Local transfer stations are asking Spokane County residents to refrain from dumping yard waste and other garbage after the number of customers doubled last weekend.
Regional Solid Waste Manager Deb Geiger said the massive influx at Spokane County’s two waste transfer stations over the weekend – about 1,200 customers a day compared to the normal 500 or 600 – could be because people have free time to clean their garages and their yards.
Staff saw trailers full of furniture, appliances and yard waste hauled to the transfer station. The massive influx led to long lines that slowed down staff and made it difficult for both customers and transfer station employees to maintain social distance from each other.
The county has asked the public to only dump essential refuse that might rot, and wait to dump all other waste. While it’s still accepting other waste types, Geiger said people should only go to the transfer stations when their garbage is a public health issue.
“What I’m asking is look at your load and ask ‘Can it wait?’ ” she said. “If yes, we’ll be here when this is all over. Please wait, we’re not going anywhere.”
The city of Spokane’s waste-to-energy facility will only accept garbage until further notice. Recyclables, green material and hazardous household waste are currently not being accepted.
Marlene Feist, Public Works Director of Strategic Development for the city, said yard waste can still go in the regular garbage can, but the public needs to wait on large loads and dumping for now.
Both the city and the county will be picking up garbage at the curb, but those who don’t have garbage service, such as some people living in unincorporated areas, have been asked to limit their dumping at county facilities, which are in south Spokane, Spokane Valley and the Chattaroy areas of the county.
The county also asked those who are dumping large loads to pay with a credit card instead of cash and asked people to remember to always bag their garbage to protect workers from being exposed to the virus. She said people should also be aware plastic gloves, paper towels and wipes aren’t recyclable.
Geiger said she’s heard from governments all over the state that they’re having issues with an increase in garbage and large load drop -offs.
The Whitman County Transfer Station closed to the public on Monday, only accepting commercial businesses with established accounts, as well as green and household hazardous waste, which does not require interaction with staff. Others in Whitman County are encouraged to contact a commercial hauler for their trash and recycling.
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