‘Unprecedented growth in garbage’

Submitted by Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District.

Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District (LSWDD) has seen a dramatic rise in the garbage at its drop-box facility. Lopez’s award-winning local facility handled over 295 tons of recyclable materials last year. Local drivers hauled off 760 tons of garbage on its District roll-off truck, a 7% increase over the previous year, and removed 137 tons of glass from the waste stream. Now LSWDD has gone from 239 tons of garbage in the first half-year in 2017 to 396 tons this half-year.

Skagit’s mainland garbage fees on LSWDD have now increased 20%. LSWDD is no longer able to recycle paper on the mainland free of charge. Both San Juan and Orcas have charged for recycling but LSWDD has continued to opt for free recycling, including paper and glass. Additionally, LSWDD created the Remakery so that more of Lopez’s cast-offs can be made into useable products and not go into the garbage. Take It or Leave It is still free for shopping and dropping.

With more residents coming through the dump facility than ever before, LSWDD has opened the facility for another day a week. This has added additional trips to haul garbage to the mainland, along with higher ferry fares. LSWDD has hired more staff to keep the facility safe from accidents between pedestrians and other vehicles in a very crowded space. The tiny postage stamp of the Lopez Dump is a valued resource, and LSWDD is doing all it can to keep it open and available for ease of access to residents.

The consequence of expanded service, additional staff, increased safety measures means that it costs LSWDD more to continue its unique and valued dump. Rather than increase the levy, LSWDD has decided to increase its can charge for the first time since LSWDD has been in operation. Beginning Aug. 13, 2021, a 32 gallon can of garbage will cost $10 to dispose of. Take It or Leave It and recycling remain free of charge.