BSB Receives $58K To Recycle Junk Vehicles in 2019

 Clark Grant recording the crusher at Pacific Steel in Butte

Clark Grant recording the crusher at Pacific Steel in Butte

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Motor Vehicle Graveyard Grant

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Butte-Silver Bow will receive nearly $60,000 in 2019 for recycling in Butte, but it won’t be for those aluminum cans and cardboard boxes that are piling up in your kitchen. The money is part of an ongoing statewide initiative to recycle junk vehicles.

[Rick Thompson 1]

That’s Rick Thompson from the Montana Department of Environmental Quality’s Motor Vehicle Recycling and Disposal Program. The program is designed to get unsightly vehicles off the roadway and out of view, and put their metals back to use. In 2018, Butte-Silver Bow recycling 18 junk vehicles through this DEQ program, and Rick Thompson says that reflects the normal percentage of vehicles you’d see go through the program, which is based on total registered vehicles in a given county. But just because your car won’t start doesn’t mean the DEQ will be banging on your door to haul it away.

[Rick Thompson 2]

Butte-Silver Bow no longer has a vehicle graveyard of its own, which used to be located in Rocker, but now brings the vehicles here.

[Pacific crushing sounds]

Junk vehicles in our county are hauled directly to Pacific Steel, who then crushes them and ships them to be shredded and melted down. John works the massive machine that picks from the metal pile and crushes material into cubes.

[John the Crusher]

Butte’s branch manager at Pacific Steel explains what happens after John crushes up the material.

[Manager 1]

He says it’s unfortunate that AWARE closed their recycling program, but the challenges of recycling plastic just don’t compute with Pacific Steel’s operation.

[Manager 2]

Representatives from AWARE declined to comment on this story. For assistance with recycling a junk vehicle, or to report one, you can reach Butte-Silver Bow’s Community Enrichment Department at 406-497-6529.

For KBMF, I’m Clark Grant.