Tansy ragwort taken at Del Norte Transfer Station
Tansy ragwort, an invasive noxious weed that can kill livestock, will continue to be taken for free at the Del Norte County transfer station.
Invasive, noxious weeds classified as A-rated by the state, however, will now be charged the garbage rate of $138.16 per ton — almost three times the yard waste rate previously charged. A-rated weeds include English ivy, pampas grass, European beachgrass and Scotch Broom.
The Del Norte Solid Waste Management Authority recommended the policy change since the weeds are treated like trash to avoid spreading, costing money to haul to a landfill in Oregon.
“I got a strong suspicion that if you charge for it, you’re not going to get nearly as much tansy,” Jim Buckles of the Del Norte Agriculture Commission told the board during their Tuesday meeting. Buckles urged the board to leave the tansy ragwort exemption in place, citing its potential hazard to the local ranching community. “They’re afraid of it.”
Authority Board members followed Buckles’ recommendation for tansy, but all A-rated weeds will be charged the same as garbage. Hambro/Waste Solutions Group, which operates the transfer station, doesn’t compost invasive weeds like other brush in order to keep seeds out of their finished soil products.
Authority Director Kevin Hendrick said that the authority will start compensating Hambro/ Waste Solutions Group, which operates the transfer station, for taking tansy since it is not in its contract to take it for free.
In 2011, Hambro provided $2,600 worth of free service to dispose of the noxious weed.
When Hambro Group’s press board plant was in operation, the noxious weeds were burned.
Authority chairman Gerry Hemmingsen directed the staff to look into ways that the weeds could be burned again as a means for disposal.
The board unanimously voted to approve both the authority budget for fiscal year 2012-2013 and an amended joint powers agreement between Crescent City and Del Norte County that establishes the authority.
The primary changes to the JPA included an updated purpose for the agency, a requirement that all authority ordinances must also be ratified by the city and county, the appointment of the public member of the authority board must be approved annually by the city and the county, and reflection of the Board’s decision to remove meeting stipends for board commissioners.