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Time for a transfer: McCourtney Road Transfer Station to undergo redesign next year

Traffic and waste overload jam packs Transfer Station

Officials know about the traffic issues at the McCourtney Road Transfer Station. That’s why there’s a redesign in the works.

Paul Rosynsky, senior communications specialist with Waste Management, said that redesign will mitigate congestion.

“It’s because the transfer station was built in 1994 to replace the adjacent landfill, and it has outgrown its customer base that it currently handles,” he said.

Capacity at the site as designed is overwhelmed by customers, said David Garcia, solid waste program manager of Nevada County.

“(The transfer station) cannot accommodate the volume of vehicles regularly visiting the site, particularly in peak use periods,” said Garcia. “This site is strained due to its aging infrastructure, compact size, particularly at the scale facility and receiving areas.”

Aggravating problems are large increases in traffic over the last few years, Garcia said. It currently averages 12,000 customers per month, 14,000 during peak times, up from 8,000 customers per month in 2016. Also, major increases in traffic occurs prior to and just after holidays.

New construction, expected to mitigate issues, will begin this spring. Completion is expected by summer 2023.

Another grievance is the loss of local recycling buyback centers formerly at local supermarkets — an issue across the state, Garcia said.

“Since 2016, more than 400 buyback facilities have been closed in California,” he said. “The closures followed the worldwide collapse of the recyclable materials market, China’s ban on imported recyclables and outdated bottle bill legislation and has hit rural jurisdictions particularly hard.”

Of the facilities closed in the county, four were operated by RePlanet and one by Grass Valley Recycle. The buyback program is administered by the state, which has moved to stabilize Beverage Container Recycling Program subsidies paid to beverage container buyback centers to help cover the costs of processing materials, Garcia said.

“In 2021, the Legislature passed several bills to reform the state’s antiquated bottle bill,” he said. “We are hopeful these reforms help bring back local recycling centers by making it economically viable again. In the meantime customers can still use the buyback facility at (the transfer station).”


Litter is another problem the county is combating.

To fix the issue the county has started a litter campaign and is working with groups such as the South Yuba River Citizens League, and providing funding for litter cleanup events.

“And we also work with county code enforcement, the sheriff’s and CHP on increased enforcement of covered loads, private property/homeless encampment cleanups,” said Garcia. “Unfortunately, the problem is big and there’s no easy solutions and limited resources.”

Waste Management is dealing with a labor shortage, which has affected its ability to clean spots like Brunswick Road, Garcia said.

As Christmas comes and goes, appropriate tree removal will loom and many residents will want to use tree removal services. The transfer station will have no special holiday scheduling, Rosynsky said. It will close for Christmas and New Year’s Day, but otherwise be open from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

“And since Christmas and New Year’s Day are on Saturdays, there will be no impact on curbside collection,” he said.

William Roller is a staff writer with The Union. He can be reached at wroller@theunion.com


From Dec. 26 to Feb. 4: Eric Rood Administrative Center, 950 Maidu Ave.

8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 26 to Feb. 5: McCourtney Road Transfer Station, 14741 Wolf Mountain Road, Grass Valley

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 8: Lake Wildwood Wastewater Treatment Plant, 12622 Pleasant Valley Road; Lake of the Pines Wastewater Treatment Plant, 10803 Riata Way; and Alta Sierra Fire Department, 11833 Tammy Way

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