GVL TRASH ARTICLE FOR PUBLICATION:?? 4/24/18
“Let’s Talk Trash”
As many know, illegal dumping has been a problem on our mountain for quite some time. Snow-time is a calling to our dear flatlander visitors to come up and play. Our communities benefit from these visitors; however, after a weekend of fun and games, we have all seen the unsightly broken sleds, dirty diapers, bottles and cans left strewn along the roadside. Let’s not fool ourselves, mountain residents are also to blame for disposing of trash illegally even though there are multiple options for doing so in an environmentally safe and legal manner.
Mountain disposal (Burrtec) offers curbside trash services and Clean Mountain (CM) site services. The County has an exemption process for use of the dump and recently the County has provided communities with large trash containers for visitors along the state highways.
There are 6 trash drop off CM sites on the mountain afforded to mountain residents. Some are per County contract, and one or more are a courtesy offered by Burrtec. The CM sites are beneficial to many who cannot or do not want curbside service or for those who do not wish to drive to a transfer station (aka the Dump) such as Heap’s Peak
Last summer, Burrtec made a business decision to close at least one CM Site and Green Valley Lake (GVL) was on the chopping block. The community responded overwhelmingly to this decision, so a meeting was held with Burrtec management, County Waste Department, and representatives from San Bernardino County Supervisor Janet Rutherford’s office. During this community meeting, Burrtec made it quite clear that they wanted to close the site regardless of the position of GVL’s residents. However, after much pressing by the GVL community, the Vice President of Burrtec, Mike Arreguin, agreed to give GVL one year to work on reducing the illegal dumping issue while leaving the site open. The GVL community agreed that a representative “Trash Team” would work to reduce illegal dumping with a goal to meet the 1-year timeframe.
The GVL Trash Team studied illegal dumping at the CM site and implemented mitigation strategies to prevent further incidences. In addition, the Trash team continues to conduct site observations 2-3 times daily to identify and prevent further occurrences. Code Enforcement installed cameras along with a very large sign stating that illegal dumping may result in a fine of up to $10,000! As of February 2018, Burrtec sent the Trash Team a letter stating that since the GVL community has reduced and sustained reduction in illegal dumping at the CM site, therefore it will remain open indefinitely!
Burrtec recently sent out letters to mountain customers that they have retracted their courtesy waiver of service fees for those mountain property owners who rarely come up to their cabins. So sorry to you who don’t come up much, you must pay now. There still exists an exemption as dictated by SB County Code 33.0805, i.e. If you use the dump up here weekly, you do NOT have to pay Burrtec; however, there is a qualification process at the county. Unfortunately, this is not a very good option for part timers who aren’t up here weekly. This exemption currently remains the only valid means to avoid paying Burrtec fees. ???????? The application that explains it further can be found here: http://cms.sbcounty.gov/Portals/50/solidwaste/Exemption-Application.pdf
We all need to do our part to keep our mountain clean. How? Well I’m glad you asked!
DO NOT leave ANY items at your Clean Mountain drop off site UNLESS A BURRTEC WORKER IS OFFICIALLY THERE ON SITE. It’s as simple as that. Leaving even one bag of trash, bottles and cans at 7am because you can’t stick around for the 8am truck, is ILLEGAL and if you’re caught, you could face hefty fines. Animals don’t say, “Hey, it’s close enough to pick up time, we can’t touch that left-over food.” They start ripping the bags apart and eat. The wind helps strew the remainder or it becomes buried under the snow until the Spring melt. What a mess!
If you can’t get your trash to the CM lot while the Burrtec employee is on site: TAKE YOUR TRASH HOME WITH YOU! Don’t litter our mountain.
The county’s Solid Waste Management Dept web site says, in part:
“Illegal dumping is a crime… if convicted you could lose your vehicle, do jail time and face fines.
- To report illegal dumping in the unincorporated areas, contact County of San Bernardino Code Enforcement at (909) 884-4056.”
