Town SW Plan likely complete in late summer; curbside recycling available now

The Town of Friday Harbor's Solid Waste Advisory Committee, made up of the council and planning commission members, is now working through the nine chapters of the draft Solid Waste Plan.

The town is working with SCS, the same firm which oversees the annual monitoring of the landfill, to develop its plan separate from the county's Solid Waste Plan. The county's plan is being updated.

No solid waste programs or activities can be done unless they are in the applicable Solid Waste Plan.

With the looming deadline of the September 30, 2012 closure of the San Juan Island Transfer facility on Sutton Road, Town Administrator King Fitch said, "I wish we had more time to work through the planning process."

Services are supposed to be the "output of the plan," said Fitch.

The town's SWAC has met several times including in a full day workshop. First needs are being determined followed by options to meet them.

"The preferred options will be priced out," said Fitch. He expects the plan will be completed by late summer.

San Juan County expects to adopt its updated plan in mid-July.

The town has collected recyclables from its garbage customers and taken them to the Sutton Road transfer station, a county-owned facility on town land.

The town is now using its oldest packer truck for curbside recycling. In a phone interview, Thursday, April 12, Fitch said, "This is the third time we've tested it and it still isn't full."

When full the truck will be unloaded at Tri County Recyling in Burlington. The tipping fee is estimated to be $33 per ton.

Fitch said the facility wants more cardboard and paper, so the town will probably "have to broaden the array of things we'll pick up." Currently the town collects all co-mingled recyclables except cardboard and paper.

The cost to drive a loaded packer truck to Skagit County for dumping garbage has averaged $198 labor; $20 fuel; $140 ferry; and $640 tipping fee. The weight has ranged from 7 to 10 tons.

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