The Inyo landfill story

sunlandlandfill2To save money and work toward State mandates, Inyo County officials and Supervisors agreed to raise some charges and cut days of service at Inyo County dumps. Those cuts are in effect Big Pine through Lone Pine. Cuts for Bishop’s landfill are pending.

Deputy County Administrator Pam Hennarty is in charge of these changes. To clarify what has already happened, we asked Hennarty for a rundown. She said as of the first of the month, $5 gate fees cover a smaller amount of trash disposal. That fee now covers 1 cubic yard or 5 32-gallon trash cans instead of the previous 3 cubic yards or 15 trash cans. Disposal of shredded tires also costs more. Hennarty said there have not been many complaints about any of these changes.

She explained that along with the cost increases have come a reduction of staff for landfills. One equipment operator will retire and another was moved to the Road Department. This goes along with the change in hours that dumps are open.

This month, the Big Pine Transfer Station was changed to two days per week – Tuesday and Saturday. Independence – Thursday and Sunday. Lone Pine – Monday, Friday and Saturday. Lone Pine and Independence were open five days per week. The same crew will handle both dumps. Hennarty said they did not generate enough business to justify the costs.

The Deputy CAO said staff are still working on changes for the Bishop Landfill. She said the one equipment operator will retire at the end of the month and changes will be made them. Hennarty said the County will not replace that worker and may have to reduce the number of days Bishop dump is open. She said, “We’re trying to get creative.” Hennarty said the County might take waste Saturday and Sunday but put it in a roll-off bin which would not require an equipment operator.

80% of the County’s trash goes to the Bishop Sunland Dump. Earlier concerns came up that commercial haulers might not be able to pick up trash and garbage from restaurants and retail stores as needed if the dump were closed too many days. Hennarty said she has worked with waste haulers and that based on their schedules, there will be no negative impacts on waste collection systems. She said there was “an outcry from businesses and residents” to keep the dump open weekdays. She said the County also heard from self-haulers who want access during the weekend.

Hennarty said commercial haulers are okay with current plans, although nothing is settled about Bishop. Asked what would happen on big tourist weekends like Mule Days, Hennarty said, “We would always work with the haulers and have the option to work on Saturday.”

Some citizens see landfills as essential services, not to be taken away. County officials disagree. The County currently collects a Transaction Use Tax which pays about a million dollars for landfills. Hennarty said that above that, the dumps use $300,000 to $400,000 from the general fund. The proposed cuts of staff and equipment would save $250,000.

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wertyu
wertyu
8 years ago

I see trash already starting to be dumped in canyons and desert areas as the roll-offs are gone and the bins will be next. It is interesting to note that the roll-offs were county dumped once a week and the bins are contracted services. As many know, once a service… Read more »

The Aggressive Progressive
The Aggressive Progressive
8 years ago
Reply to  wertyu

I hate to say it, but I have seen a couple “new” areas in the LP area, one by the sand traps that is made up of construction trash (empty caulking tubes, and demo of a cabinet or something), like somebody’s side job, and then you will also find some… Read more »

Mongo the Idiot
Mongo the Idiot
8 years ago

How about we build tract houses out at the dump and just leave our trash in what used to call town?

Waxlips
Waxlips
8 years ago

Are you listening Pam?

Waxlips
Waxlips
8 years ago

I’ve heard, the Lone Pine dump used to be orderly and neat, now it is a mess and people are dumping their trash where ever they want.

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

We need a free trash dump. It would encourage people to pick up all their crap and clean up their streets and neighborhood.. The next time you drive around your town look and see which houses have the most junk laying around. It’s the poorer half that can’t afford to… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Landfills don’t operate themselves. They are not “free”. Some group pays to operate them. If there is no tipping fee charged, I can guarantee you that entities, even big waste haulers, will take their trash from other counties that do charge a tipping fee, lie to the gate guard about… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Trouble…..Don’t think it would help much…Being a pig usually starts when people are young,and stays with them through their lives…and the people with the nice homes and properties just pay someone else to come and clean up their messes when some can’t afford to do that..

