In what appeared to be a record for scheduling a meeting, a simmering trash issue in Southern Inyo County threatened to boil over at the supervisors meeting this week.
Looking to save money on hauling trash out of dumpsters and transfer stations in Southern Inyo, county officials had considered charging residents for curbside trash pick-up. While the board agenda item was simply to set a public meeting date to discuss trash issues, a handful of residents from Keeler and Tecopa came to the Inyo Supervisors to ask that the board reconsider this "curbside" trash pick-up.
Supervisor Richard Cervantes reported that Southern Inyo County residents that he has spoken to are adamantly opposed to removing the dumpsters that they use for their trash free of charge.
Other county dumpsters are used by people recreating on public lands so there was talk of trying to get the BLM to chip on the cost to empty the dumpsters, something the supervisors said that BLM had been opposed to in the past.
With concerned residents in the room, Supervisor Susan Cash crunched the numbers and realized that the amount of money that the county would save with curbside trash pick-up in South County would be about $24,000 a year. With a relatively small amount of money on the line, Cash asked if the county was "chasing pennies."
Supervisor Cervantes was for ditching the idea all together by tabling the discussion. Jim Bilyeu said that he was torn between the recognition that Southern Inyo County frequently "gets the short end of the stick," and the idea that the government shouldn't give away things for free that others pay for.
Keeler resident Sherry Cosgrove told the supervisors that the dumpster system works very well in the remote areas of Inyo County and that if the County stopped the dumpster system there would be trash piled up at the Keeler dump station gate. She also said that many people are willing to pay to keep the dumpster service, but the question was how.
After an hour of debate, the supervisors scheduled an October meeting in Stovepipe Wells to discuss possible plans for South County trash removal.