The following definitions of terms shall apply unless the context clearly indicates another meaning or unless elsewhere expressly stated for specific application:

CITY OWNED CONTAINER: Any container supplied to residential or commercial refuse generators by the city.

COMMERCIAL REFUSE GENERATOR: Any person in charge of, owning, leasing, renting or occupying any multi-family dwelling unit in excess of four (4) units, business, industrial or commercial building, including, but not limited to, an apartment complex, store, office, factory, motel or hotel, that generates refuse.

COMPOST: The product resulting from the decomposition of leaves, straw, grasses and other such vegetable matter mixed or unmixed with well rotted manure, or mixed or unmixed with inorganic materials ordinarily forming a part of the soil such as sand or lime, loam and used, usable or intended to be used as a fertilizer and soil conditioner.

DIRECTOR OF PUBLIC WORKS: "Director of public works" or "public works director", where stated in this code, shall mean the director of public works, or his/her duly authorized representative.

DISPOSAL AREA: Any site, location, tract of land, area, building, structure or premises used or intended to be used for refuse transfer and/or disposal.

GARBAGE: Every accumulation of animal, vegetable or other matter that attends the preparation, consumption, decay, dealing in or storage of meats, fish, fowl, birds, fruit or vegetables, including the cans, containers or wrappers wasted along with such materials.

OCCUPANT: The person occupying a dwelling unit or the person operating, managing or keeping any hotel, restaurant, food establishment, commercial establishment, business establishment, school, church, institution or premises wherein or whereon refuse accumulates or is likely to accumulate.

REFUSE: Any waste product solid or having the character of solids rather than liquids in that it will not flow readily without additional liquid and which is composed wholly or partly of such materials as garbage, swill, seepings, cleanings, trash, rubbish, litter, industrial solid wastes or domestic solid wastes; organic wastes or residue of animals sold as meat; fruit or other vegetable or animal matter from kitchens, dining rooms, markets, food establishments or any places dealing in or handling meat, fowl, fruits, grain or vegetable offal, animal excreta, or the carcasses of animals; brick, plaster or other waste matter resulting from the demolition, alteration or construction of buildings or structures; accumulated waste material, cans, containers, tires, junk, or other such substance which may become a nuisance.

REFUSE COLLECTION: The process whereby refuse and/or refuse containers containing refuse are taken from designated locations on any premises and are loaded into vehicles of any kind intended to transport refuse from the premises to a disposal area, and whereby empty containers are returned to such designated location.

REFUSE COLLECTOR: The person who is or intends to be engaged in the collection and/or transportation of refuse, including garbage, rubbish or waste matter in any part of the city.

REFUSE DISPOSAL: The complete process required for the disposal of any refuse and shall include all tools, equipment, treatment space, buildings, structures, appurtenances and materials required to take refuse from a refuse collector at the premises line or other designated transfer point of a disposal area, and transport, bury, incinerate, destroy or otherwise dispose of such refuse.

RESIDENTIAL REFUSE GENERATOR: Any person generating refuse other than a "commercial refuse generator" as defined above.

RUBBISH: Wood, leaves, trimmings from shrubs, dead trees or branches thereof, shavings, sawdust, excelsior, wooden ware, printed matter, paper, paper board, pasteboard, grass, rags, straw, boots, shoes, hats and all other combustible material not included under the term "garbage".

TRANSPORTATION OF REFUSE: That portion of the refuse disposaloperation which provides for the hauling of refuse in bulk or in refuse containers to the designated transfer point at a disposal area.

WASTE MATTER: Waste material composed of soil, earth, sand, clay, gravel, loam, stone, bricks, plaster, crockery, glass, glassware, ashes, cinders, shells, metals and all other noncombustible material which has been or is discarded or is to be discarded. (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984; amd. Ord. 2599, 6-24-1991)


The following standards and requirements are established as a minimum for the sanitary accumulation and storage of refuse and garbage pending collection:

A. All refuse and garbage shall be placed in city owned containers, or containers approved by the director of public works.

B. Residential refuse and garbage generators equipped with city owned rollout containers shall place refuse and garbage containers on the scheduled collection days at the curb line in front of their residences. Containers shall not be placed for collection before six o'clock (6:00) P.M. on the day preceding the day of collection, and after the containers are emptied they shall be removed from the curb line on the day of collection.

C. City owned containers shall be distributed and positioned as approved by the director of public works. Containers serving more than one residence shall be positioned along the rear or side alley in a manner to facilitate efficient collection and accessibility for refuse and garbage generators and city refuse and garbage collectors, as determined by the director of public works. (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984)


Rubbish shall be placed and stored in city owned containers or containers approved by the director of public works.

