Mandatory Tumbleweed Recycling coming June 1st, to Benton-Franklin Counties
According to a new division of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this is an "opportunity" to make good use of something we have LOTS of - tumbleweeds!
The EPA announced Friday this new program will be started June 1st, and will rapidly be deployed to other counties where tumbleweeds are considered a nuisance, or where public officials have to utilize resources to clean them up.
The Department of Environmental Restoration and Preservation (D.E.R.P) is a new branch of the EPA, created to target low-level environmental cleanup issues such as this one. The new development has yet to be added to the County websites.
According to Jim Hilfigger of the EPA, a system of fines will be used to enforce the program. Residents will be issued large containers in which they will be required to deposit weeds that come onto their property. Business owners will get them as well. The containers are expected to resemble the one in this image:
The weeds will be collected by a company subcontracted to take them to a recycling plant that is due to be constructed in Badger Canyon. Here is photo of a similar type of facility used in California. If tumbleweeds are piled up on your property, Tumbleweed Patrol Agents will issue citations, starting at $25. The T.P.A. agents will be paid for with future funding from the Washington State Liquor Control board expected marijuana revenue.
The weeds will be turned into agricultural mulch and potentially used for helping to make low-carbon based fuel for vehicles.
Some of the new EPA-D.E.R.P. regulations will include the following for residents:
"Remove all sagebrush, chaparral, tumbleweeds, and any other brush or weeds which attain growth as to become a fire menace to adjacent improved property when dry.
These areas must be free and clear of growth and dead vegetation."
There will be an opportunity for public comment on the issue, between now and June 1st, residents may leave their input and thoughts on the new plan by clicking here.
Residents are advised NOT to burn tumbleweeds prior to the new recycling plan going into effect, as this could violate a Clean Air Authority burn day.