Lopez: A Model for the Future

On June 11 a group of ORS/Exchange board and staff members travelled to Lopez island and spent the day checking out the Lopez Solid Waste Disposal District’s facilities on Fisherman bay Road.

They visited with the director Dave Zapalac, and several LSWDD board members. Besides running the “Take It Or Leave It” (the Lopez version of The Exchange), the ORS team was blown away by the Lopez recycling system. Lopez Island does the best job of recycling of any island hands down.

With an incredible full-time staff of volunteers to help folks with separating their recyclables, they do it right. They even successfully separate different types of plastics. In fact, Lopez no longer accepts co-mingled recycling at all.

Later in the day the ORS team visited the only real commercial composting operation in San Juan County, at Midnight’s Farm. A visit to David Bill’s facility reminded us that composting on a large scale is never easy. Still, composting is certainly in Orcas Island’s future.

A visit to Lopez is always inspirational. Next time you are over there be sure to stop in and say hello!