News Briefs for Dec. 26, 2019

Fireworks regulations reminder; recycle Christmas trees; don't block roundabout; master composter-recycler classes offered

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Fireworks light up the sky at a past Hometown Holidays in Camas. The use of personal fireworks is regulated in Camas and Washougal over the New Year's holiday, with use restricted to 6 p.m. Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. Jan. 1, 2020. (Post-Record file photo)

Cities remind residents about new fireworks regulations

City leaders in Camas and Washougal are reminding residents of the fireworks ordinances in effect in both cities for the New Year holiday.

In Washougal, an ordinance passed in November 2017 restricts the types of fireworks allowed in the city limits to “safe and sane” types that are neither projectile nor explosive. Most fireworks that do not leave the ground, including fountains, sparklers, smokeballs and pinwheels, are legal in Washougal.

The city of Camas still allows projectile and explosive fireworks. The dates and times of permitted fireworks use in both cities is from 6 p.m. on Dec. 31 to 1 a.m. on Jan. 1. Violators face fines starting at $250.

County urges residents to recycle Christmas trees

After the holiday festivities end, Clark County Public Health urges residents to recycle their Christmas trees, rather than sending them to the landfill.

Before trees are recycled, all lights, tinsel, wire, ornaments and stands must be removed. Flocked and artificial trees cannot be recycled and should be placed in the garbage.

Waste Connections will pick up trees with yard debris collection or regular garbage service available in most parts of the county. In Vancouver city limits, the yard debris service is now called organics service. Trees taller than 5 feet must be cut into smaller sections no longer than 5 feet, regardless of whether they will be collected with yard debris or garbage.

To recycle trees, Waste Connections customers with yard debris or organics service can place trees smaller than 5 feet in the yard debris cart at no extra charge; place a single tree, cut into sections of 5 feet or less, next to an empty yard debris cart at no extra charge; or place a single tree, cut into sections of 5 feet or less, next to a full yard debris cart for an additional charge.

Customers who do not have yard debris or organics service can put cut trees next to their garbage containers and pay for an extra 32-gallon collection. Trees collected with garbage will be sent to the landfill and won’t be recycled.

“Recycling Christmas trees can provide a second service when they are chipped into mulch,” said Tina Kendall, environmental outreach specialist. “Instead of going to waste in a landfill, the tree’s nutrients are returned to the soil when used in gardens.”

Camas-Washougal residents can also recycle Christmas trees of any size for a small fee (typically $5 or less) at Triangle Resources at 612 S.E. Union St., Camas, or at the following Vancouver locations:

* Central Transfer and Recycling, 11034 N.E. 117th Ave.

* City Bark, 2419 N.E. Andresen Road

* H&H Wood Recyclers, 8401 N.E. 117th Ave.

* McFarlane’s Bark, 8806 N.E. 117th Ave.

* West Van Materials Center, 6601 N.W. Old Lower River Road.

The Boy Scouts of America will collect trees for recycling in many areas of Clark County on Saturday, Jan. 4. The service is free, but donations will be accepted. Scout units will distribute door hangers with pick-up instructions and contact information in their designated areas prior to Jan. 4.

For more information on holiday recycling, visit Rec

New sign notifies drivers to not block roundabout

Travelers on eastbound Highway 14 will encounter a new electronic advanced warning sign as they approach the newly-built 32nd Street roundabout in Washougal.

Earlier this month, Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) crews installed a “do not block the circle” advanced warning sign that will activate when a train is stopped on the tracks north of the 32nd Street intersection and vehicle queuing on 32nd Street is detected.

The illuminated sign informs eastbound travelers wanting to head north into Washougal at 32nd Street that they should not enter the roundabout and to wait until the train and associated traffic back-up on 32nd Street has cleared before proceeding.

“Eastbound travelers wanting to head north into Washougal should line up and wait in the left lane along the approach to the roundabout,” a news release issued by the WSDOT states. “This storage lane was designed to hold traffic back from entering the roundabout so they do not block all other vehicles who are traveling in other directions. All other traffic movements should continue through the roundabout — do not stop in the roundabout. When the train leaves and the traffic back-up on 32nd Street has cleared, travelers wanting to go north onto 32nd Street can proceed through the roundabout.”

The temporary speed-limit reduction, which was in place during construction, has been lifted, and the speed limit has returned to 55 miles per hour (mph) through the area.

“However, 25 mph is the recommended speed as drivers approach and travel through the roundabouts,” according to the news release.

Additional, low-cost enhancements added as part of this project include two newly installed electronic speed signs at both roundabouts on Highway 14 at Washougal River Road/15th Street and 32nd Street. The signs help slow cars down by informing drivers when they are traveling at speeds above the recommended limit, according to WSDOT.

Master Composter Recycler training planned

The Master Composter Recycler program is now accepting applications for a free 10-week training program that begins in January.

Master Composter Recyclers educate the community about easy ways to reduce waste and recycle right. Program volunteers host backyard composting workshops, share their knowledge at community events, and operate composting demonstration sites.

Classes will be held 6 to 8:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Jan. 22 through March 26.

“If you have any hint of guilt when you throw something in the trash, or any curiosity about whether you should recycle something, please sign up for this course,” said Cassy Dinius, who completed the training this year. “It made my frugal, green heart so, so happy.”

The training covers a variety of topics, including composting, food waste, mulching, soil composition, vermicomposting, recycling and green cleaning. Participants will also compete in a compost contest, perform jar soil-tests and waste audits, and tour a natural garden and transfer station.

“This free course made me confident in reducing my landfill waste,” Dinius said. “Last year, we were sending two or three trash bags to the landfill every week. This year, we’re down to one.”

Participants who successfully complete the program are certified as Master Composter Recyclers. Graduates are asked to contribute 30 volunteer hours within a year in exchange for the training.

For more information about Master Composter Recyclers, to view the training program syllabus and to register for the training, visit clarkcoun