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Curbside compost collection comes to WS

The White Salmon City Council voted 4-0 on Nov. 6 to approve an ordinance granting an exclusive organics recycling franchise to Dirt Hugger, LLC, an Oregon limited liability company that is authorized to conduct business in Washington, for the purpose of providing compost collection and processing to city residents on a fee-for-service basis.

The franchise rights granted by the city to Dirt Hugger will remain in force for three years and may be renewed prior to its expiration date at the city’s sole discretion. The eight-page ordinance and five pages of exhibits were developed jointly by city staff and Dirt Hugger representatives, and spell out the terms and conditions of the franchise agreement.

The agreement calls for Dirt Hugger to conduct collections every other week on Wednesday of the first and third full weeks of each month. The route will cover the city limits and neighborhoods in the White Salmon Urban Growth Area. During the start-up phase, compost collection service will be provided on Dec. 4, Dec. 18, and Jan. 2., then shut down for the winter. The service will resume in mid-March and run through July. After the pilot period, compost pickup may be offered year-round.

To sign up for the service, contact City Hall at 493-1133. According to a notice from Dirt Hugger that was mailed to city utility customers, sign up must occur by 4 p.m. on the Monday of the collection week to be included in that week’s collection. Moreover, if the collection day falls on a holiday, collection will occur on the following day. Since New Year’s Day falls on a Wednesday, collection will take place on Thursday.

Cost of the service is $15 a month for one 55-gallon can and $7.50 per pickup for extra cans. No contract for the service is required; customers can sign up or cancel at any time.

Customers who sign up for Dirt Hugger’s service must provide their own waste cans, which must be no larger than 55 gallons, and have a sealable lid to prevent animal intrusion. Customers will be required to place their cans at the curbside of their street by 7 a.m. on collection day.

During the pilot period only items that fall under the heading “if it grows, it goes” will be collected. Noted the Dirt Hugger notice, “After we sort out hauling logistics and work on education outreach, our goal is to allow food scraps in the spring. Most importantly, we want the program to succeed and to create a long-term organics solution for White Salmon residents and business.”

Items that will be accepted for collection are yard debris, leaves, brush, branches up to 3 inches in diameter, and grass clippings. Unacceptable items are lumber, stumps, dirt, rock, cardboard, plastic, metal, glass, compostable packaging, food scraps (coffee, eggs, vegetables, meat, dairy products), and compostable service ware such as plastic cups, plates, and utensils.

Cans containing contaminated, or unacceptable, items will not be picked up. An “oops” tag will be attached to the can describing the issue to the customer.


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