Take It or Leave It


Zero Waste

We offer the following services with the goal of achieving Zero Waste:

  • Free Self-Separated Recycling - Free disposal of a growing list of paper, plastic, metal, and glass materials brought clean and separated to our Recycle Plaza. Also includes motor oil, antifreeze and rechargeable batteries.
  • E-CYCLE Free recycling of televisions, computers, monitors, laptops and tablets, e-readers, portable DVD players, keyboards, mice, cables, and most other electronic devices. $4 Fee for Printers, scanners, copiers.
  • Take It or Leave It (TIOLI) A free exchange of goods for the entire Lopez Community.Commingled Recycling This is a fee item for anything above 1 grocery bag per day. Includes clean self-separated items listed on the inside of this guide and paper coffee/soda cups with lids, milk/juice/ice cream cartons, plastic spray pumps, paper plates, napkins, towels, clamshell packaging, blister packaging, six pack rings and plastic items with no recycle number. No garbage! Empty your bag in Bin.

Recycle/Disposal Guide (Current as of Oct 2017) 

The following fee schedule will be in effect until further notice.

LSWDD Fee Schedule 12-18-14


Garbage and recyclables deposited at the Lopez Dump travel to different destinations depending upon the material and market values for recyclables.  Here’s where our stuff goes currently:

GARBAGE:  Trucked to the Skagit County Transfer Station in Mount Vernon, where it's compacted into containers and then travels by rail some 300 miles to the 2545-acre Roosevelt Landfill in Klickitat County near the Columbia River. See this KNKX story for more details:

RECYCLING: Travels by truck, usually in bales, to Skagit River Steel & Recycling in Burlington.

To see how we self bale our recyclables, watch here: 

From there:

Cardboard goes to a Port Townsend paper mill to be reprocessed into Kraft paper, linerboard, and specialty cardboard components

Mixed paper gets trucked to Seattle and loaded onto a container ship bound for China

Plastics also go to Seattle for loading onto a container ship bound for China

Aluminum cans travel by truck to Seattle and then by rail for recycling at an Anheuser-Busch plant in Alabama or Alcoa/Evermore Recycling plant in Tennessee

Steel gets trucked to a Seattle foundry for processing into rebar and other basic products

GLASS:  Trucked to Lopez Sand & Gravel on Channel Road for use as inert fill material in their sand pit

In 2006, Washington State adopted a product stewardship law that requires the establishment of a system to recycle electronic wastes, including computers, monitors, laptop computers, and televisions. This system may not charge consumers to drop off materials and is financed by manufacturers of the electronic equipment. Rules to implement this law, WAC 173-900, Electronic Products Recycling Program, were adopted in October 2007. The new system became effective January 1, 2009. A list of take-back locations and further details may be found at

San Juan County banned single-use carryout plastic bags in retail establishments effective May 1, 2017 (SJC Ordinances No. 10-2016 & 2-2017). A single-use plastic carryout bag is defined as any bag that is less than 2.25 mils (0.00225 inches) thick and is made from plastic or any nonrenewable resource. If a bag is provided to a customer at the point of sale by a retail establishment, the bag must be a reusable bag or a recycled paper bag. Plastic bags used inside stores for bulk foods, meats and produce, unwrapped bakery goods, flowers and potted plants, and prescription medications. 

Agricultural plastics are accepted at the three solid waste facilities in the County. The collected plastics are recycled or reused by local farmers and growers. Local coordinators and planners from the WSU Extension Master Gardeners Program, Agricultural Education Service, the Agricultural Resources Committee, the San Juan Islands Conservation District, and local agricultural and gardening businesses have indicated an interest in sustaining an agricultural plastics recycling program in the County.