Possible solution for solid waste

I may be voicing the opinion of many others who have not yet stepped up to speak. I add my voice to Councilman Bob Myhr in “vociferously” opposing the recent decision to charge a $5 “gate fee” for those recycling (only), at the transfer stations. When there’s no fee to those also dumping trash or going to the Exchange (on Orcas), how much toward the $240,000 does anyone think will be achieved? Taking myself as an example, I may end up paying $5 every month at the most, or sending my recycle with my trash-dumping neighbor.

We need to feel we’re supporting the facility itself, and the only way I know to accomplish that is to have a fee for so many trips to the Transfer Station, whether it be for trash, recycle or exchange. The privilege of using the facility should cost $75 or so for, say, 10 uses. As with the five-ride ferry tickets, anyone can buy the “ticket,” which then will be punched upon entry or scanned, going by a bar code as to the number of uses, and therefore getting around the copying syndrome. As with the ferry system, these tickets can be bought over the internet, or at the facility. Tipping fees will still be charged by weight of trash brought in, in addition to the use fee.

The simpler option is to have the “pass” purchased as an annual use fee by anyone with an Orcas address, and sent to the user as a pass, usable by anyone who shows the pass at the gate.

Cost: $85+ or so per year or six months. Again, tipping fees would be separate.

My numbers don’t add up to replacing the short-fall, as I’ve not studied previous use, county stats, etc. But it’s the idea I wanted to put forth, rather than just stating that the current plan won’t achieve its objective. We know it won’t, and will only lead to eroding our good habits of recycling, conservation and care of this fragile environment in which we live.

Margot Shaw

West Sound