Transfer station gets shine, polish for mixer

Annual Dinner at the Dump set for Thursday
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal Staff Writer
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The dump cleans up nicely — just give it a couple days. Auburn Placer Disposal Service staff are hard at work patching, steaming, sweeping and power-washing the transfer station off of Shale Ridge Road in preparation for Thursday’s Dinner at the Dump. The annual Auburn Chamber of Commerce mixer features a barbecue dinner and entertainment. It is open to hundreds of chamber and community members, and it all takes place at the very spot where garbage sat just a couple of days ago. “You won’t even know it’s a dump,” said Billy Perez, Auburn Placer Disposal Service operations manager. Bruce Cosgrove, chief executive officer of the Auburn Chamber of Commerce, agrees. “Literally, there is not a fly. It’s an amazing job, what they do to clean it — it is spotless,” he said. “Where you dump your trash is literally where we eat our dinner, but it is just sparkling, and the name is just a kick. The business community gets a kick out of saying, ‘I’m having dinner at the dump,’ or ‘I survived dinner at the dump.’” The first step in the cleaning process, Perez said, is to clear out all the garbage. Then comes the water. “We start from the top, the roof, and we wet everything down,” he said Tuesday. “We’ll spend probably six hours just steam cleaning and blasting the floor itself.” Garry Riley, with transfer station operations, spent part of Tuesday afternoon patching potholes — the ground needs to be safe for dinner-goers wearing heels, he said. Nearby, Vino Perez spot-welded a wall, which will feature a mural to be painted today by local children. Saying you’ll be able to eat right off the ground Thursday might be a bit much, but there’s no doubt the place will be clean and sanitary for diners. “We’re trying to get it to look like this, nice and clean and white, and we’ll try to go through once more with Pine-Sol,” Riley said about the ground. “We put a little Pine-Sol to make it smell good.” Preparing for “dinner” also gives staff the opportunity for spring cleaning. “It’s a time when not only are we cleaning, but it’s a couple of days where we can shut down and do some maintenance,” Riley said. Perez said it takes a little bit of time and a lot of work to get the transfer station up to dining standards. “We have to air this out, and it takes about three days and you won’t smell it anymore,” he said. “It will stay like this probably a couple of days, then it’s back to normal.” Perez said the end result is quite shocking to Dinner at the Dump attendees. “Here in the evening you get that breeze and it just smells like a barbecue,” he said. “It’s amazing when it’s done. It cleans up pretty good.” The Journal’s Loryll Nicolaisen can be reached at, or comment online at