Incline Village trash complaints see big increase in past year | SierraSun.com

Incline Village trash complaints see big increase in past year

Trash is strewn in front of a commerical Dumpster in this file photo. IVGID officials say the public has become more educated on bear-trash awareness over the past year.

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — After a year of more aggressive trash enforcement, wildlife-related complaints have increased greatly in the community — and so, too, has public awareness, officials said.

From Sept. 2013 to Sept. 2014, IVGID has fielded roughly 300 complaints specific to wildlife, said Public Works Manager Joe Pomroy, including those called in and from what the district's trash inspector has found in the field. During the same timeframes in 2011-12 and 2012-13, IVGID had about 100 called-in complaints each year.

Since enacting a solid waste enforcement program in 2005, the district had received only 346 wildlife complaints through Sept. 30, 2013.

While most such complaints are due to Tahoe's bears getting into poorly contained trash, other animals and vermin can constitute a wildlife complaint.

Pomroy attributes the increase to the move in September 2013 to "more proactive enforcement" of IVGID's trash laws (known as Ordinance 1).

That included hiring an hourly staff member (a $30,000 to $40,000 annual expense) whose job is to ensure laws are followed and to work with property owners on solutions.

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"It's definitely been a worthy expense … (the employee) is finding significant compliance that has not been seen around this town for years," Pomroy said. "People are getting the message, and a constant presence is reinforcing that."

As written, Ordinance 1 includes fines of up to $1,000 for repeat offenders — which are refundable with the installation of a wildlife-resistant container.

From Sept. 2013 to Aug. 2014, IVGID doled out $37,000 in fines to out-of-compliance parcel-owners and commercial properties, Pomroy said. Of that, $12,000 in credits were issued to those who installed wildlife-proof containers.

Over the years, about 450 bear boxes have been installed at residential properties in Incline/Crystal Bay, and almost 250 additional parcel owners are using wildlife-proof totes, Pomroy said.

According to previous reports, a main reason why upped enforcement began a year ago was due to increased talks about changing IVGID laws to mandate wildlife-resistant totes for all property owners and commercial properties.

A vote of the IVGID board to do that was delayed in March of this year. District General Manager Steve Pinkerton later opted to delay moving forward with that proposal in lieu of more research.

At the Oct. 29 board meeting, while Pomroy will be bringing changes to Ordinance 1 for trustee approval, none have to do with what's been proposed over the past year.

"They are just administrative changes … considering the ordinance hasn't been revised since 2008," Pomroy said. "This will have nothing to do with resident rates, and (the changes) will not impact existing services."

For information on wildlife-resistant trash containment, call IVGID Waste Not at 775-832-1284 or email wastenot@ivgid.org. To report a trash problem, call IVGID's 24 Hour Trash Hotline at 775-832-1221.

By the numbers

$37,000: Amount in fines issued for out-of-compliance parcel-owners/commercial properties

$12,000: Amount of that number issued in credits to parcel-owners/commercial properties

Source: IVGID — numbers are from Sept. 2013 through Aug. 2014