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Recycle center testing extended

A $15,000, two-year extension of an environmental assessment program at Island Recycling north of Freeland was approved by Island County commissioners on Wednesday.

Island Recycling is under contract with the county to handle recycling for the South End, said Dave Bonvouloir, solid waste manager for the county public works department.

The county has been conducting soil analysis and cleanup at the Freeland site since 2006 under a volunteer program with the state Department of Ecology, Bonvouloir said.

“The impact isn’t significant, but the process is onerous,” he said. “It’s the same thing a major site would have to go through.”

The contract extension was granted to HWA Geosciences, Inc., of Lynnwood. The company has been conducting soil analysis at the recycle center since 2006. Work has totaled about $57,000, Bonvouloir said.

He said the company has tested soil samples, especially around areas containing metals, and has removed and replaced 30 to 40 cubic yards of soil, about three dump trucks’ worth.

The soil is taken to a facility in Everett, where it is sterilized with an intense flame, Bonvouloir said. The county then replaces the soil with clean dirt from nearby.

He said Island Recycling has been highly cooperative throughout the process, and in addition has applied for a permit for a cover over its steel-crushing operation to keep rainwater from contaminating the process.

Bonvouloir said county officials hope the latest extension of the contract will complete the work.

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