The Village will start by agreeing with all of your comments, that the dumping of trash outside of the dumpsters whether in the core area of the Village or at the recycle park is criminal and should not be tolerated.
Facts: Placing trash outside of containers is a crime. Dumping of illegal substances and disallowed substances in the dumpsters is a crime. Placing large items bulky items such as mattresses, furniture, appliances in the bins, outside the bins or on the bins is a crime. In the last couple weeks alone, we have had several mattresses, construction and demolition materials, an animal carcass, outdoor patio and indoor furniture, old televisions, a bunk bed, several cans of paint and old tires. We have residents from as far as Mora to include Eagle Nest, Black Lake, Taos Pines and many other surrounding communities utilizing our dumpsters; another crime, it is theft of services. We also have dumpsters being over loaded throughout the community that are not under lease agreements and thus have no accountable party for what is placed in the dumpsters nor who is using the dumpsters.
The dumpsters that had been placed in the Village core area have been abused and misused for years. The photos are well documented of all the illegal dumping that has occurred. There were no additional charges collected nor was any owner in the core area paying additional fees for the convenience of dumpsters located near their property. No dumpsters have been located in the single-family residential areas of this community, ever. The home owners (residents and guests) have always transported their refuse to either the Transfer Facility at 55 Camino Grande or the Recycle Park at 21 Halo Pines (or other locations as it has moved over the years). Contrary to the belief of many in the core condo area, there is not nor has there ever been residential trash pick-up service in this Village, as it is cost prohibitive. The unleased, unregulated and unmanaged dumpsters were removed from the Village core/condo area, as was planned in the Solid Waste/Sustainability Committee meetings held in both February and in May of 2020. (This has been on public record for months) Though the removal was to occur in October, delays in contracting for fencing, new dumpsters and other infrastructure needs due to COVID closures delayed several deliveries and actions. The new dumpsters are being produced by the Colorado Department of Corrections and we still have no delivery date set. Dumpsters that are in needed repair have also been removed from service for additional maintenance and have left us with less than the requirements dictate.
We highly encourage the leasing of dumpsters by the HOAs for continued convenience of their guests. In many cases, the leasing will result in a decrease in current solid waste fees they are currently charged. Each condominium or townhouse unit is currently charged $22.50 per unit per month, the same as every residential customer in the Village, to use the dumpsters at the village facilities. (This fee is not and has not been to have a free dumpster at your condo). However there has been a lease option for many years. With a lease, the HOAs may chose the number of dumpsters they want on site and how many pick-ups per week are required for their association. As stated in the Lease Agreement, which can be viewed and downloaded at www.angelfirenm.gov, dumpsters are required to be located on their property and packer-truck access must remain clear and available at all times. The Village Solid Waste Department will assist in the selection of the dumpster sites prior to placement. It is highly recommended that the dumpsters be secured with locking devices to prevent unauthorized use of the dumpster(s). Locks are not provided by the Village. You are responsible for the trash that accumulates on or around the leased dumpster on your property.
So, what has caused all of this to occur? A governing body decision several years ago to have an open solid waste facility in the village other than the transfer station, ignoring the crimes being committed and the costs associated with those crimes and then doubling down on the decision with the purchase of the property on Halo Pines where the illegal dumping, littering and theft of services has increased exponentially. Weak enforcement of the ordinances and lack of proper budgeting for equipment maintenance and replacement and budget oversight of disposal operations, billing and commercial solid waste activity. Our recently hired finance director has rewritten several position descriptions and is looking into the billing and payment issues as we audit and update solid waste enterprise fund accounts. The department’s equipment is either in poor condition, non-operating or they simply lack the proper equipment for sections of the operations, this too is being addressed as well as the under manning of the department to meet the needs and expectations of solid waste management for the Village.
The most cost effective, efficient and cleanest (due to indoor transfer of waste) would be to have absolutely everyone, other than the businesses or associations that lease dumpsters, go to the transfer station. Accounts could be checked, charges levied for items as listed in the resolutions, reduction of theft of services, minimal increase in manning requirements, improved separation of recyclable material, less wear and tear on the equipment, reduction in the numbers of required dumpsters, and in general, less abuse of the department. That solution would increase the inconvenience to both residents and visitors, increasing both distance and time to drop off refuse and would mix the business (high volume) with the residential (low volume) customers creating longer lines of vehicles and frustration.
Second in the solution set would be moving forward in changing operations to the Halo Pines location that would include the securing (fencing, lighting, cameras) of a manned, limited scope of service and limited hours of operation facility. Additional manpower and infrastructure will be required. Limited in scope as to only accept household/residential refuse, absolutely no commercial, business or contractor waste as all they would be required to go to the transfer station. Hours of operations to be determined based on manpower requirements, availability and costs. We could service residential bulk items as well though some as long as we have a means to collect fees on location. The use of customer identification means would need to be established (car stickers, bills, IDs) as well as pre-paid drop off means such as pre-paid bags and/or punch cards could be used. Pre-paid bags would be color coded and logged for identification (draw-string style tall kitchen bags, hefty size large waste bags and even compostable yard waste bags) to the point it’s drive up and dump into bins with appropriate signs on the bins for types of material, no questions asked and drive-off. Signage and a public education effort will be required but there will still be a significant number of complaints and we will crack down on other illegal dump sites that WILL occur due to the changes.
In order to put the second solution set into motion, we have ordered new dumpsters, are working on language for signage, reviewing various layouts, have initiated our own clean-up in addition to the contracted removal of the old Alpine lumber storage facility, will be: moving and adding fencing/gates, adding poles, electrical infrastructure and cameras in the coming couple of months and will be recruiting for manpower once we have Council permission to add positions to the department. We will be offsetting costs through improved billing, reduced theft of services and capturing actual costs through the enforcement of the fees that have been in place since 2013 yet were not bolstered with proper policies, procedures or operational changes.
In addition to the manpower and fiscal needs, the codes, specifically the sections in 4-3 and 9-7-13 require changes. Policy and procedural changes will be under taken by the Village manager and directors. (You may find village codes and resolutions on our website.)
If you want to address issues concerning the removal of the unleased dumpsters from the condo/core area, meaning everyone in the Village will now use the facilities on Halo Pines and/or the transfer station on El Camino Real, not just those residents in homes outside of the condo/core area, please attend the Village Council web meeting on December 22, 2020 at 5:30 pm.
To register you must download the app Go To Webinar. Afterward go ahead and register.
After registering you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar. You are welcome to sign up to speak.