Pay As You Throw FAQ

1. How many tons of solid waste may I take to the transfer station without being charged?

Answer: 1.5 tons (3,000 lbs.) per fiscal year (July 1 to June 30)

2. Where is the City Transfer Station and what are its hours of operation?

Answer:  The City of Helena Transfer Station is located at 1975 N. Benton Avenue in Helena.  It is open 7 days a week from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.  and is closed on major holidays.  For questions regarding the Transfer Station operations, please call (406) 447-8082.

3. When will I receive my new solid waste permit?

Answer:  Beginning July 1, 2012 the Scratchgravel/Marysville Solid Waste Districts implemented a 2 year permit which automatically renews on the 2nd year.  Replacement permits will be sent out the third year on the last week of June and will be effective July 1. This permit allows you to bring in up to 3,000 lbs of garbage per year.

4. What should I do if I do not receive my new solid waste permit in the mail?

Answer:  You can come to the Transfer Station Administration Office at 1975 N Benton in Helena, or call 406.447.8086.  We can check to see if your permit was returned to us in the mail, or we can issue you a replacement permit. We will not charge a replacement fee for this permit through the month of July. After July 31st there will be a $5.00 replacement fee.

5. What should I do if I lose my solid waste permit during the year?

Answer:  You can to come to the Transfer Station Administration Office at 1975 N Benton between the hours of 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday-Friday.  We will cancel your old permit and issue a replacement permit for your property. You will be charged a $5.00 fee to cancel the old permit and issue the replacement permit.  It is important to cancel your old permit as soon as you realize it is lost.  If someone finds it, they might use it to take their own solid waste to the transfer station and charge it to your property which will be your responsibility if your permit is not canceled immediately.  

6. I have two vehicles I haul my solid waste in, can I get a duplicate permit for my second vehicle?

Answer:  No. We are no longer able to issue additional or duplicate permits due to the new program currently used at the Transfer Station. If the homeowner owns one residence they pay one (1) assessment and are entitled to 3,000 lbs only. The new program does not recognize additional or duplicate permits as it will give the homeowner the additional weight, which the homeowner does not pay the assessment for.

7. When I sell my house, should I give my solid waste permit to the new homeowner?

Answer:  Yes, you can give your permit to the new owner of your house.  However, make sure that your realtor or title company calls the Transfer Station Administration at 406.447.8086 to get a final bill for any charges you may owe on your account at the time of closing.  Your title company can then take the amount due out of your settlement.

8. If I buy a house and my realtor or title company did not call for an amount owing on the solid waste account, am I responsible for paying the amount due from the previous owner of the property?

Answer:  Yes, because the charges on the solid waste account are for the residential unit on that particular property.  They do not follow the person who has left the house and moved to a new address.  Amounts owing on a solid waste permit account are just like charges on a water or sewer account for a house, they stay with the property and do not follow the person when they move.

9. Does the fee I pay on my tax bill include a collection service for my solid waste?  

Answer:  No. Residents of the Scratchgravel Solid Waste District and Marysville Solid Waste Sub-service District only pay for disposal of the solid waste they haul to the Transfer Station.  If you want your solid waste collected at your house and taken to the Transfer Station, you must call a collection service.  Look in the Yellow Pages under Garbage Collection and Disposal for businesses that provide collection services in these areas.

10. How accurate is the scale at the Transfer Station?

Answer:  The scale at the Transfer Station weighs in increments of 20 pounds.  This is as accurate as can be expected for a scale of this size.  The scales are certified several times a year for their accuracy.

11.  Am I charged for tons waste, recyclables, tires, Christmas trees, mixed loads of solid waste and recyclables?

Answer:  Yes, the weight of all loads is charged to your solid waste permit account with the exception of clean recyclables: glass, plastics,steel and aluminum cans, newspaper, copy paper, and cardboard as long as you declare to the scale operator this is what you are bringing in. There are certain fees charged for tires and appliances but these fees are waived if you have tonnage available on your permit. If you are bringing in a mixed load of regular garbage and recyclables you will be asked to drop off the recyclables first and then go back around to the scale to weigh in. Again you must tell the scale operator you have a mixed load. Although recycling is the environmentally right thing to do, it is more costly than landfilling these items.   There must be a charge to offset the cost of recycling programs.  For questions regarding recycling services, please call the Recycling Line at (406) 447-8084.

12. What can I recycle and where may I take these items?

Answer:  In addition to the City of Helena Transfer Station there are recycling containers located at Independent Record, 2222 Washington St; the Lewis & Clark Fairgrounds, Safeway Store, 611 N Montana, Capitol Hill Mall (east end), 1600 11th Ave, and Cruse Ave median across from Dale Harris Park, (near S Park Ave & S Cruse Ave).  The recycling containers at these sites are available 24 hours a day and seven days a week. These locations currently accept aluminum & steel cans, corrugated cardboard, office paper, newspapers and magazines. Glass and plastics must be taken to the transfer station.

13. Can I bring in my Christmas Tree to the Transfer Station?

Answer: Yes, you can bring in your Christmas tree during the Pines for Perch collection which is publicized in the newspaper and ends on January 31st. Trees that are brought in after January 31st are considered waste and the weight will be charged against your permit.

To find out what household items may be recycled, or for information about other recycling services, please call the Recycling Line at (406) 447-8084 or click the link below for the map of locations and a list of the types of items you can recycle. You can access more information by going to the City of Helena web page at .

City of Helena Recycle Guide/Map