McCourtney Road Transfer Station traffic increases despite stay-at-home order
Despite a worldwide pandemic and statewide shelter-in-place order, people are now taking more trips to the dump than ever.
According to county Solid Waste Program Manager David Garcia, the McCourtney Road Transfer Station, operating at limited capacity due to safety protocols, has averaged about 500 customers in the last several weeks.
“We’re seeing a little more than we’d ordinarily expect to see even if we had the buy-back open, the hazardous waste facility open,” Garcia said. “We closed as much of the facility down as possible to try to minimize traffic, so that fact that we’re seeing even a normal traffic load is concerning.”
The speculation is that, home more often and with time on their hands, people are taking up renovations and home improvement projects.
“People have more time on their hands, they’re doing all those projects, they’re doing vegetation clearing, and all of that is good,” Garcia said. “We should be doing that. All we’re saying is do all that stuff, but for the next few weeks try not to go the transfer station if you could help it.”
The county is encouraging people to rely on curbside pick up if they have it, and to only go to the facility for essential needs like getting rid of perishables.
Garcia recommended people adjust their service as needed for the duration of the shelter-in-place order, with a temporary bin, service stop, or by holding on to refuse from home projects.
The facility closed half of its bays to allow social distancing and limited services to trash, recycling, and green waste hoping to avoid coronavirus exposure that could be devastating for the spread of COVID-19 in the county.
“McCourtney Road in particular is the hub for all of western Nevada County,” Garcia said. “If someone gets sick out there, it could shut that facility for who knows how long. Our focus is on staff safety and customer safety. We don’t want any unnecessary interactions.”
Garcia said that as the waste facility hub of western Nevada County, the facility must maintain services but asks the public for help in keeping the station and community safe.
“We understand its inconvenience, but we’re really just trying to protect people,” he said.
To contact Staff Writer John Orona, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4229.
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