Solid Waste Advisory Committee to sponsor community forums on Trash Talk

The county’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee will sponsor regular, community forums on issues related to solid waste and its impact in the community.

The first forum, titled "Trash Talk," will take place on June 11 from 6-8 p.m. at the Roche Harbor Pavilion. Chairwoman Carrie Lacher and member Sam Jacobson will act as facilitators in a discussion: “Solid Waste Funding Options.”

The committee, commonly known by its abbreviation SWAC, hopes to engage the community in a grass-roots participatory process as they work through agenda items like funding and long-term planning.

The Trash Talk format and name is based on a town hall-style discussion led by long-time SWAC member George Post several years ago. More than 50 people attended and contributed their thoughts on solid waste funding.

“We’ve witnessed an outpouring of public feedback in the past 12 months about solid waste,” Jacobson said. “As we begin to move forward on this year’s work plan, we think it makes sense to continue to listen to our community voices.”

On the 2009 SWAC agenda are public outreach and education, funding and an update to the county’s Solid Waste Management Plan, including hazardous waste.

Each Trash Talk session will speak to one of these areas, facilitated by two or three rotating SWAC members. San Juan, Orcas and Lopez islands will be included in the forum series, in order to solicit input from varied sources and perspectives. “All islands should be included, because each one does things a little different,” SWAC member Pete Moe said.

SWAC sees hopes to receive two positive outcomes from the forums: one is to find some common ground in the solid waste conversation, and the second is to include citizen feedback when making recommendations to the County Council.

For more information about the upcoming Trash Talk on June 11, contact Jacobson at 317-6153 or

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