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Bow Lake Transfer Station Renovation Project - Facilities

Bow Lake Recycling & Transfer Station renovation project

Project summary

The new Bow Lake Recycling & Transfer Station was built on the site of a facility dating from the 1970s.

Thanks to the hard work of operations staff, engineers, planners, and managers, in July 2012, solid waste transfer operations were smoothly transitioned from the old Bow Lake Transfer Station to the newly constructed Bow Lake Recycling & Transfer Station. Interim recycling was introduced inside the new building until the completion of a newly expanded recycling area on the south side of the building in 2013.

This single station receives about one third of the county’s total garbage tonnage for transfer to the landfill and is on track to double the amount of recycling that takes place in King County transfer stations through its resource recovery efforts as well as an expanded recycling collection area.

The design of the new station incorporates many new features:

  • An enclosed, long-span transfer building, which
    • protects customers and workers from the weather
    • contains noise, dust and odors
    • has easy-to-use unloading areas, giving customers more room to maneuver and reducing wait times
    • allows workers to do high-volume waste handling while providing the flexibility to allow selective material recovery and baling
  • An Automated Traffic Management System, which
    • promotes an efficient traffic flow, reducing emissions from queuing vehicles
    • allows scales to be reversed and reconfigured to help clear heavy traffic
    • provides the flexibility to serve customers with mixed loads of waste and recyclable materials
  • Water conservation efforts
    • Rainwater collected from the rooftop is stored in two vaults that hold up to 30,000 gallons of water and is used to wash floors and equipment, and to flush toilets
    • Low-flow water fixtures
    • Drought-tolerant native plants landscape design
  • Energy conservation efforts
    • Skylights on the roof and translucent windows on the east and west walls allow natural light to filter into the building
    • Energy efficient fixtures and equipment
    • Waste heat capture and reuse
    • Solar panels generate 2.5 percent of the annual building energy use

The project was completed on schedule and seven million dollars under budget, while maintaining a stellar safety record. In 2014, the King County Solid Waste Division won the Solid Waste Association of North America external link Silver Award for Excellence in Transfer Stations in recognition of the Bow Lake Recycling & Transfer Station. Read the complete award applicationDownload PDF external link .

Leadership in energy & environmental design (leed™)

The LEED™ Green Building Rating System™ recognizes environmental leadership in the building industry. It is a voluntary, consensus-based national standard for developing high-performance, sustainable buildings. LEED™ emphasizes state-of-the-art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection and indoor environmental quality. Projects can obtain various levels of certification – Certified, Silver, Gold, or Platinum – based on a point rating system. The U.S. Green Building Council has certified Bow Lake with the highest level of certification: Platinum.

Project art

In 1973, King County adopted legislation creating the 1% for Art program, which requires that a percentage of funds from capital construction projects be set aside for public artwork. Experience has shown that investments in public art benefit the community in many ways, from deterring vandalism to turning public facilities into better neighbors and community assets.

Artists Andy Cao and Xavier Perrot created a sculpture in the form of a large, hovering cloud that contains colorful pieces of discarded glass from the Pilchuck Glass School, an international center for glass art education in Stanwood, WA. Read more about the art on 4Culture's website external link under "Public Art Collection."


Tom Creegan (Primary Contact)
Project Manager
King County Solid Waste Division
Telephone: 206-477-5218
TTY Relay: 711

Kalyn Brady (Other Contact)
Communications Planner
King County Solid Waste Division
Telephone: 206-477-7468
TTY Relay: 711

If you have questions or would like to provide comments to the King County Project Manager, please use our comment form to ensure a timely response.

Aerial view of the new Bow Lake Transfer Station
Aerial view of the new Bow Lake Transfer Station.
Before renovation: Transfer pit at the old Bow Lake Transfer Station
Before renovation: Transfer pit at the old Bow Lake Transfer Station
After renovation: Receiving floor at the new Bow Lake Recycling and Transfer Station
After renovation: Receiving floor at the new Bow Lake Recycling and Transfer Station

Construction photos

View photos of the Bow lake recycling and transfer station renovation project on the Solid Waste Division's Flickr Photostreamexternal link .

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

Contact Us

 Call: 206-477-4466

TTY Relay: 711