Submitted by Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 Pandemic, Lopez Island has seen big changes, both visible and invisible. Many second home and part-time residents have become full time residents this year. Many new residents have purchased homes here and become full time residents. While within the “staying home and staying safe” orders, many of these changes are not immediately apparent to our island community.
On January 22, 2021, Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District (LSWDD) installed a car counter to measure how many visit the Dump on a single day. In 2020, average visits per day were about 166 cars. Historically, a very busy day on site would average 200 cars in a four hour period of time.
Since the pandemic, those averages have sky rocketed to well over 200 cars per day, even in what is historically the slowest months of late fall and early winter. Daily visits to LSWDD are now averaging a whopping 283 cars per day! On Sunday, February 7, 2021 there were 367 cars counted who drove through our site in a four hour period. All this has occurred on the 1.3 acre postage stamp of a drop box facility that manages Lopez Island’s garbage drop off, self separated recycling, and the Take It or Leave It. Our usage has nearly doubled; yet our site size has not changed.
This astonishing increase in service brings up the need for increased awareness of Safety. LSWDD would like to remind customers to pre-sort their recyclables at home. If there are a lot of people in the recycle plaza, please limit social time and move out quickly to provide parking for the next customer in line. For Sunday TIOLI donations, please remember to get an appointment first at www.lopezsolidwaste.org and drop off clean, pre-sorted and organized items.
Thank you for helping everyone to stay safe while participating in this essential service at LSWDD.