Bob
Bob
8 years ago

People who have kids should be taxed more

Mongo the Idiot
Mongo the Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob

I’d bet the kids could manage the landfill at a profit with the $5 charge. DUMP 101 should be taught by Bob who will get a tax exemption for the effort. Mongo will broker all the recyclables for 10%. SW Media will produce “Inde’ Dump Cheaters” with 14.2% of the… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

Maybe if we had Supervisors and a planning commission that cared more about our city and county , than their free insurance.

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Bob

I don’t know Bob, a good war can help with population control.

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Trouble….You stuck your foot in your mouth again.. saying something off- the- wall to garner attention….there is no such thing as a “good war”…

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago

Maybe some thought should be given to what can be done with trash other than just covering it up with dirt. Trash to energy — one way or another. Smart recycling to convert plastic as building materials. There’s probably a way to make money off trash.

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

How would the cashiers ever figure out what to charge us without a bar code on a half filled bag of heart attack chips???

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

You are a little behind the times there lad. Way back in 1979 the State Legislature passed and the Governor signed into law AB939 which required 50% of municipal solid waste statewide to be diverted from landfills into recycling programs. Inyo County has fought the AB939 requirements from the day… Read more »

SECounty
SECounty
8 years ago

The Transaction and Use Tax (TUT) was put into place to pay for the cost of the dumps back in the late 1980’s. But 1/3 of that TUT goes to the City of Bishop to pay for the park allegedly because “everybody in the county uses the park”. Really? How… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago

Wayne, what do you think your property taxes should pay for? I say schools first.

Ted
Ted
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

2/3 of property taxes go to your local school district, 1/3 goes to the general fund.

RAM
RAM
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

I say property taxes should pay for planned parenthood (birth control) first, then schools.

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

Trouble: Yes, schools first! An educated population is more cost effective than hiring more Police. When Prop. 13 was voted into law in 1978, education took a big hit. You can read about the history and the controversy here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_13_(1978) One of the points of Prop 13 was to keep… Read more »

Trouble
Trouble
8 years ago
Reply to  Ken Warner

I agree Ken.But I really think everybody should have to pay the same percentage of taxes on everything. What’s not fair about that?

Ken Warner
Ken Warner
8 years ago
Reply to  Trouble

A flat tax is sometimes called a regressive tax. To low income people 13% is a lot more purchasing power than 13% is to a millionair. It’s fair but not realistic in our economy.

Indy Resident
Indy Resident
8 years ago

Here in Independence, we have an abundance of county paid dumpsters at Dehy Park, at the south end of town at the small park, and at Independence Campground… All county paid properties with county paid dumpsters for the tourists… I witness local, long time residents putting their trash in these… Read more »

Mongo the Idiot
Mongo the Idiot
8 years ago
Reply to  Indy Resident

Independence Dump Cheaters; perhaps a new reality show for SW media?
I’m gunna’ say trash, complaining, and cynicism are a few of my favorite pastimes.
Send those pictures in Indy-res, I wanna wallow in the satisfying superiority that only the bad behavior of others can bring…
Mongo
😉

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago

Before anyone complains too much about the cost to be dumping at the land-fill,keep in mind back in the late 80’s in Lancaster…..over 25 years ago….a dump fee for a truck-bed load was $18.00…for one load….and anything over the bed of the truck was extra…the only real problem I see… Read more »

John Barton
John Barton
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Wayne- To clarify, I think Brian was trying to make the same point that I was– it’s not about the cost but rather paying that cost twice– once via taxation and again at the landfill. With anything else you use, you would expect to pay more to maintain or improve… Read more »

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

LA County charges waste haulers $38-$42 a ton to dispose of municipal solid waste in their landfills. That “tipping fee is included in your bill to your waste hauler. It is not paid in your taxes. Kern County places the landfill costs on your property tax bill (the haulers do… Read more »

RAM
RAM
8 years ago

Waste Management also charges less for trash pickup within city limits than they do for the same pickup service in unincorporated areas of the county.

Rick O'Brien
Rick O'Brien
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Wayne…then in about 100 years from now, the BLM can fine anyone who they catch going through the illegal dump/trash pile.

