County Signs Waste contract with Western Elite

Dave Maxwell - A new Western-Elite dumpster sits at a transfer station near the burned out recology dumpsters

Dave Maxwell – A new Western-Elite dumpster sits at a transfer station near the burned out recology dumpsters

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners signed a contract for the rest of the year with Western Elite to haul solid waste from Lincoln County to the Republic Apex landfill near Las Vegas.

In addition, District Attorney Hooge said District Court Judge Gary Fairman did issue an injunction on the 49-year contract the county has with Recology that states the company cannot prevent Lincoln County from having the trash hauled to any landfill they want. Hooge said Fairman ruled Recology cannot force the county to only use Crestline.

The agreement with Western Elite was worked out between the company and commission subcommittee members Paul Mathews and Adam Katschke and signed at the commission meeting July 5 for $23,000 a month, plus the transportation costs.

Western Elite was to begin putting in new dumpsters at local transfer stations this week. They were also to dump the existing Recology bins into Western Elite trucks and haul the remaining trash away, and the County will pay $10,000 for that to be done. However, Hooge said Western Elite is not going to clean up what trash is on the ground at the transfer stations. The county road department will have crews on hand to do that. Recology will then move out their own empty bins unless Western Elite wants to buy those bins, but that would be a separate agreement between the two companies.

Mathews said he felt “liberated from an economic standpoint,” because the hauling and tipping fees charged by Recology were going to run in the neighborhood of $200 a ton. Hooge said the disposal fee at Republic’s Apex landfill is $36.83 a ton.

Katschke said this plan is only for the rest of the year, “and we are continuing to work on a long term plan with some other ideas were are considering.”

The City of Caliente has their own agreement with Recology and is not part of this current plan, although Katschke said the committee does want to involve the city in the talks.

Fairman had earlier denied an injunction request that Recology continue hauling the county’s garbage, which they stopped doing June 17.

Mathews said Western Elite will be servicing Alamo, Beaver Dam, Caselton, Dry Valley, Hiko, Mt. Wilson, Panaca, Pioche, Rachel and Ursine. Alamo and Pioche will be picked up three days a week, Panaca four days a week, Beaver Dam twice a week and the other sites once a week.

Commissioners said Western Elite is also going to pickup the commercial accounts trash at a set price for the month of July. After that, Western Elite does expect to raise commercial rates substantially. Commercial businesses are being contacted to inform them of the coming changes.

County Treasurer Shawn Frehner said Recology did issue a refund check of $11,888 for the period June 17 – 30.
Katschke made a point of stressing some of the responsibility with hauling certain trash items falls on the citizens. “If you have an old refrigerator, or a bunch of old tires, an old major appliance, it is really your responsibility to take those items to a landfill yourself and pay the fee yourself, not put it in a local dumpster and let the county foot the bill.”

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