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The Washington State Department of Ecology approved King County's 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan Download PDF 16 MB (Plan) on Nov. 14, 2019. The Plan had already been approved by the King County Council and 24 of King County's 37 partnering cities. City approval of the 2019 Plan required approval by cities representing three-quarters of the total population of the cities that acted on the Plan during the 120-day period. The 24 cities that approved the Plan represent 92 percent of the population of the cities that took action during the city approval period.

Environmental review

The Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was developed in accordance with the State Environmental Policy Act. The Final EIS evaluates the potential significant environmental impacts of the facilities, programs, and services described in the Plan, which presents strategies for managing King County's solid waste over the next six years, with consideration of the next 20 years. It also describes mitigation measures that can be used to avoid such impacts or reduce them below significant levels; and, where possible, draws conclusions about whether there may be any significant unavoidable adverse impacts of several project and program alternatives described in the Plan.

Please see the Notice of Issuance and Availability of the Final EIS Download PDF 170 K and the Final Environmental Impact Statement Download PDF 2 MB (Final EIS) for more information on the environmental review process.

Background

Washington State law requires that each county, in cooperation with the cities located in the county, prepare a coordinated, comprehensive solid waste management plan (Plan) as outlined in RCW 70.95.080. The previous Plan, the 2001 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan, along with a State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA) non-project Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that addressed the potential impacts of implementing the plan, was adopted in 2001. Actions taken by the Division since then to update the 2001 Plan include:

  • In 2005, the Division, in collaboration with the cities, began preparation of the 2007 Transfer and Waste Management Plan (Transfer Plan), as well as preparation of a SEPA EIS that supplemented the 2001 Plan’s EIS. The County Council adopted the Transfer Plan in 2007; and
  • In 2011, along with a SEPA Determination of Non-Significance (DNS), and in 2013 the 2001 Plan was reviewed and updated. However, these reviews were not formally adopted by the King County Council or by the cities.

The Division has worked with cities to update the 2001 Plan. A new 2019 Plan presents strategies for managing King County's solid waste over the next 6 years, with consideration of the next 20 years. It also includes policies, recommendations, and goals for: solid waste system planning; waste prevention, recycling, and solid waste collection; solid waste transfer and processing system; landfill management and solid waste disposal; and solid waste system finance.

The Plan incorporates a number of policy and program changes, including:

  • A reevaluation of the 2007 Transfer Plan
  • Recommendations from the Division's Sustainable Solid Waste Management Plan to study options for resource recovery and potential changes to the solid waste rate structure
  • Possible policy changes such as instituting mandatory recycling requirements, a new 70% recycling goal, and new construction and demolition debris recycling and disposal policies
  • Consideration of anaerobic digestion (AD) and advanced materials recovery (AMR) processing as possible transfer/processing options
  • Extending the life of Cedar Hills Regional Landfill by optimizing development of the site for landfilling. View an infographic of the landfill Download PDF 800 K.
  • Consideration of waste-to-energy and other alternative conversion technologies as long-term disposal options, in addition to waste export, and partial early export

The Division has been working with its advisory committees, the Metropolitan Solid Waste Management Advisory Committee and the Solid Waste Advisory Committee on the new Plan.

Project schedule

  Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan project schedule

Date Actions/Events/Public Meetings
June 26, 2017 Determination of Significance and Request for Comments on Scope of Environmental Impact Statement issued by King County Solid Waste Division in accordance with the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)
July 17, 2017 Comments due on the scope of the Environmental Impact Statement
Oct. 2016 – Nov. 2017 King County Solid Waste Division met monthly with advisory committees - to continue development of the draft comp plan
Dec. 2017 Preparation of draft Plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for public release in January 2018
Jan. 8, 2018 Beginning of 60-day public review and comment period on draft Plan and draft EIS.

