Program supplies residents with easy access to free and legal leaf disposal
VANCOUVER — In recent years, the city of Vancouver and Clark County have made a program available to residents which has greatly improved their ability to address the many leaves falling each autumn.
It is the responsibility of every homeowner to rake, collect and dispose of all leaves on their property. To rake or blow leaves into the street or gutter is, actually, illegal.
Enter the Fall Leaf Coupon Program. The free process allows any resident to use free leaf disposal coupons at several composting locations across the county. Coupons can be found online and in the mail, along with a list of locations accepting them.
“If you have yard debris service curbside, you can put those leaves in your cart for recycling and composting,” said Tanya Gray, a solid waste analyst with Vancouver, in a video. “But if you run out of room in the cart, you may need some extra help. We have disposal coupons so you can take an extra load of leaves to a composting facility and have them processed in the compost.”
The program was put forth in an effort to reduce flooding, which has become a large problem in many low-lying areas in Clark County. With heavy, wet leaves surging into street gutters, the storm drains can become clogged or blocked.
The city of Vancouver Public Works, along with the county’s team, often have to clear these obstructions with crews, or even robots, if the clog happens in the storm water system underground. SR-503 in Battle Ground, a major highway, has even experienced flooding in recent years.
“Storm drains can get congested, really easy, usually pretty fast, especially during the leaf season,” said Bill Lamkin, a street sweeper with Vancouver Stormwater, in a video. “There is a schedule, you can go straight to street sweeping on the city website. It’ll give you a general schedule of where we’ll be in that week. We do keep a schedule with garbage runs that we don’t sweep the area that’s being used for the garbage day.”
Lamkin also mentioned that in addition to not purposefully pushing leaves into the gutter, residents can also check the schedule to move cars off the street; allowing the street sweeper to clear the road’s gutter in its entirety.
The leaf coupon program applies only to leaves, and the city and county remind residents that all loads should be secured for transport. Locations are written on the website and on the coupons themselves. Facilities include companies like H&H in Brush Prairie.
The program will, once again, run from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31. The only limit is each resident can use one coupon to drop off a maximum of five cubic yards of leaves at any-given composting site. Some locations may have coupons on hand, but residents are encouraged to bring one printed and filled out ahead of time.
Due to COVID-19, coupons can not be picked up in-person this year, but are available in the following formats:
- Print out a coupon from the city of Vancouver Solid Waste webpage: www.cityofvancouver.us/leafcoupon.
- Print out a coupon from the Clark County Green Neighbors webpage: clarkgreenneighbors.org/en/green-blog/free-leaf-disposal-1.
- Clip a coupon out of Waste Connections’ Recycling newsletter, which will be sent to all residences in Clark County in October. Coupons are also available on Waste Connections’ website at www.wcnorthwest.com/leaves.
- Call Vancouver Solid Waste at (360) 487-7160 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to have a coupon sent to you by mail. Please plan ahead and allow additional time to receive the coupon after making your request.
Coupons are available in Spanish, Russian and Vietnamese and are also available from both city and county web pages.
A list of the four composting locations where a coupon can be used is printed on the coupons and is as follows:
- H&H Wood Recyclers, 8401 NE 117th Ave. Phone: (360) 892-2805. Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
- McFarlane’s Bark, 8806 NE 117th Ave. Phone: (360) 892-6125. Hours: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Saturday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday in October/November; 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday, closed Sunday, in December.
- Triangle Resources, 612 S.E. Union St, Camas. Phone: (360) 834-7253. Hours: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday- Friday. Closed Saturday and Sunday.
- West Van Materials Recovery Center, 6601 NW Old Lower River Road. Phone: (360) 737-1727. Hours: 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Closed Sunday. Check webcam for real-time lines before going: www.columbiaresourcecompany.com/west-vancouver-material-recovery.