Herein lies a tale of two dumps, Auburn and Grass Valley. Actually, we no longer call them “dumps” as we did in olden times. Now they are known by high-faluting titles such as Waste Reclamation Sites, or Transfer Stations, or Recology Facilities. Are you impressed? I’m not. They are still dumps to me, delightfully stinky, dusty places where you take your garbage and unwanted detritus and dump it.
I am going to compare the Auburn Transfer Station with the McCourtney (Grass Valley) Transfer Station. Sorry, ladies, these articles are, as CJ calls them, “icky boy stuff.” I enjoy going to the dump, and I just can’t understand why CJ doesn’t get it. Go figure.
The McCourtney Transfer Station
Hours: 8 am to 3:00 pm every day of the week (I thought McCourtney was closed on Monday and Tuesday, but I am looking at the new brochure and it plainly says, “every day.”)
How to get there: From Grass Valley head southwest on McCourtney Road. Turn left just past the Animal Shelter a couple of miles out of town. From south Nevada County, go with someone who knows how to get there on the back roads (Wolf to Duggans to Lime Kiln to McCourtney without getting lost out on Perimeter Road)
It’s a beautiful drive no matter how you go.
And it’s friendly at McCourtney!
Before you even go into the main Transfer Station, there is a little dirt road to the left that will take you down to the Green Waste area where you can dump leaves, brush, branches, lawn clippings, small trees (less than 18″) and untreated and unpainted wood. By the way, your wood waste can still have nails in it, I don’t know how that works, but it’s OK by me. Supposedly, you are charged $2.25 per cubic yard, but it usually works out to about $5 to $8 for a pickup truck full of green stuff. The guy at the shed looks at your load, scratches his beard, and says “Six bucks” or something like that.
Now, buckle up kids, it’s time to enter the best dump in the foothills, The McCourtney Transfer Station!
Un-like the Auburn Transfer Station, at McCourtney you start at the “Kiosk” for registration then get in the left lane for the “Scale.” Cost is determined strictly by weight. Residential waste is currently $70 per ton. That’s a lot of garbage, a ton, a couple of pick up trucks usually. By the way, I heard a rumor that with the recent “take-over” by Waste Management, the rates had gone up. Not true. So far, anyway.
Sometimes there is a line to weigh in at the Scale Here’s a trick: if you have scrap metal, recycle materials, appliances, or hazardous waste, go unload those items first, then you can wedge back into the Scale line. The first station you will come to on the “tricky” route is the Buy Back Shack. You can sell your bottles, cans and so forth. Unloading scrap metal is FREE at McCourtney (shame on Auburn for charging us for something they are going to sell) and, get this, there is always someone at McCourtney to help you get the heavy stuff off your truck.
There are stations to rid yourself of oil and paint, and other stations to get rid of batteries and electronics. FREE! Yep. That’s what I said.
You can unload your old refrigerators and air conditioners for $20 each. Why does this cost twenty bucks? A technician has to dismantle the unit the remove the refrigerants and/or oils. Tires cost between $2 and $10 depending upon size. Batteries are free.
At McCourtney, they will take almost anything. Hazardous waste disposal is FREE. It makes sense if you think about it. The county would rather absorb the cost of proper disposal than encourage you to dump it out in the forest where the land will have to absorb the toxins. So you drive through this shed and a technician in a white cover-all will unload your weird chemicals and unknown bottles of whatever. Do NOT get out of the truck unless instructed, or you WILL get scolded. By the way, you do NOT get any containers back. There is a limit of 15 gallons or 125 pounds.
So, having dropped off your weird stuff for FREE and butted back in line, you weigh in at the Scale and head to the C&D station (construction and demolition) or the big Garbage Pit for mixed garbage. The photo below is the construction debris area. It costs slightly less than the mixed garbage rate. I thing it is currently $60 per ton for construction debris.
This is the big pit. They probably have a fancier name for it, but big pit works for me.
Notice how open and airy it is? Not icky at all. Back your truck up and get dumping!
Isn’t this fun?
Bulldozers! Yay! Boy stuff!
I love the McCourtney Transfer Station!
If you enjoyed reading this article, and want to find out more,
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