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  • Sarah Reeves

Behind the Scenes at the Lopez Dump: A True Community Project

"It really takes all of us, working together, to make this facility function as well as it does."

The Lopez Dump is a community effort in every sense of the word: island residents own and operate the Dump, volunteer at the Dump, and directly benefit from its services and programs. And for many Lopezians, it's much more than waste management — it's also a hub for connection and camaraderie.

Each person plays a part in making the Dump what it is. Two of the most impactful things we do are:

  • We sort our recycling! When we recycle, we not only save money by paying less for our garbage, but we also reduce what we send to the landfill and help LSWDD offer the lowest garbage rates in the county.

  • We volunteer! LSWDD volunteers have a significant and tangible impact. They:

    • Help customers sort their recycling, fostering community connection and preventing contamination so that LSWDD staff can actually recycle many of our plastics, paper, and metal!

    • Sort donations at TIOLI, which helps maintain this cherished island space and keeps reusable items like clothes, appliances, tools, and furniture out of the landfill.

    • Disassemble appliances and other metal recycling, allowing the Dump to generate more revenue from recycled materials (and keep offering free services). This is the handiwork of the famous Recycle Dogs!

To learn more and start volunteering at the Dump, email Sarah Reeves, LSWDD Volunteer Coordinator, at

Spotlight: Meet the Recycle Dogs

"The Recycle Dogs deconstruct and organize scrap metal and appliances, breaking it down into smaller components worth much more than when it was first discarded," explains John Trench, LSWDD board member and dedicated Recycle Dog. The crew meets every other week and gets a lot done while having a lot of fun.

"LSWDD could recycle metal items in bulk, but by separating out valuable components such as copper, zinc, brass, stainless steel, lead, and aluminum, the Recycle Dogs greatly increase the value of materials discarded. Last year, they helped the Dump generate 20 times the revenue of recycling metals in bulk!"

Thank you, Recycle Dogs, for your commitment to our community!


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