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Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Are Nevada Jobs Worth the Stench?

A trashy plan that could create Nevada jobs is raising quite a stink among residents and officials.

Recology, a garbage company based in San Francisco, is looking to build a 1-square-mile landfill in the Nevada desert. Despite the fact that such a landfill would create local jobs, many are opposed to the idea.

The company is seeking approval to build its landfill 28 miles west of Winnemucca as part of its plan for when existing landfills begin to overflow during the near future. Recology would haul up to 4,000 tons of trash per day from the Bay Area and other parts of Northern California by train five days a week for 95 years.

Opponents of the project say workers would spread the trash across the desert in a mound that could eventually grow to 200 feet. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid recently sent a letter to Gov. Jim Gibbons asking him to reject the plan, calling it a "threat to Nevada's sovereignty and dignity."

Residents in the area close to the proposed landfill site are asking Recology to leave the desert alone and California to keep its own garbage. Nevadans Against Garbage, a group opposing the plan, has already sprung up.

"The notion that Nevada is some sort of wasteland because we don't have Ponderosa pines covering it is repugnant," Jim French, retired wildlife biologist from the Nevada Department of Wildlife and a member of the group, told the San Francisco Chronicle. "Can you imagine the reaction in the Bay Area if the people of Western Nevada bought some land in Marin County and wanted to ship their garbage there?"

However, some people are in favor of the proposed landfill project. The Humboldt County Planning Commission has supported the proposal and allowed the company to seek permits from the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection.

Recology has said the landfill would not generate odor or air pollution. If accepted, the proposal would create 25 to 35 jobs and could generate at least $1 million per year in fees.


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