Letter: Clark County locally owned and operated transfer stations — key to improved solid waste services


Camas resident Margaret Tweet discusses the need for Clark County to operate locally owned transfer stations to better meet the needs of all residents and businesses

Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com

Clark County Solid Waste is conducting a public outreach period. Have you heard about it?

Camas resident Margaret Tweet discusses the need for Clark County to operate locally owned transfer stations to better meet the needs of all residents and businesses.
Margaret Tweet

“CCPH is requesting the public’s input to ensure this code accurately represents the solid waste enforcement capabilities in a way that does not place excess burden on the residents of this county while still protecting the environment. The intent of this code is to allow Clark County Public Health to pursue education, guidance, and enforcement of necessary actions in a way that residents feel is fare, equal, and without undue burden.”

There is an online survey that was due Dec. 31, 2021. Why not extend the public comment period so more residents and businesses can provide input? If you would like to see more time, please add that to your comments.

https://survey123.arcgis.com/share/d40d926bc4ba4fae858aacaabed1c281?portalUrl=https://gis.clark.wa.gov/portal

“Columbia Resource Company, owned by Waste Connections, operates our three drop-off locations in Clark County. Also known as “transfer stations” and “materials recovery facilities (MRFs),” these facilities accept waste in many forms and then transfer these materials to their final destinations for landfilling, treating or recycling.” https://wcnorthwest.com/dropoff

• West Vancouver Materials Recovery Center 6601 NW Old Lower River Road Monday – Friday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Central Transfer and Recycling Center 11034 NE 117th Ave. Monday – Friday 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday & Sunday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

• Washougal Transfer Station 4020 S Grant St, Washougal Wednesday & Friday 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Waste Connections Inc. is famous for hauling in truckloads of cash for their shareholders and top executives. Customer service on the ground seems not as high a priority however. For example, the hours at each of the transfer stations are not equitable, nor is access adequate for the demand. Residents and businesses are best served when access to these county facilities are extended, to serve more people via more open hours.

For some, weekends are the best times to take unwanted debris to the dump. After a yard sale, clean up or work project, the conclusion is often a trip to a transfer station. Yet the transfer stations are only open until 4 p.m. on weekends, and the East-side transfer station has the worst hours of all. Ideally, the transfer stations would be open to at least 8 p.m. every day, seven days/week, and longer as daylight hours extend. Maximizing the open hours maximizes access.

Residents and businesses can pay for extra garbage pick up per bag, which enriches Waste Connections even more, but it can add several hundred dollars extra expense per month to a garbage bill vs. a much less costly trip to a transfer station. Washougal picks up recycling every other week, vs. Camas who gets weekly recycling pickup.

The best way to improve local service is to exercise the local option, that Clark County regains all the land and buildings of the transfer stations for approximately $1. Then Clark County can operate our locally owned transfer stations to better meet the needs of all Clark County residents and businesses.

Margaret Tweet
Camas

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