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Solid Waste Division's public comment period closed

The public comment period on the Draft Plan and Draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) closed on March 8, 2018. The draft Plan and draft EIS will be revised - to address public comments, comments from Ecology and other agencies, and the King County Executive's recommendations.

There will be additional opportunities for public input as the draft Plan undergoes a review and adoption process by the King County Council and the cities starting in mid to late 2018. Please check the King County Council website or your city's website for more information. See the project schedule for next steps in the Plan approval process.

King County is working together with the cities* in our county to develop a plan for how to manage our garbage and recycling for the next 20 years. The plan provides direction for how King County and the cities will provide the services customers expect while keeping fees as low and stable as possible.

What issues will affect county residents?

The draft plan addresses many topics, however, there are three big issues ahead that will affect everyone in King County.

  1. King County has a goal to recycle 70 percent of our waste stream. Currently we recycle 52 percent of our waste stream. What actions should we take to reach our 70 percent goal?
  2. What are the most important services that should be provided at King County's garbage and recycling transfer facilities, including facilities in northeast King County?
  3. How should King County dispose of its garbage over the long term?

Learn how King County's garbage and recycling system works and about the three big issues ahead.

Comprehensive Plan introduction (YouTube)
Comprehensive Plan introduction
English Youtube | Español Youtube
Getting to 70 percent recycling rate (YouTube)
Getting to 70 percent recycling rate
English Youtube | Español Youtube
Transfer station services (YouTube)
Transfer station services
English Youtube | Español Youtube
Long-term disposal options (YouTube)
Long-term disposal options
English Youtube | Español Youtube

To learn more

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

  • A reevaluation of the 2007 Transfer Plan that may mean changes to the transfer system that were not discussed in the 2001 Plan or its 2011 and 2013 reviews
  • Recommendations from the Division’s Sustainable Solid Waste Management Plan to study options for resource recovery, and changes to how the solid waste rate is structured
  • Possible policy changes such as instituting mandatory recycling requirements throughout the County, 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
  • 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 draft Plan.

Project schedule

Project schedule – updated March 9, 2018 – subject to change
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
October 2016 – November 2017 King County Solid Waste Division met monthly with advisory committees - to continue development of the draft comp plan
December 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 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 . This is an informal event, so people are encouraged to drop in anytime to learn more, ask questions, and provide comments. Light refreshments and activities for children will be provided. Interpreters (Spanish, ASL, etc.) and accommodations for people with disabilities will be provided when requested at least one week in advance of the meeting. Please call 206-477-4466, TTY Relay: 711.
Jan. 30, 2018 Open House – 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Kent Senior Center, 600 East Smith St., Kent external link . This is an informal event, so people are encouraged to drop in anytime to learn more, ask questions, and provide comments. Light refreshments and activities for children will be provided. Interpreters (Spanish, ASL, etc.) and accommodations for people with disabilities will be provided when requested at least one week in advance of the meeting. Please call 206-477-4466, TTY Relay: 711.
Feb. 7, 2018 Open House – 5:30-7:30 p.m. at King County Library Service Center, 960 Newport Way NW, Issaquah external link . This is an informal event, so people are encouraged to drop in anytime to learn more, ask questions, and provide comments. Light refreshments and activities for children will be provided. Interpreters (Spanish, ASL, etc.) and accommodations for people with disabilities will be provided when requested at least one week in advance of the meeting. Please call 206-477-4466, TTY Relay: 711.
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 will be additional opportunities for public input as the draft Plan undergoes a review and adoption process by the King County Council and the cities starting in mid to late 2018. Check the King County Council website or your city's website for more information.
April-May 2018 The draft Plan and draft EIS will be revised - to address public comments, comments from Ecology and other agencies, and the King County Executive's recommendations.
Mid 2018 The Solid Waste Division will submit the King County Executive's Proposed Plan with Final EIS to the King County Council (including the Regional Policy Committee) for adoption.
Late 2018 The Solid Waste Division will submit the County-approved Plan with Final EIS to the cities for adoption. The cities have a 120-day adoption period.
Mid 2019 The Solid Waste Division will submit the County/City-approved Plan with Final EIS to Ecology for final approval. Ecology has a 45-day approval period.

Documents

Contacts

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

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


* Thirty seven cities in King County, all but the cities of Seattle and Milton, participate in the King County solid waste system. Seattle and Milton are part of separate systems.

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