Changes at dumps: fewer days, less trash, more recycling

sunlandlandfill2While Inyo people try to keep the main needs of life going – jobs, food, cars, houses – State government laws and local decisions seem to mean less service at a higher cost. Right now, the Inyo Supervisors have plans to once more make changes at County landfills.

Deputy County Administrator Pam Hennarty said the CalRecycle Division of State government notified Inyo that the County is under review for not enough “diversion of waste”, which means recycling. In a year’s review, Inyo has to make improvement or eventually face big fines like $10,000 per day, Hennarty said.

In response to the State review, Hennarty said the County wants to separate green waste and hopes the County’s two haulers will offer the option of a green waste can. Hennarty said the Board of Supervisors did approve sunlandlandfill1requiring haulers to offer a smaller can for less money that would mean reduced waste to landfills.

The County has raised rates for bringing cut up tires to the dump. Gate fees that used to include construction materials and yard waste in one truck will go up from $14 per yard to $50. If the materials are separated, there will be no cost increase. Hennarty said the County wants customers to drive to the various locations at the landfill and separate types of waste. If they don’t, the rates will be higher.

The $5 gate fees used to cover 3 cubic yards of trash. Under new regulations the fee will cover 1 cubic yard or 5 32-gallon cans compared to the previous 15 32-gallon cans.

Gatekeepers also ask where trash came from and will start to go to actual trash piles to see if customers are disposing of materials properly. Under the Supervisors’ proposals, dumps will remain open fewer days. Bishop would go from 7 to 5 days per week. Big Pine and Independence would be reduced to 2 days per week; Lone Pine – 3 days per week, and the County would eliminate the roll-off bin for Olancha and Keeler. Hennarty said this schedule would save the County more than $250,000 per year.

While other County services do not run on a cost/ income basis, the County wants to run the dumps this way. Hennarty also said officials looked at the smaller dumps as 15 miles from another dump which would allow use of a second landfill if needed. Hennarty believes people in the towns “will adapt” to the changes which will take effect around May 1st. The County will hold more information meetings before then.


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22 Responses to Changes at dumps: fewer days, less trash, more recycling

  1. Steve March 21, 2014 at 5:22 am #

    More of your tax dollars at work, expect an increase in dumping on open lands. There are a lot of people that just can’t afford to even pay to throw out the trash.

  2. Joe Blow March 21, 2014 at 6:16 am #

    I didn’t see any calculations as to what it is going to cost BLM, USFS, and DWP to clean up when people start dumping on their land, to avoid the fees and hassles.

    • SB March 21, 2014 at 10:19 am #

      If you’re unhappy with dump fees and feeling hassled the appropriate place to dump your stuff isn’t on Forest Service or BLM land. You dump them on the County seat or at City Hall.

    • Nan Brettell March 21, 2014 at 8:15 pm #

      Don’t bother to calculate, Joe. The trash that will most definitely be dumped on public lands will not be cleaned up by DWP, BLM or USFS…it will be picked up by ordinary people like you and me. I feel that people need more incentives for recycling like free bins and free pickup like other cities have.

  3. Wondering March 21, 2014 at 8:18 am #

    How can some of these restaurants in town not get dumped on the days the landfill is closed? We are a tourist town, what happens at Mule Days…should we just leave that trash piling up on the streets because the landfill is closed? Where are the restaurants and motels supposed to keep the overflow of garbage? How can the County cut something that is a “health hazard” to save money and then turn around and give the County Officials a 1.5 million dollar raise?
    One last question….Is there a “recycle program” in Inyo County that I don’t know about?
    I agree with the above, people will be dumping in the lands around. Sounds like the County is taking the money off of their shoulders and putting it onto someone else’s.

  4. Desert Tortoise March 21, 2014 at 8:21 am #

    AB939, which had previously required diversion of 50% of municipal solid waste into recycling programs by 2010 was amended in 2012 I believe to require the diversion of 75% of all municipal solid waste into diversion programs by year 2020.

