To help reduce the emissions of PM 2.5 and provide residents with alternatives to burning, the Okanogan Conservation District worked with partners across the county to organize 18 chipping events and clean-up days.
The most successful events were the chipping and yard waste disposal events at the Twisp Transfer Station, the chipping events for the City of Okanogan, and clean-up days for HOAs in the Methow Valley.
With the organizational efforts and support of Clean Air Methow and Resilient Methow of Methow Valley Citizens Council, there were three multi-day events in 2022 and 2023 at the Twisp Transfer Station with 574 total loads of material dropped off by Methow Valley residents for both disposal and chipping, including 12.2 tons of material from October 2022 alone. There were also curbside chipping events for residents in the Town of Twisp.
The City of Okanogan chipping event this spring, was the most successful event ever to be held in Okanogan with 95 people signed-up and over 250 piles of materials chipped throughout the week by the City of Okanogan’s Public Works crew. Given the successful turnout, an additional 2-day event was organized and took place this June, which had 32 sign-ups and over 90 piles of woody debris chipped by Fonseca Forestry. Wood chips were also made available to the public following these chipping events and over 16 loads have been hauled away for use in gardens, plantings, and other projects.
The Methow Valley events were held in 2022 and 2023 and had 116 sign-ups from residents in HOA communities from Libby Creek, Newby Creek, Kumm Road, Edelweiss, Timberline Meadows, and Sun Mountain Ranch Club.
Air Care Events were held across the county and also included residents surrounding the areas of Riverside, South Okanogan, Malott, and Omak. Thank you to everyone who participated in these alternatives to burning for cleaner air in Okanogan County. We will continue these events and similar projects, as soon as this fall! If you are interested in a chipping event for your community, reach out to us and subscribe to stay updated on future opportunities!
Okanogan CD and the Okanogan County Landfill also piloted a landfill voucher program for residents outside of the city limits of Omak and Okanogan. These vouchers allowed residents to bring yard waste to the Okanogan Landfill free of charge between the months of April and June. There were 27 vouchers issued and utilized.
Additionally, the Department of Ecology provided funding for the development of a yard waste mulcher rental program for our county. Previously, no rental companies in the area provided mulchers or small chippers for residents to use for their yard waste but now there are 5 mulchers available to residents for small-scale chipping and mulching.
The mulchers have been donated to local rental companies to make a rental option available to residents who are interested in alternatives to burning through small-scale chipping and mulching. At this time, these mulchers
are available for rent at the Omak Rent-All and the Methow Recycles tool library in Twisp, with plans to add other locations to this list as well. Please reach out to us with your feedback on this service and tag us on social media @theokanogancd if you try them out!
Thank you, our essential partners, the Okanogan County Landfill, Clean Air Methow, the City of Okanogan, the City of Omak, the Town of Riverside, Town of Twisp, and project funders, Washington Department of Ecology, Washington State Conservation Commission, and Okanogan County.