SPOKANE COUNTY, Wash. — Spokane County Regional Solid Waste System (SCRSWS) is providing guidance to those impacted by the devastation of recent wildfires and who may be anxious to begin clean up, about important next steps in the debris removal process.
“Our hearts continue to be with those who have lost homes, belongings, livelihoods and more. I want to assure all those impacted we are working at deliberate speed to help our communities clean up and recover. The Spokane County Regional Solid Waste System is working with its partnering agencies and industry professionals to expedite the special handling requirements. We ask for your patience and understanding, and will share additional information as soon as it becomes available,” said Debra Geiger, Director of SCRSWS.
Spokane Regional Health District and the Spokane Clean Air Agency have issued joint guidance about handling debris. Guidance is available online here. Property owners should be aware that extremely hazardous waste may be present in ash and other fire-related debris (asbestos, heavy metals, toxic chemicals, etc.).
Accepted Solid Waste
Spokane County’s North County Transfer Station and the Valley Transfer Station can accept some fire-related debris. The materials must be “recognizable”; such as furniture, appliances, scrap metal, spoiled food, burned vegetation, household items, tools, machinery, and
regular household trash. However, if these items are coated in ash – they will be rejected. For information on accepted fire debris at the City’s Waste to Energy Facility, please call (509) 625-6580.
The region’s three transfer stations: North County, Spokane Valley and the Waste to Energy Facility (see attached map) CANNOT accept any ash or structural/demolition fire debris. At this time, officials with the system are consulting with local solid waste service providers, the State of Washington, and other regulatory agencies to determine how to efficiently and safely dispose of fire-related materials during the recovery process.
In addition to fire debris containing ashes and structural/demolition materials, scrapings and soils will not be accepted at these facilities. After a disaster, materials that are potentially hazardous and could endanger public and environmental health standards require special handling, management, and testing before they can be disposed of properly.
It is strongly recommended that insured property owners consult with insurance providers in advance, and hire only certified, licensed and bonded contractors to assist with clean-up efforts. The Washington State Department of Labor & Industries has a verification tool available.
Additional information regarding disposal options will be provided the week of August 28, 2023.