Materials that do not fit into city owned containers shall be secured in neat bundles, easily handled by the collector and not exceeding four feet (4') in length. Bundles shall be placed neatly in a pile in the generator's portion of the alley (for alley service), or adjacent to the generator's curb line (for street service). Refuse and garbage containers and public rights of way shall not be blocked by placement of said material.

Whenever possible, the refuse generator shall attempt to break down materials so that they will readily fit into the container. Whenever special handling is required, the refuse generator shall be responsible to contact the sanitation department to arrange for special collection. (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984)


It is prohibited to place the following materials in a city owned container:

A. Large limbs or trimmings that do not allow the container lid to close.

B. Flammable liquids.

C. Large construction, demolition, or remodeling debris.

D. Concrete, dirt or plaster.

E. Appliances or other furniture that will not allow the container to close.

F. Hot ashes.

G. Dead animals, or parts thereof. (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984)

H. Tires. (Ord. 2749, 9-25-1995)


Waste matter shall be placed in sturdy, well built containers which will not break, fall apart, rip or tear while being handled by the collector, or shall be secured in neat bundles, easily handled by the collector, not exceeding four feet (4') in length. Prohibited waste matter specified in section 6-1-4 of this chapter shall not be placed in city owned containers. (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984)


Bulk handling or storage of refuse of any character shall be subject to review by the public works director, and the owner or occupant of any industrial, commercial or business establishment shall make such provisions as the director of public works may require for the sanitary storage and collection of such refuse as may be produced in bulk. (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984)


The following standards and requirements are established as a minimum for the sanitary collection of refuse and garbage:

A. Every owner or occupant whose container, or the place where the containers are kept pending collection, not meeting the requirements aforesaid, shall be duly notified by mail or by personal contact by the public works director.

B. Upon notifying the owner or occupant of the aforesaid violation, the investigating representative shall establish an improvement deadline and shall give the owner or occupant at least seven (7) days' written notice of the improvement deadline.

The director of public works, at the time established for correction, shall investigate, and if the condition has been found to continue, said director shall declare it to be a misdemeanor.

C. If the director of public works receives notice in writing from the owner that a structure has been permanently abandoned; or if the director of public works receives notice in writing from the city director of building and safety or a Lewis and Clark County health officer that a structure has been condemned as not habitable, or unsanitary and dangerous to human life, refuse and garbage service may be discontinued and monthly charges stopped. (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984)


Every person shall have the duty of maintaining premises or equipment under his supervision, or of maintaining containers or disposal areas, in compliance with the requirements of this chapter, Lewis and Clark County health regulations, and all applicable provisions of state law.Every owner remains liable for violations imposed upon him by this code even though an obligation is also imposed on the occupants of his buildings, and even though the owner has, by agreement, imposed on the occupants the duty of complying with all the requirements of this chapter.

A. All commercial refuse generators shall maintain their alleys and keep the area surrounding the refuse and garbage containers free from refuse, garbage and other potential hazards to the public health, safety or welfare.

B. Those commercial establishments using city owned containers shall bear the complete responsibility of keeping the containers in a sanitary condition at all times. No building permit for a commercial establishment shall be issued without provision having been made for refuse and garbage container storage and sanitation.

C. Containers for the receipt of accumulation of refuse and garbage may be placed in parks, recreation areas, places of public assembly and along public ways, subject to the approval of the director of public works. Refuse and garbage containers in such places shall be placed only in designated locations acceptable to the director of public works.

D. Public markets, all food service establishments producing putrescible waste and all business areas shall provide adequate and sufficient storage containers to hold all waste accumulatedbetween collections, without creating a public hazard.

E. Refuse and garbage shall be placed for collection and collected at a frequency which precludes the possibility of unsightly, unclean and unhealthy premises or the occurrence of a nuisance, and in no event shall placement and collection be less than once every two (2) weeks.

F. Every tenant and/or owner of the places or occupancies referred to above shall be responsible for the regular collection of refuse and garbage from said places of occupancy by authorized collectors of refuse and garbage, and they shall also be responsible for the payment of all services by said authorized collectors for said collection from said places of occupancy.

G. No person shall remove or permit the removal of any refuse and garbage placed in containers or placed in an approved manner for collection except by an authorized collector.

The collector shall transfer the contents of all containers into the vehicles provided therefore, without spilling the contents of said containers on stairs, walks, yards or streets.

The collector shall clean up any spillage occurring during collection and shall completely empty containers. (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984)

H. No person shall throw or deposit any refuse, garbage, rubbish, waste matter, dead animal, or tires or cause the same to be thrown or deposited upon any street, alley, gutter, park or other public way or throw or deposit the same in or upon any premises or vacant lot or in any water or waterway thereto, or store or keep the same except in containers required by this chapter. (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984; amd. Ord. 2749, 9-25-1995)

No person shall store, deposit or keep refuse in any place or in any manner where rodents can have access to or feed thereon, or can use such refuse as a harborage, nest or breeding place.

