Recology's Nevada landfill blocked

Winnemucca, Nevada, says "no thanks" to Bay Area trash

The Las Vegas Review-Journal is reporting that the Planning Commission in Humboldt County, Nevada blocked Recology's landfill expansion application in Winnemucca, which is halfway between San Francisco and Salt Lake City.

The news comes close on the heels of the Guardian's report that San Francisco has tentatively selected Recology to dispose of the city's waste in Yuba County.

The LVRJ articles notes that "Recology wants to haul in 4,000 tons of garbage a day from Northern California communities for the next 95 years and dump it on the desert playa about 28 miles west of Winnemucca."

Adam Alberti, a spokesman for Recology and the Jungo Land Co., is quoted as saying that the commission's decision "could cost the region more than $660 million and new jobs."

And U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., is quoted as calling the proposed dump a threat to Nevada's "sovereignty and dignity."

"The proposal to dump a mountain of California trash in Nevada is a lose-lose proposition for our state," Reid said. "The people of Humboldt County have made it clear they don't want other states dumping trash in their backyards, and I applaud their decision. "

Asked if there was a connection between the proposed Nevada dump and San Francisco's trash, given that the city is only proposing a ten-year contract with Recology in Yuba County, Alberti said the landfill Recology was pursuing in Nevada is a "speculative effort" and that San Francisco "prohibits its waste from being taken out of state."

"Recology has no contract in Winnemucca, and you have to have a landfill open before you can enter into a contract," he said.

Here in San Francisco, District 10 candidate Eric Smith said he wants to see a whole lot more light being shone on the debate about what to do with the city's trash.

"There needs to more transparency and accountability in the debate, which needs to include looking at all aspects of the issue, including where and how we transport our trash," Smith said. "Should we barge, rail or truck it? What are the economic and environmental consequences? And is this something the citizens and ratepayers of San Francisco can support? Instead, there appear to be three main companies duking it out under cloak of darkness."

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