Kitsap County talks waste management as facilities reopen

BREMERTON, Wash. (AP) — Waste management officials have started to cleanup trash dumped along rural roads in Kitsap County after receiving several complaints, county officials said.

Solid waste division manager Chris Piercy said there are more illegal dumps than usual as many people are using extended time at home for spring cleaning and as waste and recycling facilities are starting to reopen, the Kitsap Sun reported.

The county has encouraged residents to hold onto trash or recyclables until all operations return to normal instead of bringing it to the facilities, Piercy said.

“If they’re coming to us, we hope it’s for an urgent need essential to maintaining public health,” Piercy said referring to waste that smells, attracts rodents or is a public public nuisance.

Curbside pickup has been functioning as usual, with about 80% of households in Kitsap using the service, he said.

Earlier this week, some facilities reopened with normal hours and services, including Olympic View Transfer Station, Hansville Recycling and Garbage Facility, Silverdale Recycling and Garbage Facility and Olalla Recycling and Garbage Facility, officials said.

The Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility remains closed.

Customers have been asked to practice social distancing, wear protective face coverings, bring their own hand sanitizer and stay up-to-date on policies by checking the facility website before visiting.

Employees are also expected to take preventive measures by practicing social distancing, wearing protective gear and cleaning common areas.

For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia and death. The vast majority of people recover.