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Trash transfer station hours slashed; Atlantic City protests heard

May 17, 2012 - By Martin Reed, Staff Writer

Most trash transfer stations around Fremont County will have vastly decreased hours starting June 1 after the solid waste board on Monday night voted to institute a new operational plan for the sites.

"We spent hours and hours and hours on these transfer stations," Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District board member Dave Hines said at the meeting. "We've got to have a starting point someplace."

The board's decision, which came with two votes in opposition, affects seven transfer stations not on the Wind River Indian Reservation.

The transfer stations affected under the changes are Atlantic City, Jeffrey City, Hudson, Missouri Valley, Pavillion, Lysite and Shoshoni. The Dubois station is not affected.

District superintendent Andy Frey said earlier this month the reason for the change in hours is to "maintain operational costs."

Most of the transfer stations have been operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Two people from Atlantic City provided the only public comments during the solid waste board's meeting at the Lander landfill offices. Carole and Preston Justice voiced outrage about their transfer station's limited hours of just two days a month.

Carole Justice noted that Atlantic City has at least 160 homes.

"This is a huge tourist area. There are literally thousands of visitors" every year, she said.

The drastically cut hours will mean trash overflowing in the community, she said.

"It's a safety hazard. It's a fire hazard. It's a game and fish hazard. You name it," she said. "I submit to you it's absolutely impractical."

Preston Justice said stockpiling trash will attract vermin and predators to their community, which has three restaurants, two campgrounds and a rest stop.

"We've got a lot more traffic up there than you realize," he said. "You're going to trash my home with these actions."

Board member Jeff Hermansky said the reduced hours represent a launching point for making adjustments to the operation of transfer stations.

"I am very sympathetic with the folks in Atlantic City," Hermansky said. "We understand when we put this together we probably would have to make adjustments, but you're got to start somewhere."

Atlantic City residents continue to have other options for trash disposal, Hermansky said. "I also think that people can adapt and especially the landowners can bring trash down," he said.

Board member Rick Klaproth said he lives in Shoshoni and realizes the problems small communities face with trash disposal.

"We still have to start somewhere. It is adjustable," Klaproth said. "This was the most reasonable one that we all came up with."

Board members Mike Morgan and Jerry Crews voted against the proposal.

"There's not a lot of volume per se but it's a different environment," Crews said in an interview after the board discussion. "Maybe we'll need to have temporary storage."

The four reservation stations -- one on 17 Mile Road and others in Ethete, Fort Washakie and Crowheart -- will likely fall under a separate management plan operated by the Northern Arapaho and Eastern Shoshone tribes.

The board also altered the fee structure for disposing of waste at the transfer sites, with changes effective June 1 including two bags or less costing $5 and a recycling credit available.

The recycling credit includes $3 for a car and truck load, $8 for a single-axle trailer and $10 for a tandem-axle trailer for providing a minimum of two bags of recyclable materials.

Current fees at transfer stations include $5 per load by car or truck, and trailers at $10 for a single axle, $25 for a tandem axle and $50 for a triple axle. Dump or semi trucks and semi flatbeds cost $5 per cubic yard.

Under the changes, a car or truck load beyond two bags of waste will cost $10, while trailers cost $35 for a single axle and $50 for a tandem axle.

Commercial loads and triple-axle trailers will be no longer part of the fee structure except at the Shoshoni transfer station, according to the changes. Also, transfer stations will not accept loads larger than 4 cubic yards.

At the Shoshoni site, a triple-axle trailer load costs $50, and dump trucks, semi trucks and semi flatbeds cost $5 per cubic yard, according to the changes.

The transfer sites will accept construction and demolition waste under the proposed changes.

New transfer station hours

Atlantic City: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first Saturday and fourth Wednesday.

Jeffrey City: 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. on the first Sunday and third Friday.

Hudson: 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on the second Saturday, third Tuesday and fourth Friday.

Missouri Valley: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the second Sunday, second Monday and fourth Thursday.

Pavillion: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first Monday, second Wednesday and third Saturday.

Lysite: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the first Tuesday, third Sunday and third Thursday.

Shoshoni: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on the first Thursday, second Tuesday and fourth Saturday.