Sheri Samson
A temporary dumpster placed for Walker Lake residents to dispose of trash will be removed soon.

The fate of the Walker Lake resident’s trash collection will be taken before the Mineral County Board of Commissioners on May 17. Currently a commercial sized, roll-off container has been placed for residents to do their own disposal of normal household trash, but this was only a temporary fix to a problem that arose at the end of 2016.

Residents were advised to only dump their normal household waste materials, although complaints were made that larger furniture and construction items were unfortunately placed outside the bin, as well as trash bags left beside the receptacle when it was full. The expense of dumping the commercial bin three or four times weekly were only being absorbed until a new county code could be written, submitted and passed by the county commissioners.

Once codes were completed, Hawthorne Utilities sent letters to Walker Lake residents twice, requesting that they sign up for home site trash service at a monthly fee of $21 per month. This fee was formulated by projecting added costs to Hawthorne Utilities by providing a new billing operation, providing equipment, receptacles and staffing plus insurance and operating costs. For home site trash pickup to work in Walker Lake there had to be a minimum of 100 residents apply or it would not be cost efficient. At present there have only been 67 residents commit to pickup.

In speaking with Ana Fitzgerald it was clear that Hawthorne Utilities had done their best to work on behalf of Walker Lake residents, but without an adequate number of residents responding the commissioners could determine that the pickup options be dropped.

“It is a tough situation, but the commercial bin currently out there was just a temporary solution and it has to be picked up, as it was not designed as a long-term solution. If we don’t have the adequate resident responses to take on a new financial add-on, then it may lead to residents having to drive in to use the free dump site out of Hawthorne,” Fitzgerald replied.

The situation will be addressed at the commissioners meeting on May 17 and residents are encouraged to attend with their feedback.