I. No person shall deposit or cause to be deposited any refuse in any place not authorized as a disposal area by the director of public works.

When acceptable to the director of public works, the owner of a premises or any public agency having jurisdiction, may place rubbish and waste matter in low areas and low lots when properly filled, leveled and covered, and when such practice is not likely to create an unsanitary condition or nuisance.

The owner of the property receiving such deposit will be held responsible for any unsanitary condition or nuisances resulting from such deposit.

J. Every vehicle used for the collection of refuse and garbage shall be of a design and type suitably constructed for the intended use, and acceptable to the director of public works.

K. Each person engaged in the construction, repair or demolition of any building or structure or part thereof, shall remove and dispose of in an authorized manner, from any street, alley, gutter, park, sidewalk, curbing, curb space, any public way or any premises not owned by him, all waste matter or rubbish deposited thereon in connection with that portion of the repair, construction or demolition work under his special or general supervision.

Such refuse, waste matter and rubbish shall be cleaned up, removed and disposed of in a sanitary manner within seven (7) days of the final cessation of work on such building or structure or part thereof, and the area shall be restored to its original condition by the person conducting said work, unless otherwise specifically authorized by the director of public works.

L. No person may pick over, sort, segregate or salvage any garbage or refuse deposited in an authorized disposal area.

M. No person, who is the owner, agent or occupant of a lot or premises whereon a building of any kind may exist or of a vacant lot, shall allow any collection of refuse, garbage, rubbish, waste matter or filth of any description to remain on such lot or premises longer than three (3) days, or any shorter period of time specified by the director of public works, after the date of a written notice issued by the director of public works to remove the offending material.

N. No refuse, garbage, rubbish, waste matter or manure shall be transported along any public street, alley or public way unless such vehicle is so constructed and loaded that no such material can fall through or out of such vehicle.

O. Every person who is the owner or custodian of any animals, fowl, livestock, or game which has died (other than by slaughter for food), any animal offal from slaughterhouses, slaughter pens, or any offal or putrescible waste from any place where meat, fish, poultry, game, or fowl are sold, handled or discarded as unfit for food, or spoiled or condemned, shall dispose of the remains, carcasses, parts, or entrails thereof within the next available period of daylight, after such death or accumulation, in a sanitary manner and in conformance with all requirements and orders of the director of public works.

P. All dead animals, or parts thereof, which are found on or in any public street, alley, parkway, public way, or on public property, shall be reported to the Helena police department who shall be responsible for the collection, within the day reported, of the carcass of such animal.

Q. All persons owning, occupying or being in control of propertyfronting on an alley of this city shall keep the portion of said alley between the center line thereof and the property line of such property, and fronting on such property, free from refuse, garbage, rubbish, and waste matter.

R. No refuse or garbage shall be collected which is not contained in the manner set forth in this chapter. Special collections shall be arranged with the city by the refuse generator. (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984)


Failure to carry out such duties herein or elsewhere required for the sanitary accumulation, collection, transportation and disposal of refuse in any place or in any condition not meeting the requirements of this code is declared a misdemeanor. Any person violating the provisions of this code shall be punished as provided herein, except that the minimum fine shall be the sum of ten dollars ($10.00). (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984)


A. Rates And Charges Set Forth: It shall be the duty of the city commission to set a charge for the cost of collecting and disposing of garbage and refuse in the city by reestablishing both residential rates and commercial rates in separate classifications and that said fees for such collection shall be paid in the amounts set forth in the annual resolution hereinafter referred to:

B. Residential Rates:

Class IResidential structures having up to 4 units in 1 structure.

Class IIResidential structures having more than 4 units in 1 structure.

Class IIIMobile home parks.

Class IVProperties which qualify for the state of Montana class 15 taxation classification.

The public works director shall be required, annually, to calculate the cost of residential collection and disposal and submit this figure to the city commission for its consideration. The public works director shall also annually provide the number of residential units to be assessed, as adjusted by a determination of the number of equivalent units as follows:

1. For the purposes of determining the number of units to be assessed in a class I residential structure, the public works director may, upon a proper showing by an owner of class Iproperty, determine on a year by year basis that the property be assessed on an equivalent number of residential units rather than on the number of actual units, but in no case less than one unit. A proper showing for determining equivalent number of units must satisfy all the following conditions:

a. The residential use must prove to be atypical and extraordinary such that the amount of solid waste generated from all the units is equal to or less than the amount of solid waste generated from a single residential unit. Atypical includes units that do not have separate cooking and eating areas; are used primarily for sleeping purposes by less than two (2) persons; are fully furnished by the owner; and the owner is responsible for providing all utility services to the units.

b. The property may not require more than weekly pickup from one 90-gallon container.

