Olympic Valley Public Service District votes to close community dumpster facility

OLYMPIC VALLEY, Calif. — During its meeting Tuesday morning, the Olympic Valley Public Service District Board of Directors voted to close the community dumpster facility after years of abuse. 

The community dumpster, located at 1810 Olympic Valley Road, was intended to be a complimentary, additional service for residential property owners in Olympic Valley who pay for weekly curbside garbage collection services.

According to a presentation to the board by District General Manager Mike Geary, the district has been dealing with abuse at the facility for decades, with people dumping furniture, leaving trash outside of the dumpsters which animals get into and contractors dumping construction debris there.

Trash was consistently left on the ground despite signs posted at the facility.

Tahoe Truckee Sierra Disposal was forced to come two to three times a week to empty the dumpsters and district staff would need to spend time nearly every morning cleaning up the surrounding area. 

During their March meeting, the board re-negotiated a contract with TTSD while acknowledging that the district might close the facility in the future. In July, the district garbage committee hosted a community meeting to discuss the closure. 

Geary said the meeting was well-attended. 

“Attendees generally understood the challenges to maintain the CDF and noted the value of the photos shown during the meeting documenting the problem/abuse,” a summation of the meeting stated. “However, all attendees generally supported preserving the CDF and noted the importance of the facility to maintain the valley’s cleanliness, protect wildlife, and provide an easily accessible garbage service to tourists and those that have waste overages.”

Geary told the board that while staff recommended closing the facility, they could also decide to conduct a financial study to see how much resources would be needed to secure the facility.

Residents currently pay $26 a month for garbage collection services, which includes up to four bins that can be picked up curbside each week. 

Capital improvement projects to the facility would’ve required monthly bills to be raised. 

Board Chair Dale Cox said he’s always been an advocate for keeping the facility open but the abuse has become too widespread. 

“I’m not endorsing it anymore, I can’t,” Cox said, adding that he believed the abuse was not being done by the residents. 

Alpine Meadows closed their community dumpster facility in 2020 after experiencing similar abuses. Geary said he spoke to the previous general manager there that said they did not experience any illegal dumping after the facility had been closed and saw no additional roadside litter. 

A handful of community members spoke on Tuesday. One member was outright opposed to the closure and another was concerned about other dumpsters being abused if the community dump closed. 

One member suggested twice annual free dump days and bear boxes for the residents. Board member Fred Ilfeld asked staff to look into ways for the district to possibly subsidize bear boxes for residents. 

The board voted 3-0 for the dump to close. Board member Katy Hover-Smoot was participating remotely and did not vote and board member Victoria Mercer had previously resigned from the board. 

Cox said he’d like to see the facility reopen in the future if adjustments can be made to make it more secure. 

TTSD said they will continue to work with the district to make the closure as seamless as possible. 

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