By Amanda Eggert EBS Staff Writer

BIG SKY – After more than five months of doing without, recycling is returning to Big Sky. Two Bozeman-based companies, Republic Services and L & L Site Services, will offer curbside recycling options starting next month.

Republic Services, which already picks up curbside garbage in Big Sky, will start offering recycling as well. As of April 6, about 200 people have signed up for the service.

Republic Services will collect plastic, aluminum, tin, cardboard and paper in unsorted containers every other Saturday; glass recycling is not available. The first pickup is scheduled for May 14.

L & L Site Services has been collecting construction-site waste in the area since 2007, and will offer curbside trash and recycling collection throughout Gallatin County in mid-May as well. Company owner Lance Johnson said a firm date for the first pickup has not been established since he’s still waiting on containers to arrive.

L & L will recycle plastic, aluminum, tin, cardboard and paper in unsorted 35-, 65- or 95-gallon containers.

Both companies offer bimonthly pickup for less than $30 per month. The price varies depending on the size and type of container customers opt for – bearproof containers are more expensive.

Johnson said he hopes to find a viable option for glass recycling. “It is a hard market,” he said. “We’re trying to find that option right now.”

Last November, the community recycling bins on Aspen Leaf Drive in Big Sky Town Center were removed to make way for construction projects. Gallatin Solid Waste Management District provided the bins and Four Corners Recycling serviced them. They remained on that property – owned by the Simkins family, Town Center’s developers – for more than five years.

Once they were removed, Big Sky residents were faced with two primary options for their recyclables: throw them out, or haul them to another recycling center. The closest one is located at the Gallatin Gateway Community Center.

Emily O’Connor, Big Sky Community Corporation’s project manager, said a recycling task force – comprised of interested community members and coordinated through BSCC’s Natural Resource Council – has been meeting about reviving the community bin in a new location, but nothing has been locked down yet.

“Community partners [are] trying to find a site. Once we have a potential option, the county helps us determine if it can work – if it can accommodate the bin and has the right site requirements,” O’Connor said. “{If it does], they would take site responsibility with a lease agreement with a landowner and take care of the pickup and drop-off.”

O’Connor said she should know more about potential sites and timelines in about a month.