Everyone pays for illegal trash dumping | NevadaAppeal.com

Everyone pays for illegal trash dumping

by Sharlene Irete
Nevada Appeal News Service

On her walk in the desert behind her home in the Gardnerville Ranchos, Wendy Ridley-Derrig saw abandoned dining room chairs, a table, a desk, a monitor, printer and computer.

“We could have set up an office out there in the desert,” she said.

She and her husband picked up what they found dumped and paid to take it to the transfer station themselves.

Ridley-Derrig said it’s dismaying and discouraging to go for a walk near her home to enjoy the scenery and wildlife then to come upon piles of debris.

She and friends were walking one evening when a pickup with a mattress drove past and returned in a few minutes empty.

Kirk Streeter, code enforcement officer for Douglas County, recommends not confronting the dumpers.

“The ideal thing is to catch them doing it or to get a description of car and driver or the license plate number and call the sheriff’s office or code enforcement for the county,” Streeter said.

“They’ll be made to clean it up, and I’ll follow them to the dump. The fine is a minimum of $500.”

Stan Zuber, lead field office ranger with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management said, when they are identified, it becomes the responsibility of the owners of the dumped trash to remove it. They are given citations and fines, Zuber said.

“The maximum can be one year in jail and a $100,000 fine, depending on the amount. Fines for the offense range from $300 to $500.

“It’s cheaper to pay dump fees.”

Sgt. Tom Mezzetta from the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office said residents should call the office if they observe suspicious behavior.

“If you observed someone driving through the desert with a pickup laden with trash and then you see them without the trash, give us a call,” Mezzetta said. “We live here, too, and want to keep people from dumping trash.”

If charged with the misdemeanor, dumpers could receive a sentence of six months in jail and fines up to $1,000.

“They’re responsible for any damage and cleanup costs,” he said. “Say they dump chemicals, and soil and vegetation has to be removed, they have to pay for that, too.”

Mezzetta said it’s against the law to dump household trash, which includes lawn clippings.

It’s also against the law to drop items off at a thrift store after hours or to dump trash in a store’s garbage receptacle. Violators will be charged with theft of service.

“Take it to the landfill – it’s the only proper thing to do,” Mezzetta said.

Jeannie Lear, human resources manager with South Tahoe Refuse and Douglas Disposal, said cleaning up illegal dumping is frustrating, hard and heavy work.

“And expensive because we’re paying our drivers and staff to pick up what’s dumped,” she said.

Foy your information

Carson City

• The Carson City Landfill is at 7001 Highway 50 E. Phone 882-606.

• The landfill is open daily (except for major holidays) from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Users must be out by 5:30 p.m.

• Call the Carson City Environmental Health Department at 887-2190 for details.


Users must show proof of residence before receiving the lower in-county rate. Out-of-county users will be charged more for leaving many types of refuse:

Type of waste In-county min. Out-of-county min.

• Medical $72 not accepted

• Dead animals $30 not accepted

• Appliances, tubs $6 $12

• Autos, motorcycles,

boats, campers

less than 30 feet long $6 $12

• Tree stumps larger

than 18 inches

in diameter $7 each $14 each

– Source: Carson City

Douglas County

• Douglas Disposal’s transfer station on Pine Nut Road in Gardnerville accepts garbage, green waste, hazardous materials and recyclable materials. Phone 782-3925

• The disposal company will pick up big items, such as mattresses, water heaters and furniture, for $25-$35.

Douglas Disposal Transfer Station

The charge for green waste is $40.66/ton, regular solid waste is $82.27/ton. The price is prorated for small loads. The minimum charge is $1.50, which is for about 65 pounds.

• The transfer station accepts color TVs and computer monitors for $25.66; refrigerators at $46.04; fluorescent bulbs at $1/bulb.

• The recycle center takes glass, plastic Nos. 1 and 2, cardboard, newspaper, mixed paper, magazines and catalogs (junk mail materials) at no charge.

• It pays back 27 cents/pound for aluminum

• There is no charge for residents for waste motor oil and antifreeze in 5-gallon containers, 20-gallon limit.

• Car batteries and household batteries are accepted

• On Thursday afternoons from 2-4 p.m. the station accepts hazardous materials such as: paint, insecticides, household cleaners, gasoline, spa chemicals at the recycle center. For residents only; make an appointment first at 782-5713.