Rangely seeks new location for bio-waste disposal site

RANGELY I Following discussions about the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM) Resource Management Plan, a meeting Jan. 6 between the BLM, town and county officials turned to alternatives for Rangely’s former tree dump site.

The dump site east of the Rangely camper park, which accepted tree limbs, leaves and garden waste for the last several years, closed last year when the burning of some of the waste affected nearby homeowners.
Town officials had hoped that an abandoned well pad east of town could be an option for a new bio-waste site. However, BLM White River Field Office field manager Kent Walter said the site’s owners have not yet been released from liability, thereby barring a “final abandonment” designation for the well pad.
A different option, Walter said, is a process called “patenting,” which would give the town title to properties already identified by the BLM for disposal under town expansion guidelines.
Available sections range from areas on both sides of Highway 139 to locations south of County Road 102 and near County Road 131. Parcels start at 28 acres, though the town could identify how much land it wanted. The $10 per-acre cost would not include administrative fees for environmental analyses or other expenses, Walter said.
The process, which would include public input and review, could take up to two years.
Rangely Town Manager Peter Brixius said later that the patent process would be a “last option” for a new bio-waste site.
“We’d like to have a site that’s not right off the highway for aesthetic reasons, and others are in the proximity of homes,” Brixius said. “We have some limitations on which ones might work and, of course, there’s the number of steps required to get through the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process and everything else.”
Another option, Walter said, would be to explore contracting with transfer station owners Rangely Trash Service to accept the bio-waste.
Rangely Town Councilman Brad Casto and Mayor Frank Huitt said they would like to see the town ask Rio Blanco County to help fund the solution, considering the county’s role in past decisions to close the Rangely landfill.
“I think the county should be somewhat responsible to help us if we did decide to set up a site like this, in providing some manpower and some money to help keep an individual there,” Huitt said.
Brixius said that since the meeting town officials have been speaking with Rangely Trash Service and county officials about a possible agreement for managing bio-waste.