Okanogan residents can turn in illegal burn barrels for free compost bins YAKIMA - Okanogan County residents can swap burn barrels for free compost bins at two locations in coming weeks.
From Aug. 15 through Sept. 4, 2009, exchanges can be made from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at the Okanogan County Central Landfill, 240 B&O Road, Okanogan.
On Aug. 15, exchanges can be made from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Twisp solid waste transfer station, 12 Twisp Airport Road.
The trade-in project involves the Air Quality Program of the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology), the Washington Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Okanogan County Public Works, and the U.S. Forest Service.
It's illegal to use burn barrels in Washington. By composting yard debris instead of burning, you can:
-Produce useful materials for your garden and lawn.
-Reduce harmful air pollution caused by illegal burning. Smoke from outdoor burning pollutes the air, causing serious health problems. Much like cigarette smoke, the smoke from burning leaves, grass, brush, and tree needles can cause asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, and lung cancer. Children, the elderly, and those with breathing problems are most harmed by poor air quality.
-Avoid sparking wildfires. Backyard fires that get out of control set off most of the wildfires caused by people. You can be held responsible for the cost of putting out your out-of-control fire, which can be very expensive.
-Cut the amount of yard debris that goes into the county landfill.
Source: Washington Department of Ecology
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