The Columbia County Public Works Department announces that the County’s recycling and yard waste collection programs are suspended due to a lack of funding.

On Thursday, July 20th, the Legislature ended its third special session without adopting a Capital Budget.  Within the $4 billion dollar capital budget was $10 million dollars to support the statewide recycling, household hazardous waste collection, and organics (green and yard waste) programs.  This leaves Columbia County’s solid waste efforts with a $50,000 per year budget shortfall.

Until the adoption of a capital budget by the Legislature, the county’s solid waste programs will be changed as follows:

  • All recycling containers will be closed and removed from their current locations. These containers are for the collection of mixed paper and newspaper, aluminum and corrugated cardboard.
  • Yard waste that is brought to the transfer station will be charged as garbage. Residents may put their yard waste in their curbside garbage bins but may not burn their yard waste.  A burn ban is currently in place for all of Columbia County.
  • Household hazardous waste will continue to be collected at the transfer station free of charge. However, if the county’s storage area is full before the adoption of a capital budget, this service may have to be suspended as well.  Residents are asked to hold onto their household hazardous waste if possible until the adoption of the capital budget.

We apologize for the inconvenience this will cause the residents of Columbia County.  Once the Legislature has resolved its differences and adopts a capital budget, all suspended services will be restored.

Any questions regarding the press release can be directed to Andrew Woods (County Engineer/Public Works Director, 509.382.2534)

Laura Berg
Laura first became involved in government as a city council member for the city of Newport Washington and later became a County Commissioner in Pend Oreille County. She served for 6 years and represented the region on statewide and national boards. Laura and her family moved to Olympia in November of 2012 and she has worked for WSAC for four years doing policy work on natural resources, land use and environmental issues.