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State says no more extensions for San Juan Island solid waste transfer station; county discusses options
The San Juan County Council today began exploring options for handling trash and recycling on San Juan Island, given the likelihood that a state permit which allows the county to operate the Sutton Road site will expire June 30.
County officials were notified Thursday by the state Department of Ecology and the county health department that the variance which allows the Sutton Road facility to operate would be extended through June.
There will be no further extensions, however, according to county officials, unless “substantial progress” is made toward putting a roof over the facility’s tipping floor and in making other improvements to handle stormwater runoff at the site.
The facility has operated under a succession of variances, the first being issued by the county health department Nov. 15, 2006. Ecology is unlikely to approve another variance unless significant progress is made on improving a list of deficiencies at the site, according to local health officials.
One option would have self-haulers taking their trash to a dropbox, like the one used on Lopez Island. But commercial haulers would have to take their refuse to the Orcas Island waste transfer station.
The Sutton Road site is owned by Friday Harbor and leased by the county. The county proposes building a new transfer station, using six adjacent acres it owns to expand and improve the operation.
Today, the County Council was to explore how to continue operations and how to establish a stable source of revenue for the cash-strapped utility.