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The wait to weigh will soon be over

Taking a load of garbage and recycleables to the Island County solid waste transfer station in Coupeville means a dangerous left turn, long wait in line to get weighed, then a loop-de-loop back through traffic to drop off recycleables and weigh again on the way out.

The serpentine routine will soon be a thing of the past, as several changes are underway at the site.

A new set of scales will be added to weigh outgoing traffic, eliminating the need to go through the incoming line twice, the main entrance will be moved 100 feet east for improved sight and safety, and the recycling center will be moved east, to the right of the entrance.

Gwen Maxfield, assistant Public Works director, said the changes will make the disposal site safer and more efficient for county users, and are expected to be completed by late spring, in time for the increased use that comes with summer projects.

Total cost for the projects, including paving is about $80,000, but it won’t be paid for by increased user fees; those will stay the same.

She said the site averages 40,000 tons of solid waste per year.

“That’s a lot of volume,” she said.

Island County commissioners Monday approved authorizing Weigh-Tronix, Inc. of Tukwila to supply the 100-ton platform scale without competitive bidding, for no more than $42,535 plus tax.

Maxfield said the current scale is also a Weigh-Tronix, so going with the same company was an “economy of scale,” so to speak.

Moving the recycling center away from the flow of traffic should help smooth things out, Maxfield said.

“You will be able to recycle totally separate from the garbage,” she said. “It gets confusing weaving in and out of traffic.”

People who only need to use the facility to drop off recycleables won’t have to go through, or cross, the weigh in line at all.

Moving the entrance gate about 100 feet to the east will create a longer holding line inside the fence, and make turning off of Highway 20 into the site safer.

Business was slow on a recent weekday, but patrons were glad to hear improvements were in the works.

Travis Green said he visits the transfer station about once a week.

“It would be much better,” he said, as he unloaded a few garbage cans into the dumpster. “It’s kind of troublesome now.”

You can reach News-Times reporter Marcie Miller at mmiller@whidbeynewstimes.com or call 675-6611

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