Humboldt County residents seek vote on garbage plan

CARSON CITY -- A group of Humboldt County residents submitted a petition Wednesday that calls for a countywide vote in November to determine whether residents want a mammoth landfill for California garbage built outside of Winnemucca.

Spokeswoman Marlene Brissenden said they want a vote to guarantee that Northern California-based Recology never can deposit waste at a site 28 miles west of Winnemucca. Recology wanted to haul in by train 4,000 tons of waste five days a week for the next 95 years.

The county planning commission endorsed giving Recology a five-year extended permit to complete the environment steps needed before building the dump, but the Humboldt County Commission voted unanimously last week to deny that permit.

Brissenden said a poll she and other residents conducted found 78 percent oppose the landfill. They turned in 1,294 signatures of residents who want a public vote on the dump.

She said the county clerk will determine within a week whether enough signatures are valid and the petition question can be put before voters.

Under the petition, Brissenden said, the county could build a second landfill, but it would be no more than 50 percent larger than the current landfill, which receives 10,000 tons of trash a year, less than Recology proposes to haul in three days.

"We realized they wanted something so big that it just made us sick," Brissenden said. "