In ten years, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power wants the Benton Crossing landfill to shut down. DWP owns the land there. That means Mammoth Lakes and Mono County would have no dump. When the Mammoth Town Council last met, they did vote to move ahead with analyses of new sites and programs for State-requried recycling and on a long-term solid waste disposal 20-year plan. The Council has said they will not move forward with a new franchise agreement for Mammoth Disposal until additional information is developed.
Peter Bernasconi of Public Works explained to the Council about the history of solid waste state requirements and new recycling demands by the government. He said on peak days Mammoth generates 30 to 40 tons of waste. CalRecycle, a State agency, wants to see more recycling.
Tony Dublino of Mono County explained that Mono took over dump operations 13 years ago. He pointed out that Benton Crossing is a regional landfill and receives all Mono County waste except Bridgeport and Walker. He said Mammoth’s trash takes up 80% of all waste. Dublino said the County could work with the Town on recycling requirements. He also recommended a 15-year plan.
Push back from the public has come in the form of critical comments that the Town has not fully investigated alternatives to spending millions on a new recycling center. One of the critics is Lisa Isaas, long-time member of the Town-County Solid Waste Task Force. She told the Council that her studies reveal for Mammoth “There is a lot you can do other than building a multi-million recycling facility for your contractor.” She also recommended looking at a regional recycling center.
Councilman Matthew Lehman said he would like to see cost analyses and the potential of more than one trash company serving the Town. Lehman also pointed out that contractors are already taking their refuse to Bishop where it’s cheaper.
The Council took the first step in what they said will be a lengthy process of public discussion, analysis and code writing. Their vote was unanimous.