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Northeast Recycling & Transfer Station Project

Learn about our plans for the Northeast Recycling and Transfer Station. Once built, the transfer station will serve communities in Kirkland, Redmond, Woodinville, Sammamish, and unincorporated northeast King County.  

Visit the online open house!

Learn more about this project as we prepare the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), scheduled for publication in fall 2023. Visit the online open house now


The Houghton Transfer Station in Kirkland is one of our busiest transfer stations, but it lacks many recycling services and it’s too old and small to expand. 

Replacing the Houghton station will make services more convenient and accessible, and it will also help keep recyclables out of the landfill. The need for a new station was identified in the 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan, which was adopted by 24 cities and the Washington State Department of Ecology.

King County recycling and garbage transfer stations are where residents, businesses, and waste haulers bring garbage and recyclable materials. Garbage is taken to the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill. Recyclable materials are trucked to private companies and made into new products.

Scrap metal recycling.

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Project description

To meet the region's growing demand for environmentally responsible waste management services, King County's Solid Waste Division plans to site, design, and build a modern transfer station in northeast King County. The new station will replace the aging Houghton Transfer Station in Kirkland, which has been in service since the mid-1960s and is unable to offer the recycling services customers increasingly need and want.

Set to open in 2029, this new station will be fully enclosed to control noise and odors, and community members will have opportunities to help shape decisions on station design, amenities, and services.

The new station will provide convenient, accessible recycling services for a variety of items and materials. Recycling services will include:

  • Metals
  • Appliances
  • Yard waste
  • Wood
  • Glass
  • Paper
  • Plastics
  • Other items such as mattresses and household hazardous waste, depending on design and service decisions the community will help influence

Public involvement

We want to make sure your values and concerns are represented. We want to hear your ideas about the siting, design, construction, and operation of a new station. There are several ways you can get involved:

  • Sign up for our eNewsletter to learn about upcoming meetings, comment opportunities, and other ways to share input and help shape decision making.

  • Ask a member on the project team to give a presentation to your organization or group.

  • Because diversity leads to stronger decision making, we especially hope to involve people who have been historically underrepresented and underserved, including communities of color, Tribes, people with disabilities, immigrants, and people who speak English as a second language. 

We will continue to work with the public, providing opportunities for public input to ensure the new station is a good neighbor and community asset. Email us to ask questions, or to request information in alternate formats or languages.

Environmental Review

The Environmental Review for proposed sites for the Northeast Recycling and Transfer Station is underway. King County's Solid Waste Division has identified one site in Kirkland and one in Woodinville as potential locations for its Northeast Recycling and Transfer Station Project.

We will study the two sites, along with a no-action alternative, in a formal review process known as an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS. The site alternatives that will be studied in the EIS include:

Next steps

The environmental review began with a process called scoping in the fall of 2022. During scoping, the public was able to share their thoughts on:

  • Proposed siting alternatives
  • Potential environmental impacts
  • Potential community impacts
  • Mitigation proposals to reduce or avoid impacts

King County is preparing a Draft EIS that will be available for public review and comment in late 2023. The EIS will identify and analyze:

  • Probable adverse environmental impacts of the project
  • Reasonable alternatives 
  • Possible mitigation options 

We will continue to work with the public during the siting, design, and construction of the project to understand and respond to questions and concerns.

The Solid Waste Division Director will take the results of the environmental review, financial information, the equity impact report and the socio-economic analysis into account when making the final decision on the location for the future northeast recycling and transfer station.  

Project library

Project schedule


Updated July 2022 (subject to change)


Actions/Events/Public engagement

Sep - Oct 2020 Community members for Siting Advisory Group were recruited.
Oct 14, 2020 Siting Advisory Group kick-off meeting was held. Advisory group members were welcomed, an overview of the solid waste system and siting process was shared, and community values were discussed.
Oct 28, 2020 Siting Advisory Group Meeting #1. Reviewed top 15 sites and considerations for screening the sites. 
Oct 30 - Nov 20, 2020 A public survey was completed. Survey identified knowledge of the project, use of the current facility, and views on the impacts and benefits of siting a new facility. 
Nov 18, 2020 Siting Advisory Group Meeting #2. Reviewed community input from fall 2020 public survey and developed community criteria and scoring measures.
Dec 16, 2020 Siting Advisory Group Meeting #3. Finalized community criteria and scoring measures, introduced to criteria weighting.
Jan 20 - Feb 18, 2021 Winter 2021 public survey was completed. Survey provided information on top 4 sites and prioritized community criteria. 
Feb 3, 2021 Siting Advisory Group Meeting #4. Developed criteria weighting, reviewed top 4 sites and preliminary scoring of sites. 
March 17, 2021 Siting Advisory Group Meeting #5. Reviewed community input from winter 2021 public survey, finalized weighting and scoring, ranked order of top 4 sites. 
March 31, 2021 King County identified 3 sites to study in an environmental review.
April 28, 2021 Siting Advisory Group Meeting #6. Overview of County-selected sites and upcoming environmental review. 
Aug 9, 2021 Siting Advisory Group Meeting #7. Applied community criteria to evaluate potential new site.
May 12, 2022 Public Open House and Information Session. This was an opportunity to learn more about the project, meet the project team, and get questions answered by joining the public open house.
May 19, 2022 Siting Advisory Group meeting #8. Reviewed siting data, reviewed top 4 sites and ranked order of top 4 sites.
Aug/Sep 2022  Environmental review process began.
Nov/Dec 2022 Sought public input on what to study in environmental review (“Scoping” public comment period).
Nov 2022 Siting Advisory Group #9. Provided input on Environmental Impact Statement Scoping.
Feb 2023 Issued Final Project Description and Action Alternatives.
Fall 2023 Issue Draft Environmental Impact Statement and seek public input.
Fall 2023 Siting Advisory Group Meeting #10. Provide input on Draft Environmental Impact Statement.
Spring 2024 Issue final Environmental Impact Statement.
Mid 2024 Site for new station will be selected.
Mid 2024 - Late 2024 Property acquisition.
Mid 2024-Mid 2027 Facility design and permitting.
Mid 2027 - Mid 2029 Construction.
 Mid 2029 Facility opens to the public.