Recycling Options in Bigfork

by Catherine Haug, June 23, 2011

Many of us are already using the Green Machines curbside recycling service in Bigfork, or dropping off recyclables at one of the many drop sites in the valley. Now we also have another curbside service. Here’s a listing of current options:

Curbside collections services:

  • Green Machines, 755-8112, Offers weekly curbside service to collect glass, paper of all kinds, aluminum beverage cans, #1 & #2 plastics. See their FAQ page for more info.
  • New World Recycling, 257-5899, New owners Matt and Teri will collect glass, paper, metals of all kinds, #1 & #2 plastics, and cardboard. They are offering curbside service, as well as continuing the glass-drop at their new location, 4969 Hwy 2 W (see below for more). 2014 update: this business may no longer be operating.

[*NOTE: their website has not been updated with the new owner information, and still bears Cory’s name; it also may contain malware, so I removed the link. See Waste Not Project for more info – scroll to bottom of that page.]

Recycling Centers

  • Pacific Steel & Recycling, 755.7011, Pacific Recycling-Kalispell. Drop off paper, milk jugs, metals of all kinds. They will pay cash for some recyclables.
  • Valley Recycling, 257-2574 option 3, Drop off paper, cardboard, pop/beer cans, and milk jugs at their Kalispell location or at the green-box sites around the valley. See Bin locations to find one near you. They will pay cash for some recyclables at their Kalispell location.
  • Flathead Wood Recycling, 755-3599
  • Flathead County Solid Waste, 758-5910, (the county dump) also accepts refuse, construction debris, appliances, used motor oil, batteries, brush and yard waste at the solid waste site. And as a service to County residences they also retrieve junk vehicles.
  • New World Recycling for glass, 257-5899 accepts glass (for a fee) at their location north of Glacier Int’l Airport, 4969 Hwy 2 W, just north of Glacier Int’l Airport on LaSalle. They will also be selling pulverized glass, which can be used for decorative purposes, and as a substitute for gravel (see ‘A word about glass,’ below, for more). 2014 update: this business may no longer be operating.
  • Target, for glass: Use glass repository bins; enquire at information desk

A word about glass:

It used to be that many foods and household products were sold in glass containers, many of which required a deposit so they would be returned for reuse. But these days, plastic containers are replacing glass for these same products.

I avoid plastics, even so-called ‘food-grade’ plastics, because they contain toxic substances such as BPA and phthalates. In our area, plastics are more recyclable than glass, but this does not lessen their negative impact on our planet. The manufacture and recycling of plastic is energy intensive and produces highly toxic byproducts.

On the other hand, glass is far less harmful for our planet, and where possible, requires far less energy to recycle. It can be:

  • Reused as is; for example, returnable beverage bottles, canning jars.
  • Pulverized for use as gravel in aggregate products such as asphalt, concrete, terrazzo and synthetic marble; in drain fields and French drains; and for decorative products such as tile, stepping stones, lawn ornaments and curbs.

Lack of both a beverage bottle deposit program and local glass-reprocessing plant have made glass too costly to recycle here until recently. Yet instead of being turned into useful, beautiful products to boost the Flathead’s economy, our glass lies in waste on roads, gutters and dumps.

Please consider reusing and recycling your glass, and choose products in glass containers whenever possible (instead of plastic).

One Response to “Recycling Options in Bigfork”

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