These documents were also submitted to the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) for a 120-day preliminary review and comment period.
Jan. 24, 2018 Open House – 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Kingsgate Library, 12315 NE 143rd St., Kirkland external link .
Jan. 30, 2018 Open House – 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Kent Senior Center, 600 East Smith St., Kent external link .
Feb. 7, 2018 Open House – 5:30-7:30 p.m. at King County Library Service Center, 960 Newport Way NW, Issaquah external link .
March 8, 2018 Deadline for submitting comments on the draft Plan and draft EIS

Ways to comment on the draft Plan and draft EIS included an on-line survey (in English and Spanish), three open houses, community briefings, email, and letter.

NOTE: There were additional opportunities for public input as the draft Plan went through a review and adoption process by the King County Council and the cities starting in mid to late 2018
April-May 2018 The draft Plan and draft EIS revised - to address public comments, comments from Ecology and other agencies, and the King County Executive's recommendations.
July 26, 2018 King County Executive Dow Constantine transmitted the 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan (Plan) to the King County Council, including the Regional Policy Committee, for review and adoption.
March 7, 2019 The King County Solid Waste Division issued a Notice of Issuance and Availability of the Final EIS Download PDF 170 K of the Final Environmental Impact Statement Download PDF 2 MB for the 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan. The Final EIS includes responses to comments received on the Draft EIS.
April 17, 2019 The Regional Policy Committee of the King County Council approved the 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan with amendments.
April 24, 2019 The King County Council approved the 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan with amendments.
May 20 – Sept. 16, 2019 The Solid Waste Division submitted the County-approved Plan to the cities for adoption. The cities had a 120-day adoption period. During this period, 24 of the 37 partner cities approved the Plan by resolution. (See Appendix I of the 2019 Plan for copies of the resolutions)
Sept. 30 – Nov. 14, 2019 The Solid Waste Division submitted the County/City-approved Plan with Final EIS to Ecology for final approval. Ecology had a 45-day approval period and approved the Plan on November 14, 2019.

Documents

 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan documents

Date Document
Nov. 14, 2019 Washington State Department of Ecology approved the Final 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan Download PDF 16 MB. See the Errata sheet Download PDF 50 K for typographical errors in the Plan.
Sept. 17, 2019 24 of the 37 partner cities approved the 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan Download PDF 16 MB. The cities had 120 days to act on the Plan. Documents included in the transmittal packet to the cities included a sample adoption resolution Download PDF 35 K, a copy of Ordinance 18893, and a Frequently Asked Questions Download PDF 700 K document on the 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan.
April 24, 2019 King County Council approved Ordinance 18893 Download PDF 400 K, with the 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan with amendments approved by the Regional Policy Committee, as Attachment A.
March 7, 2019 Notice of Issuance and Availability Download PDF 170 K of the Final Environmental Impact Statement Download PDF 2 MB for the 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan
July 26, 2018 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan Download PDF 12 MB transmitted by the King County Executive to the King County Council for their consideration and approval
Jan. 8, 2018 Notice of Availability Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the King County Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan and Notice of Public Open Houses Download PDF 150 K
Jan. 2018 Draft King County Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan Download PDF 7 MB
Jan. 2018 Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the King County Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan Download PDF 1.2 MB
June 26, 2017 Determination of Significance and Request for comments on the Scope of the Environmental Impact Statement Download PDF 450 K
2013 2013 Draft Plan Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan Download PDF 5.5 MB
2013 Determination of Nonsignificance – Non Project Action Download PDF 130 K
2013 SEPA Checklist Download PDF 300 K
2007 2007 Transfer and Waste Management Plan (Transfer Plan)
2001 Final 2001 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan

Contacts

For questions about the 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan, please contact:

Beth Humphreys
Strategy, Communications & Performance Section
King County Solid Waste Division
Telephone: 206-477-5264, TTY Relay 711

Contact Us

 Call: 206-477-4466

TTY Relay: 711

Fax: 206-296-0197

King County Solid Waste Division mission: Waste Prevention, Resource Recovery, Waste Disposal