Madison County transitions into new recycling plan

Overflowing bins and a longer wait time for collection will be a thing of the past if Madison County officials have their way with the county’s recycling program. Still currently with Headwaters Recycling through Oct. 1, 2013, the county is transitioning into a self-contained program that officials hope better serves the people.

Other members of the Headwater Recycling co-op left in years past, making it more expensive for places like Madison County to remain a part of the program. The county-run program should cut the costs in half. Initial costs incurred in the change include the purchase of several containers.

Madison County has been a part of the Headwaters Recycling co-op for a number of years, and county officials deemed it only fair that they not walk away immediately, but rather give Headwaters time to figure out its next move.

The increased cost of the Headwaters program combined with the far flung collection sites across a large area of the state – Augusta, Beaverhead County, Choteau, Deer Lodge, Harlowton, Granite County, Lincoln and Meagher County – made it hard for bins to be collected frequently enough in Madison County.

The same materials will be recycled – cardboard, plastic, aluminum and paper. Glass recycling may be included, but Madison County Commissioner Dan Happel said he did not know how soon, if at all, it would be.

“We will do it with our own personnel and we will keep the sites cleaner,” Happel said.

Happel added that Headwaters was costing the county about $40,000 per year and not all the profit came back to the county. The new program will change that and include an educational component to spread the word and garner more interest in recycling within the county. Denny Lueck, county Solid Waste Supervisor, is confident Madison County can take over the recycling program and do it well.

People can contact the county sanitarian’s office to report full bins or other recycling issues at 843-4275. More information about what can be recycled and where is available online at

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