Recycling and Sustainability 101

Saturday Oct. 2nd, 2010

I am often asked what to do about various items, if they are recyclable? Well yes and no. The market is constantly changing, but currently the following items are recyclable because there are end markets for them:

Plastic: 1-7, clean and free of food contamination. You can crush the air out of the milk /juice jugs and replace the tops. Plastic bags and Styrofoam are recyclable at grocery stores and mail service stores respectfully, such as Pack Tech and UPS.

Cardboard: includes paper bags, cereal boxes, 6 pack containers and boxes; however, no wax boxes nor food contaminated pizza boxes.

Glass: Private recyclers, J & K Recyclers and RRR both recycle glass and transport it to Livingston to be pulverized. (J and K Recyclers @ 582-0243; RRR Recycling @ 388-9494 or The City of Livingston Landfill @ 222-1142). However, it is not recyclable in the bins around town, nor curbside due to transportation/processing costs. However, some local artists are using recycled bottles to make useful art. Anna Visser of tart, Linda Banning of LB Originals, Courtney King-Leverett of Fresh Squeezed Glass and various others are recycling glass and making fun, useful products. Jewelry, Cheese plates, belt buckles, cabinet pulls, ornaments and wall art are all handcrafted from locally recycled bottles. (tart: or visit her store in the Emerson. Fresh Squeezed Glass: or and LB Originals: and check out the recycled work).
Paper: Newspaper, magazine, phone books, junk mail, office paper and paperback books are accepted (staples ok). No neon paper or fiber that does not tear.

Steel & Aluminum: All cans are recyclable.

Hard to Recycle Items
E-Waste: Either bring to E-Waste events or Electronics Recycling of Montana,
Logan Landfill, Staples, Office Depot all take them regularly.
Blankets, sheets & towels, Pet food: Humane Society
Brush, Clothing fiber (scrap), Manure: Logan Landfill, Salvation Army & Thrift Store, Western Conservation Services.
Cabinets, Doors, Flooring, Plumbing, Lighting, Windows, Wire: Logan Landfill & Habitat Re-Store in Belgrade
White Goods (Freezers or Refrigerators with Freon) *fee:
Four Corner’s Recycling & Logan Landfill
White Goods (No freezers or Refrigerators with Freon):
Bozeman Convenience Site
Appliances (functional): Habitat Re-store in Belgrade
Concrete:  Western Conservation Services
BATTERIES (automotive): Batteries Plus, O’Reilly Auto Parts, Firestone Complete Auto Care, and Napa Auto
Batteries (rechargeable & cell phone): Batteries Plus, Battery Solutions, Belgrade True Value, Gallatin Wireless, Home Depot, J&S Electronics, Kenyon-Noble, RadioShack, Lowe’s
Wood Products (clean, unpainted & unpreserved):
Western Pines Livestock Bedding and Landscape Material, 4225 Amsterdam Rd
Confidential papers & files: Montana Records Management, Document Destroyer, Tear it Up LLC
Propane Canisters: Bozeman Convenience Site (old landfill on Story Mill Road)
Thermometers & Thermostats (mercury): Bozeman Convenience Site, MSU Safety & Risk Management and Mercury Waste
Motor oil: City of Bozeman Shops Complex, Emerald Northwest, Most Oil Change facilities
Mineral spirits/thinners:  Bozeman Convenience Site
Paints (oil-based): Bozeman Recycling Coalition (paint swap in June) & Logan Landfill if dried
Mercury based bulbs (HID, fluorescents, CFL) *fee may apply: Crescent Electric Supply Company, Bozeman Convenience Site, Home Depot (CFLs), Mercury Waste Solutions, MSU Safety & Risk Management
Acids: City of Bozeman Shops Complex, Bozeman Convenience Site
Chlorinated solvents: Emerald Northwest, Logan Landfill
Antifreeze: City of Bozeman Shops Complex, Emerald Northwest, and Bozeman Convenience
Gasoline Herbicides/pesticides: Bozeman Convenience Site MT Department of Agriculture (large quantities)

If you have a question about an item being recyclable, you can call the Gallatin Solid Waste District to inquire or one of the recycling companies. Gallatin Solid Waste District and Logan Landfill: 587-7890, RRR Recycling: 388-9494, J & K Recycling: 582-0243.
The Recycling Program is continuously growing, but needs your help in making it
successful by following a few guidelines:
1. Please only recycle items that are free of contamination.
2. Do not leave hard to recycle or non-recyclable items at the drop-off sites or in your curbside bin such as glass, electronics and chemicals. This will jeopardize the program.
3. Do not throw plastic bags, plastic wrap or Styrofoam in the recycle bins. Plastic bags can be recycled at most grocery stores and Styrofoam and packing peanuts can be recycled at the UPS store or Pack Tech.

There are a lot of recycling programs going on in Gallatin County as well as sustainability education programs. The city is working on implementing a recycling program in the elementary schools along with recycling education. The Bozeman High School is operating its own recycling program. MSU just developed a campus-wide program funded and run by the students in the last couple of years. You can read more about their recycling program and sustainability efforts at
Numerous opportunities exist to learn how to improve your personal or business’ sustainability. The Yellowstone Business Partnership offers an annual education program called UnCommon Sense that educates businesses on ways to make changes in operations and gives them the tools to become leaders in sustainability in their communities, There is also a 7-week course taught by Wendy Weaver who is a sustainability consultant with Green Stone Consulting, Green School Chair and a LEED accredited professional. In this class you’ll examine your operations and consider how your business can become more sustainable through:
• Energy use habits and efficiency,
• Reduced carbon footprint,
• Water conservation,
• Purchasing habits,
• Fuel consumption,
• Green cleaning,
• Office waste reduction,

To register for this course, visit or call (406) 994-6683. Another non-profit, Peaks to Prairies is instrumental in education for the reduction of pollution with a focus on recycling. Visit their website to learn more about their education Hub that offers access to current information and contacts, encourages collaboration and leveraging of resources between programs, and builds information systems to enhance information dissemination, One additional resource is Gallatin Zero Waste Coalition which is a grassroots effort that exists to address comprehensive waste reduction strategies in the county. If you are interested in joining, visit the Facebook page:
The next recycling event is E-Waste. Recycle your computers, VCRs, monitors,

TVs and PDA’s October 1 &2 at the Gallatin County Fairgrounds, 9am – 4pm. Start saving your glass for the Earth Day Recycling Event, or turn it into a keepsake by having it melted into a gift that can be hung on the wall and used as a plate for cheese and crackers.
Visit Fresh Squeezed Glass at or email,

Courtney makes functional art from recycled glass and is for hire for writing, too. The glass can be found at Tart in the Emerson and she can be contacted at