STEVENS COUNTY, Wash. - Got an old dirty woodstove and live in Stevens County? In an effort to help improve air quality, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) is offering $200 to residents in exchange for old woodstoves.
For one day only, a cash-back event will run from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012, at the Stevens County Landfill outside Kettle Falls. Participants in the cash-back program must be age 18 or older and are limited to receiving a voucher for up to two stoves.
In 2011, the Legislature designated funds for the program from the Model Toxics Control Act (MTCA) to reduce smoke in communities.
"Air quality in Colville and Kettle Falls is not as healthful as it could be during the winter months, and one way for residents to help is by reducing smoke coming out of their chimneys," said Paul Rossow, an Ecology air quality specialist in Spokane.
"Northeast Washington is a beautiful place to live and visit and the people here care about their community," Rossow said. "We hope this cash-back program will provide an incentive for people to consider cleaner burning options such as a newer, more efficient certified stove that burns less wood and emits less smoke, or using propane or natural gas where available."
In 2011, the air monitor in Colville recorded 29 days when residents of Colville were exposed to air that was unhealthy to breathe. Pollution information gathered year round at the monitor puts the town in the top eleven in the state for the fine particles found in smoke and diesel fumes.
Stevens County Solid Waste employees will help Ecology's Air Quality Program staff on Sunday with unloading and recycling the stoves. Ecology will also provide clean burning tips like burning only dry seasoned wood and small hot fires and not damping down your stove. For more information, check out Ecology's website: www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/air/indoor_woodsmoke/wood_smoke_page.htm.
For more information, call Paul Rossow at 509-329-3574 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.