    What is driving this is the cost and difficulty of siting new dumps. It is ultimately less costly to recycle than it is to bury moutains of trash. For major metropolitan areas, local landfills are rapidly filling up, requiring movement of trash long distances by truck or rail to landfills in other areas. San Diego County has to ship some of it’s trash all the way to Arizona. LA County closed it’s largest landfill in Puente Hills and now has to rail ship trash to a big new dump on the eastern side of the Imperial Valley. San Francisco is going 100% recycling because their only landfill closes soon and they could not find a replacement.

    • Steve March 21, 2014 at 6:49 pm #

      Guess what Inyo is not facing that problem, why do we have to change our behavior because of the problems of the city? Can you imagine that I come to your house and tell you what you should eat, drive or who you should marry?

      • Desert Tortoise March 21, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

        It is a state wide problem. Actually it is a problem common to the entire developed world. Owens Valley is not excluded. You will complain bitterly about the siting of solar infrastructure in the Owens Valley. How about more or larger landfills? What about their effects on the aquifer and the “viewshed”? Is that somehow less objectionable to you? Or are you willing to look at a landfill because you are too lazy to sort your garbage into two or three bins? In general, recycling is less costly in total than increasing the size of new landfills or siting new landfills. It is good public policy.

  5. Mongo March 21, 2014 at 9:25 am #

    Dear government,
    Come on, this is a basic service.
    What exactly do you do for the tax money you receive?
    What will your dump workers do with the rest of the week?
    Are you creating any jobs, or just eliminating them?
    It looks to me like you are killing Independence.
    1) Removing incentive to dispose of trash.
    2) De emphasizing the county seat with Bishop expansion.
    3) Destroying the view with solar and wind plants.
    Do things to improve your towns; provide incentive to repair properties and clean up messy lots, in the long run this will cause turn over, expansion, and increases in other tax revenues.
    Consider attracting main street business with a charming “old town”.
    Practice leadership and take pride in your towns so others may follow.
    It’s simple…
    Fees, fines, and taxes = negative
    Rewards, incentives, support = positive

    Many people cant even afford the $5 you are charging now.
    The new fees will turn whole towns into dumps with increasing piles of trash in yards.
    No one is going to want to be here, is that what you want?
    If you want to work in a place with trash heaps, windmills, solar fields, tweekers, terrible food and gas stations, why not run for office in Mojave.

    Is our Republic representing the people, or industry and Los Angeles?

    • Desert Tortoise March 21, 2014 at 9:09 pm #

      If your trash is picked up once a week as required by the state health and safety code, it will still be picked up and disposed of at the landfill. The hours of operation of the landfills are open will not change this.

      • Bob Loblaw March 22, 2014 at 8:56 am #

        Not everyone has trash service. Many of us haul our own trash, and this sort of thing affects us. I don’t have an issue with more recycling, but the fee increases and shutdown days are a going to cause problems. I could swear this is what our taxes pay for.

        • Desert Tortoise March 22, 2014 at 10:58 am #

          You can pay the cost to operate a landfill through your property taxes as some counties do, or you can pay it at the landfill in the form of a tipping fee as many other counties do. If costs go up, would you not expect tipping fees to also rise? Or do you expect some other source of tax revenue to pay part of the cost of operating the landfill? And if so, what else has to suffer as a result?

          AB 939, the body of law that requires diversion of municipal solid waste into recycling has been on the books since 1989 and the 50% diversion rate was supposed to be achieved statewide by 2000. So here it is 2014 and Inyo County has still not met the 50% diversion requirement. With the most populated counties already in compliance and working on the 2020 requirement for meeting the 75% diversion requirement, the state has every right to ask why Inyo County has yet to meet the 50% diversion requirement they were supposed to achieve fourteen years ago.

