An invitation and an Update

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(from Sandy Bishop)

Greetings everyone,

First I’d like to alert you to a FREE Master Composter/Recycler Training for all islanders.  It is estimated that 55% of our waste stream is made up of organic materials (18% of which is food).  Turning it into usable compost would provide a great resource for Lopez and help us reach zero waste goals.

Classes are:  Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 1p.m.:  June 21st, June 28th, July 5th, and July 12th at Skagit Valley College on San Juan Island and will be videoconferenced at the LOPEZ LIBRARY.  Earth Machine composters will be available at reduced cost.  Training is limited to 60 participants.  So far no one is signed up from Lopez.

Join WSU Extension and San Juan County Solid Waste in the first County-wide training of Master Composters/Recyclers.  Participants will learn all the ins and outs of composting, soil building and recycling in this four-week, sixteen-hour program. Trained volunteers will be expected to provide 20 hours of expert advice and answers to community questions at events, schools and workshops.

Call  378-4414 and sign up with the WSU Extension today.

Kristina Bayas                                                                                      Helen Venada

Volunteer Program Coordinator                                                       Waste Reduction/ Hazardous Waste Coordinator

WSU Extension, San Juan County                                                  San Juan County Public Works

360.370.7663  |  Fax 360.378.2187                                                 360 370 0503 /

The Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District has been progressing at a rapid pace.  We’ve been trotting along for the last couple years moving closer towards local control of the Dump and now have progressed to a fast gallop as we near the final goal.

On June 5th and again on June 12th Page Read, Larry Eppenbach, Dan Post, Bruce Creps, Neil Hanson and I met in session with the SJC Council.  Over the last couple months we have worked diligently with Randy Gaylord, SJC Prosecutor, the Public Works Director Frank Mulcahy and staff Russ Harvey and Ed Hale.  We have had on site meetings with the Department of Ecology staff concerning permits and have research insurance, operations and a host of other activities. We are working on bylaws for the newly formed Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District.  The draft ordinance is attached below.  Section III establishes the Lopez District and may be most interesting to read.

We will meet with the Council again on June 26th at 10:15 a.m. as they adopt the Ordinance forming the Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District (LSWDD).  At the same meeting they will appoint a five member committee to manage the district.   Page Read, Larry Eppenbach, Dan Post, Bruce Creps, and I have submitted our names as the first directors.  Our first meeting will be held on Friday, July 8th.  The time and place will be announced.  You all are invited.

We’ve had some fun while working hard to help shape this new District.  Bill Clemens, Ed Stuhr, Tim Kent, Pavl Lasbo, Ann Palmer and others have been helping the committee with research and sorting through operational, technological, financial issues.

There are plans for a float entry in the 4th of July Parade, a Trash and Fashion Show in August, the campaign to get out the Vote will begin later this summer as will our fundraising efforts.  We will raise funds for two purposes: 1) for the campaign to Get-Out-The-Vote in November to support a tax for the newly formed Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District and 2) to help support this new effort of local control with some necessary operating capital.

Sarah Eppenbach, Patty Ward, Sheila Metcalf, Raiti Waerness, Meg Ryan, and others are planning the events mentioned above so please be in touch with them if you’d like to help.

The Lopez Thrift shop made a generous contribution of $600 to help us pay for new signage.  The signs naming the new facility and explaining the recycle and reuse stations will appear after the November YES vote for the new tax to support the Dump.

As it stands now the Dump will transition from the County management to the LSWDD between December 1 and December 31, 2012.  We plan to celebrate the new year with another Party at the Dump.  Can you believe it?  We are doing this and it has been a path fraught with complications but as a community we have held together with our eyes on the Prize.  Neil has educated and inspired us to understand the issues of waste and recycling and his work over the last couple decades is paying off.

We have a long road ahead of us and much to do  There are tough issues before us including the volatile global market commodities trading which effects our price on recycling and the need to pass a 60% vote in November passing a new tax levy.  There are also operational issues on a daily basis including getting volunteers trained, reorganizing the site, putting together a more finely tuned daily operations plan and reaching out to the neighbors who maybe adversely affected by the noise and the off road parking.

In the coming months we will also be reaching out to all of you and getting some sense of who amongst you would like to sign up for regular or periodic shifts.

Any questions or comments can be directed to:


SANDY BISHOP                  468.3654

DAN POST                            468.4818

LARRY EPPENBACH        468.4788

PAGE READ                                    468.2958

BRUCE CREPS                  468.4294


NEIL HANSON                     468-3203


PATTY WARD                      468-3246

SHEILA METCALF              468-4595

MEG RYAN                           468-4330

RAITI WAERNESS              468-4868

SARAH EPPENBACH        468-4788

Please feel free to pass this on to others…Sandy

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