The Trouble with Trash

Living and working on an island has its perks, disposing of garbage is not one of them. 

When you go on vacation, thinking about trash is probably the last thing on your mind. Unfortunately it is something we have to constantly think about as islanders. We live in a unique ecosystem where great care has to be taken to preserve our beautiful surroundings.  

To put trash rates into perspective, it currently costs us $400/ton to dispose of trash on Orcas (this is accounting for a recent rate hike). Recycling is $350/ton. Off island, the Skagit County Recycling and Transfer Station charges $97/ton although out of county trash cannot be taken to the facility.

There is also a huge plastic recycling crisis going on around the world. For the past 25 years China has taken most of the world’s plastics and materials headed to recycling facilities. Their refusal to accept the world’s contaminated recycling has created massive amounts of items that could/should be recycled but are now ending up in U.S. landfills. So, in short, your plastic waste is now compounded.

During our peak camping season we are “gifted” an abundance of unwanted trash. Dead air mattresses, broken camping chairs, empty boxes, and, on occasion, huge bags of random trash. Although we are happy to dispose of minimal camping waste, some of these larger items become costly to get rid of.

The next time you travel to the islands, whether or not you stay with us, consider these options for keeping your waste down:

  • If you bring in excess packaging (boxes, plastic, etc.) pack it out with you.
  • Consider visiting The Exchange for gently used items you can purchase locally. They have utensils, dishware, mugs, clothing and more.
  • Bring reusable water bottles and jugs with you. 

Because of the skyrocketing costs associated with waste disposal we are being forced to raise our rates for the 2020 season. We value all our loyal customers and want to give you the chance to make your reservations under our current rates. After December 1st our rates will likely jump by 25%.

We are sorry for this news but hope you’ll still come back, stay with us, and take advantage of our beautiful property, the animals, the woods, our disc golf course, train, and many happy memories.