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Rule on covered loads bringing new conflicts at trash disposal sites

Feb 21, 2013 - By Christina George, Staff Writer

The Fremont County Solid Waste Disposal District is considering revisions to its rules and regulations to alleviate conflicts between patrons and employees enforcing rules relating to waste transportation.

District superintendent Andy Frey said scale house operators collecting fees at the transfer sites are sometimes verbally abused by customers when assessing an additional $5 for those violating rules governing transportation of solid waste to disposal sites.

Current rules read: "Solid waste conveyed to any solid waste disposal site within the District, whether a landfill, transfer station or bailing station, must be tied, covered or secured in such a manner that the waste shall not and cannot be strewn upon the streets, roads and highways within Fremont County. All loose solid waste must be secured with a lid, a tarp, or other adequate and secure cover."

Board member Steve Baumann said defining "covered" and "secured" and conveying it to the public could help the situation.

The district's attorney, Rick Sollars, said the issue is gatekeepers enforcing the rule arbitrarily because the definition is somewhat vague.

Frey pointed out the district hires staff to pick up litter that blows out of patrons' vehicles.

"If it's not securely covered, it costs us money" to pick up, Frey said at the solid was board's Feb. 18 meeting.

Frey said the rule is enforced with everyone and is nothing new.

"We are just trying to clear up (the confusion) so employees are not yelled at," Frey said.

Board member Mike Morgan disagreed.

"I appreciate there has to be regulations, I just don't like that particular definition," Morgan said. "I would like to see

something different."

Board member Gary Weisz asked if the rule means he has to cover his trash load while traveling four blocks to the transfer station in Shoshoni. He was told yes.

Frey pointed out stations he has visited across the country have similar rules. It's also in Wyoming state statute.

"I still don't like it," Morgan said.

Morgan said he thinks the definition should be just that the trash load is covered, and it be at the discretion of the scale employees to impose a fee.

"If (the bag) is tied shut, then it's secured," he said, later adding, "If it's in a tied shut bag, that meets my definition of secure."

Board member Richard Klaproth said he agreed with the unlikelihood of three or four tied bags of trashing flying out of a vehicle, but said there is an issue with trash blowing out on the highway.

Morgan quickly responded that trash on the highway is not a responsibility of the district.

"This is behavior modification, nothing else," Baumann said.

The lengthy discussion had others ready to move on to other business.

"Let's have a motion, or let's move on," board member Jerry Crews said.

Weisz made a motion to keep the rule as it currently reads. Morgan asked that Frey and Baumann have the chance to show the board what they are thinking in regard to cleaning up the wording. Weisz later withdrew his motion.

Chairman Mike Adams asked the board what the next step should be. Frey said he could revise the language and present it at next month's meeting.

Once the board decides on the new language, the proposed rule change will have to be advertised 45 days for public input.

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