KC Solid Waste Plan

UPDATED THROUGH August 6, 2019

CEDAR HILLS LANDFILL EIS SCOPING NOW UNDERWAY

King County has given notice that the Scoping process for the Cedar Hills Landfill Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is underway and available for public review and comment through August 26, 2019. There is a public meeting planned for Monday, August 12, 2019, at the King County Library Service Center in Issaquah. For more information, please visit the following website: Cedar Hills Landfill – EIS Scoping Process.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

On Wednesday, April 24, 2019, the KCC passed the Solid Waste Management Plan Update that, as reported by The Seattle Times, will expand and continue use of the Cedar Hills Landfill through 2040.  (Substitute Ordinance No. 2018-0375.4 —> approved by KC Executive Constantine on May 10, 2019, as Ordinance No. 18893.)  Read KC Ord 18893 with selected excerpts from Attachment “A” here: KC Ord 18893 with Attach A Excerpts.  The Plan is subject to review and approval by the WaDOE.  The 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan is a revision of the 2001 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan.  The KCC vote was 5 for, 2 against (Lambert and Dunn), and 2 excused.

The King County Solid Waste Division is inviting residents in the vicinity of the Cedar Hills Landfill to submit an application to be considered for membership on the County’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee.  More information and links are provided here:  KC SWAC Invitation.

On March 20, 2019, the King County Council met at New Life Church in Renton, 15711 – 152nd Ave SE, and heard from area residents on the proposed expansion of the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill as proposed in the draft Solid Waste Comprehensive Plan and the Final Environmental Impact Statement that was issued on March 7, 2019.  According to KC Council Member Reagan Dunn, “the King County Council will vote on the draft Solid Waste Comprehensive Plan that extends the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill operations within the next couple weeks.”  Council Member Dunn issued the following statement on April 10th regarding the outcome of this meeting and the status of the Plan:

Dear friends:  I want to take a moment to say thank you, again, to those of you who attended our special King County Council meeting in Renton on March 20, and also to offer an update on what has happened since.  Because of our excellent turnout at the special King County Council meeting, which included public testimony from almost 80 members of the community, we were able to attract the attention of both local and national news outlets.  Since the meeting, I’ve been deliberating with my colleagues on the Council and pushing for amendments to the draft Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan that will provide relief to area residents from some of the worst effects of the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill. I am pleased to report that all six amendments that I proposed passed unanimously through the Council—this is a major victory for communities that neighbor the landfill.

Amendment #1: Reinforces the requirement of a 1,000 foot buffer surrounding the landfill
Amendment #2: Requires that the Solid Waste Division develop and implement a plan to manage the bird population at the landfill
Amendment #3: Requires the Solid Waste Division to report to the Council on best practices for the use of top lifts and temporary covers in landfill operation
Amendment #4: Clarifies and reiterates that the Solid Waste Division is required to make a good faith effort to keep the maximum height of 788 feet for Areas 5, 6, and 7 of the landfill
Amendment #5: Requires that King County’s Office of Performance, Strategy, and Budget engage with the Solid Waste Division and regional partners to develop a plan for a long-term waste disposal method, with a progress report due to the Council by December 31, 2021
Amendment #6: Requires the Road Services Division to implement a study on charging the Solid Waste Division for the repair and maintenance of roads near the landfill

Due to these amendments, the vote on the Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan and landfill expansion has been pushed to April 17th, when it will be considered by the Regional Policy Committee. If and when it passes out of committee, the plan will go to the full Council for consideration.  When the times comes, I plan to vote “no” on the plan that would extend the life of the landfill. I believe it is time that we start seriously considering alternative solutions to solid waste management, rather than continuing to kick the can down the road.  I will continue to work toward finding a long-term solution that makes sense for the health of our communities, stewardship of our environment, and responsible waste disposal.
Sincerely,
Reagan Dunn

On, July 26, 2018, King County Executive Dow Constantine transmitted the 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan (July 2018) (Plan) to the King County Council for their consideration and approval. This Plan (PDF File, 10 MB), which updates the 2001 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan, presents strategies for managing King County’s solid waste over the next six years, with consideration of the next 20 years. It addresses the many components of the regional system including recycling, collection, finance, transfer station services, and disposal. Comments received during the January 8 through March 8, 2018 public comment period are addressed in the Plan. There will be additional opportunities for public input as the Plan undergoes a review and adoption process by the King County Council and the cities beginning in the fall of 2018.

ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND

The King County Solid Waste Division has published a Draft Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan Update and Environmental Impact Statement that propose a comprehensive plan for managing our garbage and recycling for the next 20 years.  These documents are now available for public review and comment.  The public comment period is open through March 8, 2018.  The GMVUAC intends to review these documents and offer comments.  Individuals desiring to express their concerns regarding this topic and the referenced documents are encouraged to participate in this review process and to timely submit relevant comments and suggestions for the County’s consideration.  A timeline has been set for the review and adoption process.

The Fact Sheet prepared by the County may be viewed here:  KC Solid Waste CompPlan Update-Fact Sheet-FINAL

The County website devoted to this subject matter, including access to the relevant documents, may be accessed directly by clicking on the following link:   http://www.kingcounty.gov/depts/dnrp/solid-waste/about/planning/comp-plan.aspx

At the GMVUAC February meeting, Solid Waste Division Director Pat D. McLaughlin presented a slide show outlining the draft Comprehensive Management Plan Update and the applicable procedures and timeline for its public review and implementation.  You can view this presentation here:  KC SW Comp Plan Update_Slides_02 12 2018

The GMVUAC has submitted its comments regarding King County’s draft Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan Update. The GMVUAC’s comments to this plan may be read here: KCSWMP–COMMENTS_03 07 2018 . Some highlights from our Comments include:

(1) Support for waste prevention and reuse as highest priorities;
(2) Use of educational methods to produce more informed consumers and producers of solid waste;
(3) No expansion of the Cedar Hills Landfill;
(4) Consumer and producer incentives to keep recyclable items out of the waste stream; and
(5) Support to explore viability of Waste-to-Energy or Waste Incineration methods.

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