A few weeks ago, Recology, the municipal solid waste haulers in Lincoln County, sent a letter of notice to the subcommittee of the Lincoln County Commission Board that they were not going to continue hauling garbage in Lincoln County after June 1 and wanted out of their contract agreement.

Sub-committee member Paul Mathews said the county’s contract with Recology ended last October, but the San Francisco-based company has been operating in the county on a month-by-month basis, as contract negotiations continued.

Mathews said the commission board was very much in favor of not renewing the contract with Recology, but at the time had no other haulers able to take over the job.

He noted Recology said they would haul the trash in June, but were asking $50,000 to do it. Mathews said that would be over half what the monthly fee is now, and in July it would be raised again and the recommendation was to refuse the offer.

For several months, the subcommittee has been investigating ways to continue the Recology service, but also looking to solicit bids for a collection contract with another company, as well as endingRecology’s 49-year lease of the Crestline disposal site.

Adam Katschke, subcommittee chair, told the board of commissioners at their regular meeting May 2, Western Elite has made a suggestion of hauling the municipal wastes of the county for six months.

However, company vice president Scott Seastrand said that would likely require the county and Western Elite to make a joint appeal to the Nevada Environmental Protection Agency to allow Western to accept municipal solid waste under their Class III permit on an emergency basis.

“We are interested in trying to find some way to give the county relief as other negotiations continue for a long-term solution,” he said. “We understand Lincoln County is in a difficult spot, and we have certain resources and abilities that we are involved with in southern Nevada on a large scale and we are open to any dialogue to help them solve their problem.”

Western Elite has been granted a Class I permit, but do not as yet have the facilities to take municipal waste without special permission.

Another possibility the committee looked at would be if the county decided to take on the garbage hauling by themselves, but Katschke posed the question, “Under what department of county government would that fall, or would a new one need to be created?”

He said the City of Caliente would also like to be involved in whatever decision the board follows. Mayor Stana Hurlbert has suggested the Meadow Valley Industrial Park in Caliente could be a point for which all the trash could be collected, then taken to the Crestline dump site, or some other designated location.

When Seastrand spoke to the board, he said Western Elite would be able to haul the garbage down to the Republic Services location at Apex outside of Las Vegas. “They want to help the county and they already have empty trucks going that way after making deliveries to Western Elite’s site on U.S. 93,” Katschke said.

Mathews made a motion, approved by the commissioners, to open negotiations for creating a six-month hauling contract with Western Elite, “and we will also negotiate with Recology to see what the terms of the landfill would be,” he said.

A conference call meeting was to be held May 4 with Recology representatives, and Mathews felt by the next commission meeting, May 16, they would be able to finalize a more long-term plan.