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Spokane County picks closer composting center

Spokane County residents’ “clean green” yard waste won’t have to travel so far next month, saving the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System around $2 a ton.

A contract change approved this week by county commissioners and the Spokane City Council will send yard waste to the Barr-Tech composting center near Fish Lake starting April 4.

City and county officials who control the Solid Waste System agreed to let its yard-waste contractor, Waste Management, transfer the contract to Barr-Tech.

Previously, yard waste had been trucked about 130 miles to a facility at Royal City, Wash.

A trucking company usually collected a 20 percent surcharge on each trip under a subcontract provision tied to the price of diesel. The surcharge was split between the Solid Waste System and Waste Management.

Director Russ Menke said the surcharge cost the Solid Waste System about $90,000 a year.

“We’re happy that we’re not only saving some money, but we’re lessening our environmental impact because we’re not trucking this stuff halfway across the world,” Menke said.

In other business Tuesday, county commissioners appointed Stephen B. Pohl to the state Boundary Review Board for Spokane County and Marylynne B. Casey to the county Civil Service Commission.

Pohl operates Spokane Realty Advisors and previously was general manager of River Park Square. The mall is owned by Cowles Co., which also owns The Spokesman-Review.

Casey is a retired California Workers Compensation Appeals Board judge who previously was a private attorney.