- Call the Twin Peaks Sheriff dispatch at (909) 337-6131 or 911 if the scene appears dangerous or if illegal dumping is in progress, especially if a great amount is being dumped. Try to get a license plate# and violator description if possible. We’re not at all saying to risk your own safety, however. It is up to you how far you’d like to take it legally.
- Alternatively, you may (even anonymously) call WeTip at: 1-800-78-CRIME.
Please keep in mind that Burrtec has a bulky item pick-up twice a year (at NO ADDITIONAL COST for curbside customers). Don’t dump washers, dryers, couches and other large items on the side of the road, simply call Burrtec at 909-338-2417 and arrange a pick-up date at the curb of your property or if you If use one of the Clean Mountain sites, Burrtec sends a truck to pick up those items from the drop off site for no extra charge.
Keeping our mountain clean is everyone’s responsibility.
For more information or to request a flyer on illegal dumping, feel free to email: GVLCleanMountainProject@gmail.com. Short term rental owners are especially encouraged to post a flyer for their renters to avoid trash being left unattended outside. We’ll even laminate a flyer for you, just ask! ?In the meantime, you can always print out Burrtec’s flyers at: http://www.burrtec.com/templates/files/city-of-san-bernardino-res-svcs-brochure-03-18.pdf and more specific to the mountain: http://www.burrtec.com/templates/files/sbc-mountain-04-18.pdf
-Ernie Poulan? GVL Trash Committee
As most of you know, Burrtec has threatened to close our Clean Mountain trash drop off site in which case you would either have to go on curb side collection or Charles Hoffman Elementary in Running Springs would be the closest location to drop off your trash. I can’t imagine how we’d do it in the snow with ski traffic in the winter! Burrtec has two trucks to come up then go back down. We would have potentially hundreds of cars adding to the ski traffic jam all day Saturday and Sundays especially if they make us go to Running Springs!
On July 22nd we held a meeting with the county Solid Waste, Code Enforcement and Burrtec officials. It was agreed that Burrtec would give us one more year to come up with solutions regarding our local trash site (aka Clean Mountain drop off site).
The contention is that the illegal dumping makes our little GVL community no longer worth it for Burrtec monetarily. We dispute their contract interpretation but that’s for a court to decide if we have to fight. The main thing is we’re trying to keep the lot open, mostly for part timers, though neighbors nearby the current site are fed up with the illegal dumping, noise etc. so it would be beneficial if anyone has other ideas for a different location and how to solve the illegal dumping issue. A community committee was formed from the July 22nd meeting and as agreed upon with Burrtec’s VP. You may note, since that meeting, there are a couple of cameras at the site. Those who put ANYTHING on that lot before or after the trash truck is onscene will very likely be fined for illegal dumping. It could be about $500 on upwards to $10,000 for larger amounts, so PLEASE DO NOT put ANYTHING on our roads, creeks, trash lot or anywhere else without the property owner’s permission. That is illegal dumping, a CRIME and it causes animals to make a mess of trash and an unsightly mess for your fellow stockholders to see/smell/deal with.
Attached please find a copy of the minutes from the first community meeting entitled GVL Trash Minutes, Aug 5th, 2017.
The skilled committee was formed for the community of GVL from volunteers who attended the July 22nd meeting to come up with a solution on the community’s behalf; however, we, of course, want your opinions/comments/suggestions. If you’d prefer not to let everyone see your name and comments in the format, feel free to send a PM on Nextdoor or FB to Kathy Benjamin or Ernie Poulin or you can email as above. Note that even though we’ve likely discussed some ideas you may have, you never know so, please comment. You might have the winning idea. And PLEASE DO NOT rudely criticize any other persons’ comments. Everyone has their right to their thoughts and opinions. We’re working together for the good of our community. We will come up with a plan and discuss it with you the shareholders, the county and with Burrtec and try to come to a resolution good for all.
Our second meeting (8/26/17) minutes are being processed now. We basically reviewed and discussed the items listed on the first minutes. Stand by for the update soon. This is for all of us in GVL so comments/suggestions are welcome. If you are on Nextdoor.com PLEASE comment under the thread there. If not, I’ll try to monitor this thread as well to bring ideas back to the committee.