Whatcom County residents will have to wait until Saturday, April 4, to start dropping off their home yard waste at the Clean Green Transfer Station.
The opening date is a month later than usual, and is part of a shorter season that will end Nov. 1.
The station is at Lakeway Drive and Woburn Street in Bellingham. Hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
The fee to drop off residential yard waste is $10 a load. A load is one pickup truck or trailer of comparable size. Trucks with an additional trailer will be charged for the additional load.
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Cash is required; no change is provided.
Items accepted include:
• Grass, leaves and garden trimmings.
• Shrub and hedge trimmings.
• Limbs less than 7 feet long and 8 inches in diameter.
The city operates the transfer station, which is open to all Whatcom County residents. Collected yard waste is processed and then hauled to Skagit County to be turned into compost.
Last year the City Council increased the fee and shortened the season to raise revenue and cut operating costs, city officials said then.
Started in 1991 by the city of Bellingham and Whatcom County, the Clean Green program is subsidized by solid waste tax revenue.
Plants already have started to put out buds because winter in Whatcom County has been mild, but Clean Green won’t be opening any sooner for people who want to tackle yard work sooner rather than later.
Eric Johnston, assistant director for Bellingham’s public works operations, said residents have other yard waste options in Whatcom County that are open more hours and are usually less costly for residents than coming to Clean Green with a typical load.
Those include Sanitary Service Company, which charges $8 a month for curbside pickup; Recycling & Disposal Services, which charges 3.3 cents a pound to drop off yard waste at its 4916 Labounty Drive facility; and Green Earth Technology, which charges 2.2 cents a pound (starting in March) for drop off at its 774 Meadowlark Drive location.
Nooksack Valley Disposal & Recycling also offers curbside service for yard waste at a cost of $9 a month in Lynden and $6 a month for Everson, Nooksack and Sumas.