by Ryan Burns
Recology, the San Francisco-based parent company of Recology Humboldt County (nee City Garbage Company of Eureka), is facing growing resistance to plans for a massive dump in the middle of the Nevada desert. The proposed Jungo Landfill, which would receive as much as 4,000 tons of garbage daily, is slated to be located in the Black Rock Desert near Winnemucca, in Nevada's own Humboldt County.
Many residents of our easterly namesake are decidedly reluctant to accept Northern California's waste. Groups like Nevadans Against Garbage vehemently oppose the Jungo Landfill, saying it would likely contaminate a nearby aquifer, befoul the air and, well, trash their beloved desert landscape.
Nevada Senator Harry Reid has come down on the side of the opposition. "I just decided enough is enough," he recently told the Wall Street Journal. "Why should Nevada be the place where other states send their garbage?" According to the WSJ story, county commissioners throughout Nevada are worried that the Jungo Landfill fracas could set a precedent; they fear that growing public resistance could jeopardize a major source of income for their rural, low-income jurisdictions. (Humboldt County, Nev., could receive as much as $1 million per year in fees.)
Protesters in San Francisco -- who already have beef with Recology on other matters -- have joined the fight, as has Burners Without Borders, a group of activist participants in Burning Man, the annual bacchanalia held elsewhere in the same desert (roughly 50 miles west, as the Golden Eagle flies).
Last week, a press release from Recology's Winnemucca branch announced that the company had hired a new director for the explicit purpose of "advancing understanding and support of the Jungo Road project in the Humboldt County community."