Langley soon to OK compost fee hike

The compost will cost a little more to load, but it remains a good deal, said Challis Stringer, Langley’s public works director.

“It’s still cheaper than other places on the island,” Stringer said.

The Langley City Council this week approved first reading of new fees for the compost available near the city’s wastewater treatment plant on Coles Road. Final adoption of the resolution is expected at the council’s next meeting, Aug. 3, and the new rates would go into effect at that time, Stringer said.

Changes include the backhoe fee for small quantities from $5 per load to $10 per yard. The backhoe fee for loads of more than five yards would go from $20 per load to $40 for each five yards.

“But it’s still free if you shovel it yourself,” Stringer said.

She said the new fee schedule is to clarify the city’s municipal code on the subject and to compensate for the increase in fuel prices for the city’s loader.

Stringer said the fees were lowered in 2004, when takers for the compost were few and far between.

“We couldn’t get rid of it at all,” she said.

But thanks to operators Randi Perry and Robert Durr, who now prepare the mixture, the compost has been in increasing demand, and there’s often a waiting list, she said.

The compost is available to everyone, first-come, first-served. If a waiting list occurs, those on it will be notified when a new batch is ready, Stringer said.

She said the mixture is one-third biosolids from the wastewater-treatment plant; one-third grasses, weeds and yard waste from city mowing; and one-third chipped trees, bushes and other debris. The city also takes in chipped material from Island County to use in the mixture, she said.

Stringer said the next batch of compost will be ready Monday, July 27.

“It’s a great product,” she said. “I use it on my own garden.”

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