Full to burstin’
The McCourtney Road transfer station is a popular place these days – so popular that Nevada County will study whether to build a new one.
As many as 600 customers line up Saturdays and Sundays to get rid of their trash, pushing the facility beyond its limits.
The transfer station takes trash and recyclables, and then transfers them to a landfill in Lockwood, Nev.
Built in 1990, the station is designed to handle 300 customers a day and can’t handle the load in its current configuration, said Michael Hill-Weld, the county’s director of transportation and sanitation.
The facility’s customer volume has increased 30 percent since its construction. The county’s population increased 17 percent from 1990 to 2000, according to U.S. Census figures.
The number of customers has increased faster than the population because of an increase in the number of self-haulers – people who haul their own trash rather than contract with Waste Management, said Hill-Weld.
Expanding the public receiving area – the pit where people dump trash – would expand the facility’s capacity. But expanding the pit would not help the effort to recycle more trash.
Steve Porter, the county’s solid waste manager, said there is a lot of recyclable material on the receiving area floor that can’t be retrieved unless operations are halted.
A new transfer station would allow the county to recover recyclable material thrown into the pit and increase the percentage of material diverted from the waste stream, helping to meet state mandates.
The next step is to finalize what services the county wants to provide at its landfill and submit a preliminary proposal to the county Solid and Hazardous Waste Commission by spring. The commission discussed the transfer station at a meeting Thursday.
The project would require public hearings and the approval of county supervisors. Any construction would be a few years out, said Hill-Weld.
There are no estimates yet on what a new transfer station would cost.
Hill-Weld said a new transfer station would be built at the current location on McCourtney Road. The commission looked at other locations three year ago, but couldn’t find another suitable site.
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