By JOSH MCDONALD
ENAVILLE — Over the past weekend, Coeur d’Alene River travelers and most Shoshone County social media users were made aware of a massive trash pile growing out of a full dumpster near the Bumblebee turnoff.
The North Fork of the Coeur d’Alene River has long been the summer Mecca for many residents in the surrounding areas. People from Coeur d’Alene, Spokane, parts of Western Montana and the locals from the Silver Valley make the camping grounds around the river home during the summer months.
Plans to go float and camp on the North Fork are some of the biggest highlights of the summer, and for most people, one of the best starting points on these floating adventures has been the Bumblebee turnoff.
Keeping the river clean and litter free has remained a priority, but has also been one of the biggest struggles for local officials.
“Unfortunately this is a common occurrence during this time of the year,” Shoshone County Commissioner Mike Fitzgerald said.
Taking that common occurrence into consideration, the Shoshone Board of County Commissioners made the decision Monday morning to add a second dumpster at the location for the rest of the summer season.
The dumpsters are scheduled to be replaced by MCE Garbage and Recycling on Fridays, and while that may be an inconvenient time for people who are visiting the popular location, visitors are asked to not park their vehicles next to dumpsters (on any sides) or the trucks will be unable to remove them when they are full.
MCE will also be keeping an eye on the dumpsters throughout the weekend to make sure that they can be taken care of on an as-needed basis.
Programs like the “Pack it In, Pack it Out” program and other attempts at keeping the river trash free have already been implemented in the past. Although they have had some success and kept trash out of the river, the new challenge will be making sure it stays in the dumpsters and does not spill over.
Users should also know that dumping trash in a pile near a dumpster is still considered littering and according to Idaho law, the penalty for littering varies based on severity, but could result in fines of $2,500 and up to six months in a county jail.