The city of Rockford has received an $11,500 grant from the Department of Ecology to purchase a new chipper.
The grant was part of four totaling $265,000 to local governments in Eastern Washington to support waste reduction and recycling projects.
For residents in Rockford, the chipper will be used for the new Southeast Spokane County Composting Facility, which should be opening soon for residents in Rockford, Fairfield, Waverly, Latah and Spangle. The facility is just behind Rockford City Hall, 20 W. Emma St.
The city expects to open the composting facility in mid-August. Residents will be able to drop off yard waste such as tree branches 6 inches in diameter or smaller and green waste, like grass clippings or leaves.
Public works director John Goyke said there are some items that won’t be accepted, including dirt, plastic or processed lumber. They also won’t accept meat, eggs or other food waste.
“We’re not that type of composting facility,” he said.
But for residents who want compost for their gardens, the finished product will be available for free. Goyke said the cost will be set by the city soon for those who want to drop off waste.
“The demand for the finished product isn’t very high,” he said. “The demand for dropping off product is very high.”
Goyke said the city also received a grant for about $30,000 from the Department of Ecology about two years ago to help with the costs of the facility itself. The city purchased blocks to set up bays in the facility, one for green waste, one for wood, one for composting and one for finishing off the final product. They paved the area behind the City Hall’s shop and put up fencing and signage.
Goyke said the city also received funding from Avista for lighting around the area.
“We pooled a lot of different sources together,” Goyke said.
The city of Rockford also matched funds for the project.
He said the facility will benefit the small homeowner. The facility can’t accept a huge amount of waste at a time. The city will also be able to take the chipper to different locations in southeast Spokane County.
Rockford is waiting for a few more items before it can open the facility. Final contracts need to be signed, the chipper still needs to be delivered and a committee formed by the city will meet to set pricing for residents who want to drop off waste.