Illegal trash dumping that frequently overwhelms the Grass Valley transfer site is a never-ending concern for residents and Pershing County Landfill Manager Mitch Nielsen. Bins intended for household garbage cannot handle truckloads of commercial waste that ends up on the ground.

Nielsen said Grass Valley residents should not blame Hoss Disposal for the mess. The trash collector has attempted to keep up but it has been overwhelmed by the problem, he said.

It’s also easy to blame the neighbors in Humboldt County but demolition waste, like old mobile homes, and other debris from Pershing County also ends up at the transfer site, Nielsen said.

“There’s talk on Facebook that Hoss Disposal is dropping the ball,” he said. “When two dump trucks drop their entire loads on that landing, there’s no way Hoss Disposal is going to be able to stay on top of that. It’s definitely some sort of commercial operation. Everytime there’s a problem, it’s blamed on Humboldt County. It’s not. Since I have run the landfill, we have gotten 15 mobile homes in our bins from Pershing County. So, it’s not all Humboldt County.”

Signs that show what trash is acceptable have little effect, Nielsen said. In the past, video cameras have been shot or stolen but Nielsen said he still hopes to catch the perpetrators.

“I think we need something real time on site that will take a picture and automatically download to something so even if they do shoot the cameras, we’ve still got a picture,” he said. “We’ve got to get something out there to get some control on this. Some of the waste that was on that landing last week was from Golconda, Rio Bravo in Humboldt County.”

Nielsen said there’s interest in waste reduction at other landfills and he plans to organize a landfill “repurpose” program. To comply with state law, no scavenging by the public is allowed.

“There’s a big move in Nevada towards sustainability,” he said. “Rather than better, deeper landfill techniques, let’s figure out ways to eliminate waste...We’re still moving forward on getting the state more involved in helping provide resources for the rural landfills.”



GRAVEYARD TURMOIL

A recent complaint indicated the need for more oversight at the county cemeteries. Burial plot upgrades by well-meaning people can infringe on adjacent plots and cause distress for others.

Margaret McGinty said there was such an infringement on the plot reserved for her recently deceased husband Tom. The couple reserved side-by-side plots at Lone Mountain Cemetery.

“Grave number 100 had red paving stones on top of that grave. I put red dotted lines to show approximately where that was and that encroached halfway into grave number 101 that we had purchased,” McGinty said. “Cheryl explained she was going to move the stones and fix this.”

McGinty also said her husband was buried in the wrong plot and must be moved to the correct one but she’s concerned about the adjacent plot. Cemetery Manager Cheryl Hass probed the ground and said there was no underground encroachment but McGinty remains concerned.

“I said I’m not comfortable with any of this, we need to pick out two different plots but Cheryl said, no, we cannot do that. She was kind enough to move this gentleman’s stones and pile them up so his grave was the correct shape, sort of. I asked Cheryl if she was going to contact the family members so they don’t come after me thinking I had desecrated their grave. Cheryl said the (county) records don’t have any names or phone numbers for anyone to contact.”

McGinty also claimed that the Lone Mountain Cemetery burial plot reserved for her husband may have already been reserved for someone else “that expects to be buried there.”

County Commissioner Carol Shank said no one else had purchased the plot in question.

“To my knowledge, there is no one that has paid for plot #101,” she said. “The issue we’re having at the cemetery is people are encroaching on other graves. They did probe the plot to make sure that no other casket was there because we also became concerned as well.”

McGinty said burial plot corners and boundaries are not marked or numbered and that people “go ahead and do they want anyway” without concern for infringement on neighboring graves.

Shank invited McGinty to present her concerns at the next meeting of the cemetery board.

The board is responsible for Lone Mountain Cemetery, Big Meadow Cemetery, the Chinese Cemetery and will be responsible for the Unionville Cemetery when it’s acquired from the BLM.

Two years ago, the board requested a part-time worker for cemetery maintenance but county leaders said no. Older graves were starting to collapse due to poor drainage and erosion.



DIESEL FUEL TAX

Public input will be accepted at a special meeting to consider the county’s proposed five cent per gallon diesel fuel tax. The hearing is scheduled for Thursday, December 5, 6 p.m. at the Pershing County Courthouse in the county commission round room.

County leaders say the tax revenues are needed for county road improvement projects. The fuel tax would not apply to “red” diesel fuel used in farm machinery and other off-road equipment.