Island County looks to revive construction debris recycling

Island County is looking to revive a program that would recycle and repurpose debris from construction sites.

Island County is looking to revive a program that would recycle and repurpose debris from construction sites.

Up until 2012, the county’s wood waste was recycled through Kimberly Clark Corp., according to Gene Clark, the county’s recycle and hazardous waste coordinator.

When the company moved its operations away from wood-burned energy to natural gas, the county was forced to throw the wood in with regular municipal waste disposal.

“It was something that was on our to-do list,” said Solid Waste Manager Joantha Guthrie. “The impetus was to keep waste out of the landfill.”

The county recently has discovered sources to help dispose of the wood waste as well as other types of construction debris, including asphalt shingles, lead-based paint and asbestos.

It’s the hope of county leaders that they will be able to find a company that can provide a variety of recycling and repurposing services.

“We’re asking companies what they can recycle,” Guthrie said.

County staff put out a request for proposals this week and hope to have a contract in place by Aug. 1.

The major advantage to recycling these products, Guthrie said, would be a reduced cost for the homeowner or homebuilder who purchases disposal services from the county.

In addition, finding creative ways to recycle and repurpose construction debris will lower the county’s overall garbage bill.

The county has made a concerted push toward recycling in other areas in recent years. The county implemented a curbside recycling program last year for trash collection subscribers in rural areas.

 

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