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Council votes on clarification of Plan A and Plan B Tuesday

At 10:45 a.m. Tuesday, October 11 during their regular council meeting, San Juan County council members will discuss a resolution "Summarizing the Expected Effects of the Parcel Based User Charge Ballot Initiative to Fund the Solid Waste System in San Juan County". At 3 p.m. the council will vote to adopt the resolution with whatever changes they have made as a result of the discussion.

The resolution contrasts Plan A - the ballot measure and Plan B what happens if the ballot measure to fund the county's solid waste system fails.

Plan B was drawn up in by a sub-committee of two members of the volunteer publicly appointed Solid Waste Advisory Committee , one council member, and two members of the public. Being a sub-committee the meetings did not have to be made public.

The resolution compares and contrasts the two plans.

Plan A keeps three county facilities and doesn't preclude the county working with other entities - i.e. the Port of Lopez in operating the facilities. The facilities would provide what they do now - packer truck, self-haul, recycling. The parcel fee includes payment of the existing Solid Waste utility debt.

Plan B contracts out all services. The core of Plan B is a "more robust route collection program" (EDITOR: known to most islanders as mandatory curb side service) "which will include recycling pickup."

Self haul, appliance disposal, and Noxious Weeds/Beach Watchers/Litter Control free program disposal would only be provided if private companies exist and offer those services. A self haul facility would be drop box - likely done with packer trucks or dumpsters located and staffed on site - the operator must maintain the necessary state industrial storm water and solid waste management permits.

Proper land use classification is another hurdle for a private operator developing facilities. One business owner on San Juan Island already ran into problems when he violated the county code by operating a recycling drop off facility on property with a rural farm forest land use classification. Surrounding property owners understandably objected to their property rights being violated by an industrial use in their rural neighborhood.


Adopted Resolution 43-2011.

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