from Pete Moe
Your Orcas Island Transfer Station is in business! After a month in the saddle Orcas Recycling Services/The Exchange is pleased to make this progress report to our community. The transfer station is projected to bring over half a million dollars per year to our island economy, while lowering costs to the public.
We’ve been working hard to learn the various systems; from truck and trailer transport to backhoe operations to cash registers (we finally solved our problem accepting credit cards) to staffing to safety procedures. Our thanks to all our volunteers, San Juan County Public Works, Orcas Island Freight and San Juan Sanitation.
We have invested significant time and money cleaning up the site—from the grounds to the newly painted scale-house to the cleaned-up tipping floor.
One of the biggest efforts has been the clean-up of the former site of the Exchange. During the fire last spring, most of the valuable materials were lost. Materials on the periphery have been carefully sorted and distributed for reuse and/or appropriate recycling.
When will The Exchange re-open? We can’t say any thing anything definitive yet.
After a careful review of the fantastic work of the volunteer Exchange Redesign Committee (headed by Fred Klein) and the advice of our expert solid waste consultant Terrill Chang, we have determined that it does not make sense in terms of logistics or public safety for us to open a temporary Exchange in the near-term.
ORS/The Exchange needs to fulfill the requirements of our contract with San Juan County and create a master plan for the entire site. The contract mandates improvement of traffic flow immeadiately. This will take time, civil engineering, earth-moving and money. As this work encompasses the entire transfer station, it simply does not make sense to open a temporary retail operation with the attendant crowds and vehicles at the same time we are re-grading and re-routing roads.
Every member of the ORS/Exchange board and staff takes The Exchange goals of Reduce, Re-use and Recycle very seriously. With your help we will rebuild The Exchange as soon as humanly possible. We will post regular updates on our Website (exchangeonorcas.org) and our Facebook page. We will also continue to accept contributions to the Rebuild the Exchange Fund at Orcas Island Community Foundation.
We also recognize the immediate need for re-use services in the community–we know that everyone’s garages, basements and storage units are filling up. To help alleviate this, we have decided to host a series of Exchange Reuse Events in the coming months.
The first is coming right up: We will be co-sponsoring the Orcas Christian School’s annual Clothing Bank on October 20 and Garage Sale on October 27.
- OCS Clothing Exchange and Garage Sale—Oct. 20 and 27: The Orcas Christian School (OCS) will be hosting its annual Clothing Swap and Community Garage Sale this month. This year, the events are co-sponsored by ORS/The Exchange, and proceeds from the event will go to support both organizations.
- Clothing Swap: Drop off your clean clothes to the OCS GYM beginning October 14th during school hours. The event takes place on October 20th from 12:00 to 6:00 p.m.
- Garage Sale: Drop off your useful, functioning items beginning October 23rd during school hours at the OCS GYM. The Event takes place on October 27th from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. All left over items will be transported to The Goodwill and/or Salvation Army courtesy of Orcas Island Freight.
We also need volunteers for this event: If you are available October 15-17; or the Oct 24-27 please contact The Exchange at 360 376 4089, or Wendy at OCS, 360-298-5950.
The Board and staff of ORS/The Exchange thank you for your support, your inspiration, your patience and your commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling!