In December 2011, the San Juan County Council elected to cease operating all solid waste facilities in the Islands and to invite commercial carriers and other entities to submit proposals for providing these services.
Concerned Lopez citizens lobbied the County Council to consider another option for Lopez which would enable a Lopez community organization to assume responsibility for the solid waste program and facility. In response to a request for a show of support, 1418 Lopez voters, property owners, and other individuals (including 962 registered voters from Lopez) signed a petition supporting establishment of a Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District and pledging to help fund the District with property tax support.
The Council appointed an Advisory Board to pursue development of a program and negotiate terms with the County. On June 26, 2012, the Council formally established a Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District and appointed a five-member Board of Directors. The LSWDD assumed full formal control of the solid waste and recycling operation on January 1, 2013.
LSWDD operates under a Governing Board comprised of all current members of the San Juan County Council, as well as a Managing Board.
The LSWDD Managing Board typical meets on the third Wednesday
of each month, 1 p.m. - 2;30 p.m. at the Lopez Island Fire Hall. In light of COVID, the meetings are instead currently held via ZOOM.
LSWDD employs eight part time employees as well as relies on a dynamic team of volunteers.