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Posted on: July 1, 2022

Lake County Solid Waste to implement authorized user tag program

SW Request to Use

Lake County Solid Waste Management operates the Transfer Station and Class 3 Landfill on North Reservoir Rd, Polson, and the C&D Landfill on Kerr Dam Rd, Polson. The district also operates six rural container sites, and a recycling center with three community drop-off sites.

Funds to operate the district are generated by a $180 per household fee collected from residential properties, including mobile homes. The fee is based on a family residential unit (or FRU) of 60 gallons of waste per week. The EPA estimates that each person in the United States creates 4.5 pounds of garbage every day. Commercial businesses and tax-exempt entities, like cities, schools, and churches, pay $180 for each FRU equivalent they generate. Some Tribal Trust residential landowners do pay this fee, but most Tribal trust landowners typically have not. The Salish and Kootenai Housing Authority does pay $135 for their low-income residential units.

Due to illegal dumping, identity theft from junk mail refuse, vandalism, and other concerns, the District Board of Directors decided to staff all rural containers sites. Container sites are for use only by those residential properties in the Lake County / Dixon Joint Refuse Management District which pay the solid waste fee. Those not participating in funding the services are not authorized to use the facilities.

To assure users are authorized to use the facilities, the district has implemented an improved user tag program. This program has been in place at the Swan Valley site for a year. The site attendant will hand out forms for users to complete and return to our office. Once we confirm the user pays the solid waste fee, we will send them a tag. Users that do not pay the $180 fee when they pay property taxes will pay the district directly and then be billed on an annual basis. The tag must be presented when entering the site to prove the user is authorized. Enforcement of this policy will begin approximately 60 days after a site has become staffed.

Along with staffing the sites, we will limit the days and hours at each site. Sites near each other will be open different days, to provide more opportunity for users to dispose of their waste. Our goals include stopping illegal salvaging, which includes riffling through everyone’s trash looking for drugs and information for identity theft; preventing dumping by folks that do not pay for solid waste and eliminating the dumping of construction and demolition waste that should go to the landfill. We are aware that contractors from out of county are using our unstaffed sites to keep from paying for disposal in their own counties. All these things increase costs to the district.

Another change at the sites is the installation of fall barriers as required by the Montana Building Code. These 42-inch-high barriers are in place for public safety, to prevent falls into the trash containers. Please obey all signage on the barriers and elsewhere throughout the site. The life you save may be your own.

Ask the site attendant for an authorization form to receive your user tag.

If you have questions about this policy or waste disposal, contact Lake County Solid Waste, 36117 North Reservoir Rd, Polson, MT 59860, (406)883-7323

Vehicle Authorization Form (PDF)

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