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Windy days blow more waste to West Jordan neighborhoods near recycling facility

By Graham Dudley, KSL.com | Posted - Oct 18th, 2019 @ 10:21pm



WEST JORDAN — After strong winds blew across the Wasatch Front on Thursday, West Jordan residents were again confronting a familiar problem: flying debris from a Waste Management Inc. recycling facility.

On Facebook, West Jordan resident Julie Barfuss posted pictures of the trash in her yard and on 4000 West near the facility. The problem has been occurring during high winds for years and was first reported on by KSL in April 2017.

Waste Management has taken steps to alleviate the problem, including installing 30-foot netting to contain the debris, but Barfuss’ photos show that there is still waste escaping the facility.

“It’s basically a constant problem,” Barfuss said. “Almost daily, I come home and pick up trash. And it may not be a lot — yesterday, the wind was blowing and there was a lot, but even if the wind isn’t blowing hard there will be one or two pieces of trash.

“It’s not just in my yard. It’s in the public areas, and on the sidewalk, and by the mailbox.”

West Jordan City Councilman Alan R. Anderson said he tries to help residents with the problem whenever it arises. “When the wind blows hard like it did yesterday — you know, you’ve got a 30-, 40-mph wind — anything that’s loose, I don’t know … how you keep it captive,” Anderson said.

Anderson said he believes Waste Management is “trying to be a good neighbor, and they want to be a good neighbor.”

Salt Lake County Health Department spokesman Nicholas Rupp said it hasn't received any complaints about the facility since April 2018. He said the department visited the facility and made recommendations, which were fully implemented.

"They are in good standing with us," Rupp said. "They're in compliance with their permit, and their last inspection, they had no violations."

Waste Management spokesperson Jennifer Rivera said the company will clean up any facility debris that winds up on homeowner property. She encouraged affected residents to call 801-282-8252 and report the trash.

Barfuss said she has used the number before and appreciates Waste Management’s responses but doesn’t want to have to call the company all the time. “They should maybe just come and do it,” she said. “They know when the wind blows. They see trash in their yard."

In an emailed statement, Rivera said Waste Management does send out crews periodically and after “every wind event” to clean the neighborhood.

“I know they’ve tried to mitigate it by putting a net over their yard,” Barfuss said. “It may help a little, but it’s not fixing the problem.”

Graham Dudley

KSL Weather Forecast