The Riverside County Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 to change the operating days at the Idyllwild Grinding Facility from Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays to Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at their meeting Aug. 23. The supervisors’ action also gave the general manager-chief engineer of the facility the authority to modify operating days and hours in the future to accommodate increased demand or to reduce expenses if demand declines.
The Idyllwild Grinding Facility was created in 2003 to facilitate tree removal due to the bark beetle infestation. The County of Riverside worked with the U.S. Forest Service to begin contract operations. The county’s Department of Waste Resources has staffed the gate and managed the facility, and when a grinding contractor was used the Department of Waste Resources also managed the contract for the grinding operation.
The facility is closed on weekends during the December through April winter months but has otherwise been open at least two days each week. Initially the facility was open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. During the first full year of operation from May 2004, to May 2005, the Idyllwild Grinding Facility served a monthly average of 1,622 tons and 560 customers.
Between January 2014, and December 2014, the monthly average had dropped to 69 tons and 105 customers. A reduction to two days a week was approved by the county supervisors in April 2015, and the Department of Waste Resources also took over the material removal and grinding operations activity which had been performed by an on-site grinding contractor.
The hours of 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays were put in place for June through November 2015. During those months the facility had a daily average of 6 tons and 10 customers on Tuesdays and four tons and five customers on Saturdays.
In December the Department of Waste Resources experimented with being open on Fridays as well as Tuesdays to assess whether being open on a second weekday would assist with the community’s removal needs. The facility was open on Tuesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays during May and June.
During the test period the Idyllwild Grinding Facility received a daily average of 7 tons and served an average of six customers on weekdays. During the Saturdays the daily average was less than 400 pounds, and many times no customers had wood waste processed. The Department of Waste Resources staff worked with the Mountain Area Safety Task Force to determine the best days for the facility to be open.
Idyllwild residents who pay parcel fees for trash service under Franchise Area 8 are able to use the Idyllwild Transfer Station at no charge.