          I think it is obvious that unless the state leans on the county, no one in the county has any interest in meeting the requirements of that law. So that is what is happening. Now the county will have to establish some sort of sortation facility to meet the diversion requirement or they will have to pay people to tell self haulers sort their trash into the appropriate piles to achieve the required diversion of recyclable materials. The latter appears to be what inyo County is adopting. That is not costless, so hours of service are reduced (how many shifts and how much OT do you want to pay for) and cost rise. Sure, you could keep the landfills open 24/7, but rates would have to rise even more. This is a compromise.

          • Benett Kessler March 22, 2014 at 11:40 am #

            Inyo County received some type of exemption that allows them to divert 29% of the landfill waste, apparently because of the small, rural nature of the area.

          • Desert Tortoise March 22, 2014 at 4:16 pm #

            That is an incomplete statement. Non-compliant Local Enforcement Agencies, or LEAs, of which Inyo County Department of Environmental Health Services is one, are required under AB 939 to submit to the state formal plans by which they promise to achieve the required 50% diversion rate over a period of years. If a plan is submitted that meets the approval of CalRecycle , formerly the California Integrated Waste Management Board, the LEA is granted a “Good Faith Effort” or GFE exemption from the 50% diversion requirement but the LEA is every three years for achievement of promised progress on their plan. If the LEA falls behind and shows an unwillingness to move forward on their plan, CalRecycle will take enforcement action against then LEA including Compliance Orders, Corrective Action Orders and civil penalties,

            This is what is happening to Inyo County now. A little history. Inyo County has been out of compliance with AB939 since 1998, and has a history of resisting this state law. The state in 1998 sued and was granted control over the functions of the Inyo County Department of Environmental Health Services to operate Inyo County’s landfills and solid waste management program and then had the court order stayed until June of 1999 to give the county time to comply. This process of minimal compliance followed by a period of refusing to comply has been going on for 16 years.

  6. Andrew Kirk March 21, 2014 at 10:37 am #

    Much illegal dumping will follow, even thought we are all nice boys and girls.

    • Philip Anaya March 21, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

      and Law Enforcement ,already burdened , will be tasked to apprehend perps who will deposit their waste, soil the lands. The Courts will be overburdened as 395 the conduit for jury trial justice . There’s always hidden expenses unanticipated yet borne that accompany change. Mandated instructions from Sacramento, Washington DC and Los Angeles just seem to always be, especially costly, especially irritating.

  7. MK March 21, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

    I see my sentiments concur exactly. Shut the landfill down on certain days, Charge large fees. Have vast open areas to dump and you create the perfect opportunity for illegal dumping.


    Boy am I glad you are gone from my town.

    Good luck

    If you were smart you would create easy cost effective disposal and recycling. People will recycle. If you don’t have 7 day a week recycling you can expect dumping on public lands.


  8. Hans March 22, 2014 at 1:55 am #

    I know! I totally expect someone to clean up my mess too.
    I’m entitled to lots of government services, but I shouldn’t have to pay for them.
    That’s fascism!

  9. justmaybe March 22, 2014 at 6:52 am #

    maybe a LITTLE FAT could be cut here…….say starting with the supervisors pay…

    • Inyo Face March 22, 2014 at 9:36 pm #

      Cut A LOT of FAT. Carunchio talks out of both sides of his mouth, smiles at you while he shakes your hand and with his other hand, he steals your wallet. He should be the 1st one cut. He’s always working every angle for personal gain and his greasy hands are pulling the strings of every supervisor. The tail is wagging the dog here!

  10. Feral Dog March 22, 2014 at 8:07 am #

    Don’t forget that a half-cent of the sales tax is supposed to go to the dumps. Instead the City of Bishop gets like $300,000. Why not vote to take back that money instead of closing the dumps, Board of Supes?

  11. Trouble March 23, 2014 at 7:32 am #

    The threat of a ten thousand fine a day is just a way of justify the large fee increases that are other wise unjustifiable. I see nothing here about having to hire more employees or adding expensive equipment. Besides they all ready make the little people drive to separate places already. But, the have their excuse to screw the working guy again.


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