History was made today at the Orcas Transfer Station as Orcas Recycling Services held a “re-opening” ceremony.
ORS Director Pete Moe called it “ A really, really great day at the Orcas Transfer Station today, as the community took control of its solid waste.”
Dozens of islanders turned out to show their support during the ribbon cutting ceremony. Smith & Speed, The Barnacle, and Brown Bear Bakery provided support and refreshments.
Councilman Rick Hughes cut the ribbon on the gates, and ORS/The Exchange officially started business.
The San Juan Council unanimously approved a contract with Orcas Recycling Services to provide solid waste and recycling handling services at the Orcas Island Transfer Station.
ORS will take over all solid waste operations at the transfer station and provide services to both individual self-haulers and the franchise hauler, San Juan Sanitation. The contract is for a period of five years and can be extended by the County in five year increments for up to twenty years. ORS is initially offering lower disposal rates, so self-haulers on Orcas should see an immediate decrease in their costs.ORS will be making improvements to the facility both in the near and long term. Immediate improvements include installing new signage, minor traffic improvements and a new tarping station for the transfer trailers. ORS is also planning on eventually building a re-use facility on the site and first expects to complete a site master plan. ORS has not yet proposed a schedule for construction of the re-use facility.
“We are taking on the responsibility to manage our waste stream in a way that is best for our community, and the environment by removing profit as the driver,” said Moe. “This is a paradigm shift. Something we can only approach because we live in such an amazing place – a place that is unique politically and geographically. A place predisposed to do the right thing.”