West Yellowstone Compost Facility Closure

For immediate release: November 4, 2021

Media contact:
John Burns, Manager of West Yellowstone Compost Facility/Transfer Station
406-646-9298
john.burns@gallatin.mt.gov

After careful consideration, the West Yellowstone/Hebgen Basin Solid Waste Board has decided to permanently cease operations at the West Yellowstone Compost Facility, effective Monday, Nov. 8.

Great effort and expense has been invested in sustaining the program over the last 18 years and there were some successes during that time. However, more recently, the negative aspects of the program have far outweighed the positives.

The reasons for this decision include:

  • The cost to run the program far exceeds the benefits of composting, on average, 600 tons of food waste per year.
  • The quality of the feedstock received to compost is far below the industry standards to produce a quality, marketable product.
  • Despite repeated attempts to refine and restructure the program over the past 18 years, costs and inefficiencies have increased.
  • The Solid Waste District has had to subsidize the compost operations at the expense of the rate payers of the District.
  • The Board feels the resources used to process, refine and finish the compost have a greater carbon footprint and contribute to increased greenhouse gasses than the waste being diverted.

The West Yellowstone Transfer Station will not be affected by this decision and operations will remain the same. It is the Solid Waste Board’s intention to provide the same efficient and seamless solid waste disposal service to Yellowstone National Park as in past years.

The Board appreciates Yellowstone National Park for the financial assistance, operational support and guidance during this venture. The Board hopes that the partnership between the Solid Waste District and Yellowstone National Park remains strong and mutually beneficial for many years to come.

Read the full letter sent to Yellowstone National Park on Nov. 3 here.

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