New grant funding expands free green waste disposal countywide |

New grant funding expands free green waste disposal countywide

Submitted to The Union

From a release:

Grant funding from the Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District will expand free residential green waste disposal opportunities throughout the county, according to a press release from Nevada County Office of Emergency Services.

The OES and Fire Safe Council of Nevada County are partnering to provide disposal in Alta Sierra, Grass Valley, and Penn Valley, the release states.

Disposal will be available Sunday through Tuesday, with free wood chip pick up on Fridays and Saturdays between May 17 and June 27.

“Fire mitigation is considered essential. As families shelter in place due to the Stay-at-Home Order, community members are taking advantage of the extra time around the house to catch up on special projects like defensible space implementation and home hardening activities,” the release states. “These green waste disposal opportunities will not only provide a free service in this economically uncertain time but provide a critical relief valve as the McCourtney Road Transfer Station limits the number of customers to 200 per day and the Eastern Regional Landfill is closed to the public.”

While the world grapples with the impact of the coronavirus and the respiratory disease it causes COVID-19, air quality is top of mind for the NSAQMD.

“Due to factors like parcel size and vegetation type, we understand that achieving defensible space looks different for each family,” Gretchen Bennitt, NSAQMD Air Pollution Control Officer, said. “However, as we have seen COVID-19 transmitted in our community, it is with our most vulnerable neighbors in mind that we are making a concerted effort to provide a method to reduce smoke impacts by providing residents with alternatives to open burning.”

This program will happen with the help of Connecting Point’s Volunteer Hub. Adults, and teens over the age of 16 volunteering with an adult, are encouraged to assist with data entry, traffic control, and screening materials, the press release states.

No commercial green waste, Scotch broom, poison oak, Himalayan blackberry, items with a diameter greater than six inches, tree stumps, or root balls will be accepted. Material must also be free of all litter.

Drivers will be asked to stay in their vehicles and to follow the cues of the staff and volunteers inspecting truck loads and directing traffic. Fire Safe Council staff will be available to help unload truck beds from a distance of six feet. Volunteers may register at:

“The overwhelming turn out last year demonstrated just how seriously the community is taking the threat of wildfire,” says OES Program Manager, Paul Cummings. “We are grateful for the hard work and responsiveness of everyone. This year we have more space to dispose of the material and expect to far exceed the 500 tons of green waste we removed in 2019.”

Funds from NSAQMD will also provide 15 weeks of free chipping to the community and will assist 15 low income residents with access and functional needs by providing defensible space clearing around their homes, according to the release.

The free residential green waste program is a community effort with support provided by the Nevada Irrigation District, Penn Valley Rodeo Grounds, Penn Valley Fire Protection District, and Rise Gold , which are lending their properties. Alta Sierra Property Owners Association is also providing coordination and volunteer assistance. Additional details may be found at

Sunday – Tuesday
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
May 17 – June 27
Acceptable material includes residential green waste, biomass consisting of all tree and plant trimmings, weeds, leaves, branches, and items less than six inches in diameter.

Friday & Saturday
9 a.m – 3 p.m.
May 17 – June 27
Please note, wood chips are not safe within the first 30 feet of your home, but they can help with soil enrichment, erosion control, weed suppression, and water retention elsewhere on your property.


  • Alta Sierra — NID Site, 12057 & 12079 Francis Drive
  • Penn Valley — Rodeo Grounds, 10531 Spenceville Road
  • Grass Valley — Rise Gold Site, 12625 Brunswick Road

Source: Nevada County Office of Emergency Services

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