option to Billings businesses.
Target Audience: Billings businesses.
Program Budget: $50,000 per year for this event and the city's HHW
collection event. The programs cost can be broken down into four categories: labor, fixed
costs, transportation, and waste management. Labor made up 37% of the overall cost, while
management of the collected waste accounted for 54% and transportation only 9%.
Strategy Used: Aggressive advertising and marketing.
Results of Program: Over the past four events, the city has seen a steady increase in the number of participants and volume of hazardous waste brought to the event.
In 1998, 17 SQGs participated, bringing in 10,894 pounds of hazardous waste. This waste was then packed into 29 55-gallon drums (1.71 drums per SQG). The total cost of the SQG program was $9,660 or $568 per participant. Six thousand and forty dollars was charged to the SQGs who paid an average of $355 per participant. The final cost to the city was $3,620.
Program Evaluation Tools: Interest in event has steadily increased.
Barriers Encountered: No barriers were encountered.
Program Strengths: To help save money, the program used city personnel with 40-hour United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) training at events instead of hiring similarly trained environmental consultants to run the events. Philip HHW Services, the hired hazardous waste management company, provided excellent waste management service.
Program Weaknesses: The surrounding communities wanted to participate in the event but were not allowed since the funding came from the City of Billings.