Support Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District | Letter

There are many reasons to support the 2018 Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District levy this year including the ever-increasing number of customer visits (predicted to be over 28,000 in 2017), the competitive price (among our islands, Lopez’s $8 per can and free recycling vs. Orcas’ $9 per can and $4 per can for recyclables or San Juan’s $20 gate fee and $3 per can for recyclables), the 33 percent expansion in hours open during the summer and the overall tidy, smooth-operating facility.

My personal favorite reason for support lies in the dichotomy between taking and making. Photographers reference Ansel Adams’ quote “You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” In the major at the University of Washington – community, environment and planning – I was involved with for years, we similarly shifted the language, compelling students to define their academic engagement as one of making their major, not taking it. And of actively building their own community of learners. Communities simply don’t work if the equation is all about taking and not about making.

The LSWDD is a good exemplification of making this Lopez Island community – hitting the price to service target in solid waste, drawing on some 3,500 volunteer hours, exploring ways to connect the facility with Lopez school programs, and in manifesting values held by many in finding ways to live lightly and appropriately on this earth. Let’s keep making this community and its LSWDD work.

Dennis Ryan

Lopez Island