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Trade burn barrels for compost bins

Island County residents can trade their empty burn barrels for free compost bins during three events in September.

The use of burn barrels is illegal in Washington. The Washington Department of Natural Resources, the Washington Department of Ecology, Island County Public Works and local organizations are working together on a project that will collect and destroy barrels in Island County. The goal is to reduce the risk of wildfires in the county, along with the harmful smoke that wildfires produce.

Outdoor residential burning, which is illegal in most parts of Washington, is a leading cause of wildfire ignitions across the state. Wildfires destroy property, harm the environment and endanger people.

They also produce smoke that can harm people. Breathing fine particles in smoke can cause health problems like asthma, emphysema and lung cancer.

Island County residents can trade their empty burn barrels at these locations while supplies of compost bins last:

• From 4 to 6:30 p.m. Sept. 13 at Bayview Recycle Park, 5790 S. Kramer Road, Langley. (Across the highway and one block south of Sebo’s at Kramer Road.) For information, call 678-7974.

• From noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 18 at Coupeville Solid Waste Complex, 20018 Highway 20, Coupeville. (About 1.5 miles southbound from the Coupeville Main Street intersection, immediately at Mile Marker 20.) For information, call 678-7974.

• From noon to 3 p.m. Sept. 18 on Can Ku Road on Camano Island. (Look for signs near CASA Animal Shelter.) For information, call 360-387-3443, ext. 258.

Also involved in this effort are Northwest Clean Air Agency; WSU Waste Wise; Whidbey Island Conservation District; North, Central and South Whidbey Island Fire & Rescue; Camano Island Fire and Rescue; and Snohomish Conservation District.

The agencies are using a grant from the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for the work.

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