2. The determination of equivalent number of units in this subsection B is only valid for a one year period. To be eligible for an annual renewal of the determination, the property owner must provide information establishing the continuation of a proper showing. If the property generates such solid waste at least three (3) times per year that one 90-gallon container is insufficient to handle the waste, the property must be assessed for the next fiscal year on the total number of units and does not qualify for a determination of equivalent units under this section.

C. Commercial Rates: The public works director shall be required, annually, to calculate the cost of commercial collection and disposal and submit this figure to the city commission for its consideration.

D. Transfer Station/Landfill Rates: The public works director shall be required annually to apply the cost of disposal to the total tons disposed and submit this figure to the city commission for its consideration. Cost of disposal shall include transfer station and landfill charges. (Ord. 2931, 1-14-2002, eff. retroactive to 7-1-2001)


A. The fees herein above established shall be assessed against the real estate from which such garbage or refuse is collected unless otherwise specifically provided herein or by the director of public works.

B. All commercial garbage and refuse generators shall pay all charges levied or assessed under this chapter to the city upon a monthly basis. (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984)

C. If, for any cause, any sums owing for commercial service hereunder become delinquent, garbage and refuse collection service shall be discontinued until all such delinquencies havebeen paid in full. Notice of any such proposed discontinuance shall be sent to the commercial user through the U.S. mail, addressed to said commercial user at the commercial user's normal mailing address. Said notice shall inform the commercial user that unless all past due rates charged hereunder are paid within fifteen (15) days of the date of said notice, service shall be discontinued. In addition, the notice shall inform the commercial user that if any questions exist concerning the rates or charges owed by the commercial user, the commercial user can contact the director of public works or the director's designee at 316 North Park Avenue, Helena, Montana, to discuss the matter. If the delinquent amounts have not been paid in full within fifteen (15) days of the date of the notice, then no further service shall be rendered by the city to the delinquent commercial user. In addition, all city owned containers that service commercial user's premises shall be removed. A twenty five dollar ($25.00) fee shall be paid by commercial user for return of the container to commercial user's premises after all delinquencies have been paid in full. This fee may be changed from time to time, by resolution, when the commercial collection and disposal rates are changed. (Ord. 2805, 8-4-1997)

D. In the event any sums owing for disposal at the transfer station by commercial garbage and refuse generators become delinquent, said commercial generator, and/or his representatives, shall be prohibited from further disposal at the transfer station until all such delinquencies have been paid in full. (Ord. 2599, 6-24-1991)


A. It shall be the duty of the city sanitation supervisor, annually, before the passage of the resolution fixing the garbage service charge, to bring current the lists of residential and commercial users in their proper categories. (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984)

B. It shall be the duty of the city sanitation supervisor to promulgate and adopt rules and regulations for the operation of the city transfer station, and to make said rules and regulations easily and readily available to the public. (Ord. 2599, 6-24-1991)


On or before August 15 of each year, the city commission shall pass a resolution of intention tentatively establishing fees for collection and disposal of residential garbage and refuse in conformity with an established schedule. In addition, said resolution of intention shall call for a public hearing to be held within two (2) weeks of the passage of said resolution of intention, said public hearing to concern itself with the establishment of said fees for collection and disposal of garbage and refuse. (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984; amd. Ord. 2599, 6-24-1991)


At the time set for the public hearing on the proposed fees for the collection and disposal of garbage and refuse in conformance with this chapter, or at such time to which said hearing may be continued, the city commission shall hear all proponents and opponents concerning the establishment of the proposed fees for the collection and disposal of garbage and refuse. Upon the conclusion of said hearing, the city commission shall either adopt said fees, or make such changes in the assessments as it shall deem necessary and proper, and shall pass a resolution establishing said fees for the collection and disposal of garbage and refuse. Thereafter, the city finance director shall certify said list of charges to the county clerk and recorder. (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984)

6-1-15: REFUNDS

No refunds of taxes collected under this chapter shall be made on objections after the passage of the resolution referred to in section 6-1-13 of this chapter, except in cases of obvious error, and such refunds must be authorized by the city manager. (Ord. 2339, 4-2-1984)


Five (5) years from the effective date hereof, the city shall be the sole provider of garbage and solid waste disposal services within the corporate limits of the city. This section has no effect on individuals, firms or companies providing commercial garbage or solid waste disposal services. However, all private collection and operation of residential garbage and solid waste disposal services shall cease and terminate within the corporate limits of the city five (5) years after the effective date hereof. (Ord. 2481, 9-26-1988)