The Del Norte County Solid Waste Authority Board voted against reducing operating hours for county transfer stations Tuesday.
The authority received several phoned-in complaints regarding the suggestion to cut hours, and Tuesday’s public comment period also featured criticism of the proposal to close transfer stations on Sundays.
“If you shut down, how much dumping is going to happen on the side of the street?” said Andy Larson. “Irresponsible people aren’t going to wait until Monday.”
The board concluded that closing the station Sundays, at 4 p.m. on open days, and for two extra holidays to save about $12,000 was not worth the impact to the community.
Board members also discussed the “solid waste and recycling responsibility ordinance,” which includes a requirement for landlords to provide trash and
recycling collection service.
The reasoning for this requirement is often to avoid blight and illegal dumping in the community.
Crescent City Mayor and commissioner Kathryn Murray cited the amount of illegal dumping as reason for the ordinance.
“You wouldn’t believe how many violations there are, and that’s one of the reasons I believe in keeping requirements that make someone responsible, otherwise the whole countryside will be littered with trash,” Murray said.
County Supervisor and board chairman Gerry Hemmingsen questioned “is this ordinance working? Is it redundant? Does it duplicate other ordinances or laws that are already on the book?”
Hemmingsen pointed to a portion of the ordinance that requires garbage self-haulers to register with the authority, which he thinks is burdensome and would become a problem if enforced.
Hemmingsen directed the Del Norte Solid Waste Task Force to craft a recommendation on whether the ordinance should be amended, scrapped or left alone.
Authority Director Kevin Hendrick questioned Hemmingsen’s decision to direct the task force to make the ordinance recommendation when it is conducting sub-committee meetings that are not open to the public. Hendrick indicated that authority staff should have more of a role in those meetings and the review of the ordinance.
Hemmingsen said that Hendrick had his chance when the ordinance was first passed.
“If you had done your job and looked at other ordinances that are in place, we wouldn’t have the conflict,” Hemmingsen said.
Murray pointed out that it was the board that adopted the ordinance, not the staff.
County Supervisor and board member Martha McClure questioned the task force’s process of reviewing the ordinance in a sub-committee without staff present.
Hendrick said that the entire ordinance review and analysis could be completed sooner if staff was present.
Hendrick will be giving a power point presentation on the ordinance at the next Solid Waste Task Force meeting.