Judge Denies Injunction Against Solid Waste Hauler

Judge Gary Fairman, of the Seventh Judicial District Court in Ely, has denied the injunction request submitted by Lincoln County District Attorney Daniel Hooge on behalf of the Board of County Commissioners with regards to having Recology continue to haul solid waste in the county.

Hooge said Judge Fairman gave as his reasons that it was just a monetary issue and, “the main damage to the county was just monetary, and they could just pay it.”

Recology suspended hauling service on June 17, but has stated that if they were to continue hauling, they wanted $800,000 for the next year to keep taking trash to the Crestline landfill.

In earlier meetings, Commissioners felt that was too much, they were being held hostage by Recology and they could not pay that price. They then filed suit against Recology and asked Judge Fairman to issue an injunction, but he denied the request.

Commission chair Kevin Phillips said he was disappointed by the decision. “I have no idea what his reasons are, haven’t been able to see a lot of logic and reason in some of his other rulings, either.”

Hooge said he was surprised at the decision, and noted in response, Recology is now asking the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection to investigate and cite the county for allowing the trash to build up and overflow in the collection dumpsters. However, Hooge pointed out, “Yes, the garbage overflowed, but Recology are the ones who stopped hauling.”

A special subcommittee of the commission has been working with Western Elite to try to work out a deal for their company to pick up the solid waste hauling, even though Recology will still ask the $800,000 to use the landfill, Phillips said they have had good meetings, including one this week, “and Commissioner Katschke will have a good report and a plan ready for us Tuesday (July 5) when we meet.”

“The thing that bothers me most is that Recology is trying to make Lincoln County and the residents pay for their bad business plan, and now with the judge’s ruling they can continue to push that. They are playing dirty, dirty, dirty.”
– Paul Donohue
Lincoln County Commissioner

Commissioner Paul Donohue also expressed disappointment in the decision. “The thing that bothers me most is that Recology is trying to make Lincoln County and the residents pay for their bad business plan, and now with the judge’s ruling they can continue to push that. They are playing dirty, dirty, dirty.”

Since Recology stopped hauling June 17, dumpster sites had grown to overflowing, but Phillips noted some person or persons had burned out the bins at the collection stations in Alamo, Panaca, Mt. Wilson, Eagle Valley and Dry Valley.

Donohue said in Pioche some of the town employees “have settled the trash in the bins so it isn’t overflowing. They have cleaned up around the outside of the fence, brought some empty bins up to the front so it wouldn’t overflow.” Fire is a major concern for the town of Pioche in this regard, and Donohue said they don’t want to cause another one. Pioche is scarred by the two big fires we have had, we don’t need another.”

Commissioners Mathews, Katschke and Higbee were not available for comment.

A number of people did respond to the advertisement in the Record asking for those who might be interested in hauling the trash to come forward.

“There have been about half a dozen inquiries, but there was no one who has the bins, trucks and the ability to move this stuff immediately. We’re all in favor of some local people doing it, but they don’t have the capacity right now, we don’t think.”

Phillips is optimistic about the future. He said, “I feel that in the end we’re going to be better off as a community of folks then we have been. I think we’re going to have satisfactory solid waste service for a price we can afford as citizens. How that comes together will depend on a number of factors.”

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Comments

  1. Injunctions are to prevent irreparable harm. Here, a money damages suit will reimburse the country in time. That’s all the judge is saying.

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