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago
Reply to  Rick O'Brien

Rick….To be honest about it,only those dumb enough to get CAUGHT digging around the desert by BLM are the ones that got to worry about that.

Rick O'Brien
Rick O'Brien
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Wayne, until the recent story about the poor guy getting his house searched,convicted, and fined thousands of dollars for digging up TRASH, I never gave digging in the desert a second thought. I USED to dig quite frequently at a spot out by Coaldale Junction. Almost every single time ,… Read more »

just another clown
just another clown
8 years ago
Reply to  Rick O'Brien

If it was trash, you wouldn’t be digging it up and collecting it. Digging on private land (with landowner permission) isn’t illegal. Stealing cultural heritage from state or federal land is a crime. Ignorance, whether actual or professed out of cynicism and contempt, isn’t an excuse.

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago
Reply to  Rick O'Brien

Rick…Here’s one to think about….heard it from a local that owns property and homes in town….They claim they got a notice in the mail saying,starting next month,don’t know if it’s the Feds or State,but saying they plan to go house-to-house making “suggestions” to homeowners and renters about how they should… Read more »

Rick O'Brien
Rick O'Brien
8 years ago
Reply to  Rick O'Brien

Clown…have’n’t you ever heard the expression, “One man’s trash, is another man’s treasure” ? AND, when it was dumped in the desert 100 years ago, it WAS trash. Go out to the Tonopah dump sometime and have a look around.

RAM
RAM
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Waste Management in the Antelope Valley charges about 60 bucks for a pickup load now.

I’ve always said if you’re unhappy with dump fees don’t dump in the desert, dump it on the steps of the County seat.

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
8 years ago
Reply to  RAM

Off topic,but here’s ANOTHER one kinda hard to believe…Was driving in town the other day after doing some lawn maintenance at a yard…just left there,and happened upon a group of LADWP workers doing some pole work,with some of the lane blocked….one of them hand-motioned to me….rolled down my window thinking… Read more »

Bob
Bob
8 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

I would have thanked him for reminding me about my seatbelt. But when asked about a fishing lic or limits I would had to ask “What business is it of LADWP how many fish I have or if I have a fishing license”. I’ve been stopped by the USFS and… Read more »

John Barton
John Barton
8 years ago

It appears to be a shell game. Let’s move people over to a different department and make it look like we’re saving money over here. Who pays for the increased personnel cost at the road department? Why can’t road department funds be used to subsidize the landfill? We all use… Read more »

Concerned
Concerned
8 years ago
Reply to  John Barton

The waste haulers pay $3 per cubic yard for compacted trash and the public pays $5 per cubic yard. A cubic yard of compacted trash weighs about 400 lbs. Non-compacted, 100 lbs. that means waste haulers pay $15 per ton and the public pays $100 per ton.

Desert Tortoise
Desert Tortoise
8 years ago
Reply to  John Barton

Most of the funds used for road repair and construction come from state gas tax funds and Transit Development Act (TDA) Article 8 funds (TDA funds are to be used primarily for public transit under TDA Article 4, anything left over can be used for roads under TDA Article 8).… Read more »

Mongo the Idiot
Mongo the Idiot
8 years ago

“Some citizens see landfills as essential services, not to be taken away. County officials disagree.”
Remember County Official; we pay your taxes so we work for you. You tell us what to do so we can comply and keep our servitude.
Thank You 😉
Mongo

Square D
Square D
8 years ago

Did you know the county has a person in charge of the dump making close to 6 figures and the assistant hired at the top end of her range (Hennarty) making 6 figures that oversee him. I know I’m being very critical, but the elected leaders just blame the state… Read more »

Steve
Steve
8 years ago

This is not going well in Olancha. The transfer station had a big roll off that was filled to the brim every week. It was removed on May 1st and no new dumpsters were added to make up for the removed roll off. Now this week all the dumpsters have… Read more »

Brian
Brian
8 years ago

I remember as a kid riding to the dump with my Dad on the weekends to dump our trash. No gate attendant, no gate fee. There also was no separation on the type of waste except dead animals and ashes went to a different area. I can understand there is… Read more »