Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - Missoula Public Health is planning a summer opening of its long-anticipated hazardous waste facility in partnership with Home Resource, just off Russell Street.

I spoke with Craig Beebe, Environmental Health and GIS Specialist on Wednesday after he responded to a request about where to dispose of a years-old container of kerosene which I have been storing in my garden shed.

I had asked several times about when the next ‘haz-mat’ disposal day might be, and Beebe said the health department has taken a different direction in disposing of such materials.

Missoula Public Health wanted a Better way Than Hazardous Waste Disposal Days

“We did the haz-waste days because we needed some sort of way to get this waste out of Missoula,” said Beebe. “Because in many jurisdictions, your solid waste provider usually offers this service, but in Montana, none of the solid waste providers have stepped up to the plate to do that. However, Republic has always donated money towards the disposal for these annual events and they've also donated a little money towards a year-round facility.”

Beebe said the process of opening a permanent hazardous waste disposal site has taken time and could be opening something this summer.

A Permanent Hazardous Waste Disposal Site will Open This Summer

“We’ve started moving towards planning to get this year-round facility open,” he said. “I believe it was 2020 when the real serious planning was starting, I think it's kind of stalled out due to current events at the time, (the COVID pandemic) but we have a building that will be able to store things and we're going to be co-located with Home Resource (located on Wyoming Street just off Russell.”

Beebe said Missoula Public Health plans to have the hazardous waste facility open two days a week, once it opens later this summer.

Read More: Essential Guide: Staying Bear Aware In Montana This Spring

There will be Limited Days and Hours for the Facility

“We get calls all the time about banned pesticides that people have found on the back corner of their barn or garage, and we hope to divert all of that,” he said. “The important thing is it will be open on Tuesdays and Thursdays we're going to do it by appointment, and a slower rollout to begin with, but with a ten-gallon maximum at a time. The amount of waste that we can take is heavily dependent on the funding for disposal.”

It is illegal to dump hazardous materials (such as kerosene) due to the damage it can do to the environment and the aquifer.

Montana's 'Exotic Noncontrolled Species'

Here's a sample of some of the exotic animals that the Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks consider "noncontrolled species" meaning they aren't prohibited unless it falls under Montana or Federal law. For more information about these species and other "exotic noncontrolled species" refer to the guidance from Montana Fish Wildlife, and Parks.

Gallery Credit: Ashley

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