County plans to expand Coram green-box site

April 10, 2019

The Flathead County Solid Waste District intends to expand the Coram green-box garbage collection ste on U.S.2 East and is taking bids for the project.

According to county Public Works Director Dave Prunty, the project primarily will include clearing, earthwork, fencing and gravel work. The county plans to add about 10 to 15 additional green boxes.

“All we are doing is enlarging what we do have and stretching to our property limits,” Prunty said. “We need more simply because of use.”

Prunty said the Coram site is used frequently by area residents looking to drop off their household garbage, which can also include larger metal items such as bikes. The last few winters have also led to some wear and tear on the nearly 30 containers that are currently at the site.

After gathering input from engineers, the county settled on a budget of $158,000 for the add-ons, with a large portion of the project cot allotted to gravel work, reorganizing of the site and implementing sturdy fencing capable of safeguarding the trash from bears and potential “dumpster divers.”

Prunty said the Coram site is staffed to enforce regulations and watch for potential trash thieves - both people and creatures. He said a staff member will join the Olney green-box site very soon, leaving Essex as the only unmanned station in the Flathead Valley. Prunty said the Essex site will remain unstaffed because the trash volume is so low.

According to the Solid Waste District’s website, there are 10 drop-off sites in Flathead County, six of which offer recycling options. However, Prunty said the new containers at Coram will not offer recycling options; only garbage and various metals are accepted. Other locations that do not accept recycling such as cardboard and aluminum are Essex, Olney and the West Corridor near Kila.

Those who are interested in bidding the project have until 11 a.m. Friday to submit their sealed bids to the Solid Waste District at 4098 U.S. 93 N. in Kalispell.

“When we use tax dollars we work on getting the biggest bang for our buck,” Prunty said.

Green boxes have been offered throughout the valley dating back as far as the early 1970s. They were created to enable the county to expand trash drop-off services to rural locations in the Flathead so residents have a closer option than the Kalispell-based landfill for dropping their household trash.

Reporter Kianna Gardner may be reached at 758-4439 or kgardner@dailyinterlake.com.