From the pages of
Sublette Examiner
Volume 9, Number 10 - May 26, 2009
brought to you online by Pinedale Online

County is being trashed

by Mari Muzzi

Trash spills from trucks carrying uncovered loads heading toward local waste stations have become a concern for the county – especially along Highway 191 from Pinedale to the Pinedale transfer station and in Big Piney to the Marbleton landfill.

Superintendent of Sublette County Waste Management Brad Clingman brought up the issue during the county commissioners’ meeting on May 18.

“That is why you see so much trash along the roads,” he said.

Clingman said county workers have to clean up the trash and it’s harmful to the environment.

“If each person loses one piece of trash, pretty soon there is trash everywhere,” he said.

The trash is primarily coming from the trucks owned by private individuals and residents and not commercial industries, such as the oil and gas companies, Clingman said.

People aren’t aware that they need to cover their trash loads while traveling to the landfill, he explained.

The commissioners agreed trash spills and littering have become a problem in the county.

“We have a huge issue with trash all over the county,” said Commissioner John Linn.

The spilling-trash situation has, however, become a little better along the road to the Pinedale transfer station.

“We used to see 10 to 15 uncovered loads a day,” Clingman said. “Now, it’s down to five or six.”

But that is enough to leave a lot of garbage along the roads and Clingman said it is an issue in the county that needs to be dealt with.

Currently, customers who travel without their trash covered to the Pinedale transfer station receive a fine, but Clingman said it doesn’t solve the problem.

“At that point, the damage has already been done,” he said.

Commissioners proposed the idea of refusing to accept uncovered loads at the landfill and waste station but the proposal wasn’t finalized during the meeting.

Clingman said the downside to refusing the uncovered loads is that people might dump their trash in non-designated areas.

“They might go dump it along the side of the county road,” he said.

Turning them away from the station could also cause additional damage, as more garbage would be lost from their trucks on the way home, he said.

It’s important for people to cover all trash in the back of their trucks, even small pieces of furniture, because on windy days it will end up on the roads.

Large pieces of trash such as furniture and feed pellets can become a danger to other drivers.

Clingman came up with an idea after the commissioners’ meeting for how the county should handle the trash issue – that is to supply people with spider nets when waste management employees see they have uncovered trash loads.

“People can buy the spider nets,” he said.

Once they buy the spider nets they can reuse them for future trips to the landfill.

“I think that is kind of a unique thing because we would be making an incentive for people to cover their loads,” Clingman said.

In other county news:

• Sublette County will receive less funding from the state and national government to maintain roads and other road projects for 2010 compared to previous years.

District 3 Engineer with the Wyoming Department of Transportation (WYDOT) John Eddins said the reduction in funding would make projects and roadwork difficult for the department.

“For 2010, they’ve given us $25 million, just about a 75-percentage reduction,” he said. “It’s been a really trying time this winter identifying our project needs.”

One need is repairing several bridges in the county. Eddins said he has been closing bridges throughout the county due to large holes that have showed up on the decks.

“I’ve got literally over 100 bridges in the district with holes,” he said. “I had to close one on I-80 because there was a hole the size of a table.”

Last year, WYDOT received $92 million and in 2011 it is expected to get $30 million. Commissioner Joel Bousman said Congress should have a new highway bill out by October, which might ask for more federal funding.

Eddins said last year WYDOT received half of its money from the state and the other from the federal government. In past years, it received 80 percent from the state and 20 percent in federal funding. He believes this percentage will be what the county can expect in the future.

• Sublette County Treatment Coordinator Kathy Anderson presented a handout to the commissioners that showed how much money the county has spent on human services from 2004 to 2008.

In the past four years, the county spent $973,890 on adult services such as drug court, Veterans Services and the Sublette County Sexual Assault Family Violence Task Force.

The county has also spent $1,332,012 on children-related services over the past four years. A couple of these programs include the Learning Center and Discovery Center. The county has also provided scholarships for graduating high school seniors.

• WLC will be reconstructing the block around the Marbleton Senior Center.

“That area has never been developed,” said WLC engineer Brain Gray on Friday. WLC plans to begin preparing the area for development by putting in utilities and adding streets.

The construction is planned to begin this summer and Gray predicts that it will take about three months for the streets and utility projects to be completed.

See The Archives for past articles.

Copyright © 2002-2009 Sublette Examiner
All rights reserved. Reproduction by any means must have permission of the Publisher.
Sublette Examiner, PO Box 1539, Pinedale, WY 82941   Phone 307-367-3203