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Blowing trash a problem

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By David Giuliani

Clyde Pickett has lived at his property northeast of town for 43 years. These days, he has to contend with trash flying onto his land.

About a decade ago, the city built its transfer station next to Pickett’s property, and since then, people living in the area have complained about garbage ending up on their land.

Of course, the problem gets much worse this time of year when the winds pick up.

Last week, Pickett took a reporter to his fence line. All along were bags and other pieces of garbage that clung to the barbed wire.  

Pickett, whose property is northeast of the station, said the situation has gotten better since Alvin Jiron, the city’s solid waste director, took over the transfer station a couple of years ago. Jiron has regularly sent employees to pick up the trash around the transfer station property.

Pickett blames a tunnel at the transfer station for the problem. In that tunnel, trash from an upper level is dumped into semi-trucks to take city garbage to the regional landfill near Wagon Mound.

But there are no doors in the area where the trucks stop. Pickett calls it a wind tunnel, and on a recent day, a reporter felt the blast of air from the building.

Pickett said it’s a waste of money to pay city employees to pick up trash around the property regularly when doors could solve the problem. City officials have been mentioning the need for doors for years.

“They can’t get doors, but they have millions for a recreation center,”  Pickett said. “Having doors would solve 90 percent of the problem. You don’t have to be an educated fellow to figure this out.”

On his way to the transfer station, Pickett saw Jiron, and they both stopped to talk.

Jiron told Pickett that the city would discuss  projects this week for which they would seek federal stimulus money. Jiron said he would push for the doors.

“I’m not mad at you; I’m mad at the damn politicians,” Pickett said. “You’re a working man like me.”

Jiron said the building wasn’t constructed with wind patterns in mind.

“When the winds pick up, we’re at square one,” Jiron said.

Looking at the transfer station property, Pickett said it appeared as if employees had picked up the litter that morning. Jiron confirmed that was the case. “This problem needs to be solved,” Jiron said.