Stupid Trash Wars, A Political Non-Profit Pretender, And Me Showing Everyone How To Actually Get Shit Done!

by Travis Mateer

That smile on my face after the three day odyssey of meth shack trash removal would have been A LOT BIGGER had I known the actual number of pounds I removed with some tenacious volunteers, which you can read all about in my Assess/Address Report #7.

Well, I finally got the number from Republic, and it’s BIG. But let’s take a look first at some insanely stupid numbers from the trash war that’s currently being fought between Republic Services and upstart challenger to their monopoly, Grizzly Disposal. From the link (emphasis mine):

Every week, trucks laden with thousands of tons of Missoula’s trash make the perilous two-hour trek over a steep, winding mountain pass to dump all that garbage in the Helena landfill.

The reason why a town so far away takes all that refuse from the Garden City is the result of a long-simmering battle over garbage hauling that’s finally boiling over.

The new competitor in the market, Grizzly Disposal and Recycling, is accusing the long-standing garbage company, Republic Services, of “predatory pricing” and other efforts to regain the monopoly it held for decades in Missoula.

Was this trash hauling to Helena happening back in April? Because, if it was, and a truck crashed, then all my hard work to save the river from meth-generated garbage would have simply meant a rugged mountain pass got hit with the nastiness instead.

Here are some more idiotic numbers resulting from this feud (emphasis mine):

Republic Services owns and operates the Missoula landfill, and it has barred Grizzly Disposal from using the site.

That means Grizzly Disposal’s truck drivers take about 13,000 tons of trash from Missoula residential and industrial customers every month and haul 90% of it to the Helena landfill, with the rest going to Deer Lodge.

So almost every day, including in nasty winter conditions, drivers must brave the twisty, often-icy MacDonald Pass. It’s an effort that takes some 13,000 gallons of fuel — at a cost of about $65,000 for fuel and maintenance — every month.

Managers at Grizzly also say that Republic, which had been in the recent past charging around $120 every three months to residential customers for garbage service, is now calling Grizzly customers and offering that same service for about $65.

Grizzly charges its customers about $95 every three months for garbage service and managers at the company believe that Republic is trying to edge them out of the market by denying them access to the landfill and pursuing customers at a price they can’t compete with due to the long garbage haul.

While this madness continues, I went looking online for evidence that the Clark Fork Coalition is more than a political pretender when it comes to improving the health of the Clark Fork River, but what I found was a blog post about litter. In fucking Oman. Because litter is a GLOBAL ISSUE, don’tchya know!

I tried calling the Executive Director of the Clark Fork Coalition a few times, even left a voicemail, but I never heard a call back. I was going to talk to her about what I’m seeing with urban camping, which is probably why I never got a call back.

I’m glad I didn’t get a call back because Republic Services had yet to let me know the TONS of trash my motley crew removed. That’s right, TONS! Are you ready for the number?

The first load weighed 2.02 TONS, and the second load was .82 TONS, for a grand total of 2.84 TONS of meth shack trash removed from the banks of the Clark Fork River BEFORE the spring run-off did this:

And here’s a BEFORE image for context:

The river, from what I can tell, is ABOVE that upturned wooden table in the May 3rd footage. Can you imagine all this shit going in the river?

I created Travis’ Impact Fund (TIF) to raise a modest $5,000 dollars because THIS effort alone took over $1,200 dollars from my slim account, and Republic Services has been impossible to work with regarding their charitable application.

Instead it’s been generous donors helping me out one donation at a time, and I deeply appreciate that support. Here’s a helpful list of all 7 reports so you can see what my TIF was trying to do back in late March and April:

AA#1-Travis’ Impact Fund First Report (March 29th, 2023)

AA#2-From North Russell To Camper Fire (March 31st, 2023)

AA#3-From Kim Williams Trail To North Hellgate (April 6th, 2023)

AA#4-From West Broadway Island To Silver Park (April 10th, 2023)

AA#5-Houseless Contact Conversations Plus Bonner And East Broadway (April 12th, 2023)

AA#6-Yoke’s To Southside Road And More (April 14th, 2023)

AA#7-The Meth Den Clean-Up That Synchronistically Culminated In A Press Conference On Homeless Camps (April 27th, 2023)

Later on April 27th (since the 34 minute video took forever to upload) I posted a visceral documentation of removing that tonnage, along with footage from other clean-ups. Here it is:

Today I’ll be providing the Committee of the Whole my long-delayed final numbers on this clean-up, along with an appeal for ANY of the Council members to join the 18 AMAZING financial contributors to my TIF.

Now is a GREAT time to give me money, since the brakes on my piece of shit van are costing me $1,700 dollars to fix, and I don’t have a rainbow coalition to back me. If my TIF isn’t appealing, maybe the donation button at my about page is a better fit. Or, just give a shit enough to keep reading and listening, that helps as well.

Thank you!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Stupid Trash Wars, A Political Non-Profit Pretender, And Me Showing Everyone How To Actually Get Shit Done!

  1. Pingback: Cleaning Abandoned Urban Camping Sites Plus The Doom Loop Walking Tour | Zoom Chron Blog

Leave a Reply