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Island County residents can trade in barrels

Island County residents can trade their empty burn barrels for free compost bins during three events this month.

The use of burn barrels is illegal in Washington. Local and state agencies — including the Washington Department of Natural Resources, the state Department of Ecology, Island County Public Works and others — are working together to collect and destroy barrels in Island County.

The goal is to reduce the risk of wildfires in the county, along with the harmful smoke that wildfires produce. Outdoor residential burning is a leading cause of wildfire ignitions across the state, and officials note that wildfires destroy property, harm the environment and endanger people.

They also produce harmful smoke; breathing fine particles in smoke can cause health problems like asthma, lung cancer and emphysema.

Island County residents can trade their empty burn barrels at these locations while supplies of compost bins last:

• From 4 to 6:30 p.m. Monday, Sept. 13 at the Bayview Recycle Park, 5790 S. Kramer Road, Langley. For information, call 360-678-7974.

• From noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18 at the Coupeville Solid Waste Complex, 20018 Highway 20, Coupeville. For information, call 360-678-7974.

• From noon to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 18 on Can Ku Road on Camano Island. For information, call 360-387-3443, ext. 258.

Also involved in this effort are the Northwest Clean Air Agency, WSU Waste Wise, fire districts on Whidbey and Camano islands and the Whidbey Island and Snohomish conservation districts. The agencies are using a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

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