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South County Recycling and Transfer Station Project

Learn about our newest transfer station coming to south King County in 2026.  The station will serve communities in and around Algona, Auburn, Federal Way, and Pacific.

What's happening now?

Construction has begun!
We began construction on the South King County Recycling and Transfer Station in spring 2023. Over the coming months, crews will be preparing the site, conducting final surveys and layout, and starting to excavate, grade, and remove trees.

As a reminder, the existing Algona Transfer Station will remain open during construction.



King County is constructing a new Recycling and Transfer Station just north of the existing Algona Transfer Station. The new facility will include commercial and public recycling drop-off areas, hazardous waste disposal areas, and an administrative office.

Construction schedule

Construction began in spring 2023 and is expected to continue into spring 2026. The new station is scheduled to open to the public as soon as summer 2026. We will share a more detailed construction schedule and look-ahead in the coming months as the contractor continues to mobilize.

What to expect during construction

People who live, work, and travel in the area can expect occasional noise, vibration, and dust throughout construction. Crews will make every possible effort to limit the effects of construction on the surrounding community.

Occasional traffic shifts and lane closures along W Valley Hwy S will be required to complete some construction activities.

King County is committed to being a good neighbor and will work directly with the community throughout the project to minimize construction impacts whenever possible. Residents can expect:

  • Construction updates and news via notices, emails, and this website.
  • One-on-one problem solving with residents directly impacted by construction.

As construction begins, you can stay informed and involved through the following channels:

  • Sign up for our GovDelivery email updates to get the latest project and construction updates in your inbox. You can sign up or opt out at any time.
  • Invite a member of the project team to give a virtual presentation to your organization or group.

If you have questions or comments, please contact Karen Herndon, Project Manager, via email or by calling 206-477-0529.

South County project schedule.
South County project schedule.


Community advantages

In addition to expanded services, the new South County station will bring additional benefits to the neighboring community including apprenticeship and training opportunities, job creation and economic investments, environmental education, public art additions, and West Valley Highway South road improvements.

Expanded services

The new South County Recycling and Transfer Station will offer a wider variety of services for customers than are currently available at the Algona Station. Station services will include:

  • Recycling for appliances, glass, metals, paper, plastics, wood, yard waste, and more
  • Hazardous waste disposal for products from homes and qualifying small businesses
  • Garbage disposal

Site selection

In 2006, the King County Council approved a plan to modernize its recycling and waste disposal facilities throughout the county.

As part of that plan, the County began looking for a location to build a replacement facility for the aging Algona station in 2012.

In 2017, the site at 35101 W Valley Hwy S was selected. This site is located just north of the existing Algona Transfer Station. 

Read the 2006 Solid Waste Transfer and Waste Management Plan (646KB)


Our Solid Waste Division project team worked with representatives from the surrounding community as the design for the new station was developed. This group was known as the Design Advisory Committee and met regularly throughout the process.

The team also worked with the cities of Algona, Auburn, Pacific, and Federal Way and with employees who worked at existing County transfer stations. The community was also asked to share their input online and at in-person events. More information about the public engagement process can be found below. Final design for the facility was completed in June 2022.

Living Building Challenge

The Living Building Challenge (LBC) is an opportunity for projects to create a positive impact on the human and natural systems that interact with them. Projects that follow the LBC framework create positive environmental, sustainable, and regenerative impacts. King County has committed itself to registering at least 20 LBC projects by 2025.

Structures that adhere to the LBC design framework don’t just focus on one area of environmental impact, but instead benefit their surroundings through a variety of  categories. The South County Recycling and Transfer Station project will focus on the categories of Energy, Place, Equity and Beauty.

The South King County Recycling and Transfer Station will include the following features that align with the LBC design framework:

  • Solar panels
  • Sustainable construction materials
  • Natural light
  • Native plant life


The new South County Recycling & Transfer Station will use modern design elements that address many of the challenges that are encountered at older stations.

Controlling air - Modern stations feature walled-in structures to contain air flow and hold in odors. Misters are also used to suppress dust and odors.

Enhancing Lighting - Modern stations harness the power of natural light by using transparent materials for window and roofing to limit the use of electricity, saving energy and money.

Containing Sound - Modern stations reduce noise from equipment and vehicles by using enclosed-building designs, sound absorbing landscaping, and by setting the buildings further back or using sound barrier walls.

Mitigating Traffic - Compacting equipment and additional driving lanes allow modern stations to move vehicles through the site quickly and reduce the number of trucks coming to and from the location each day.


The new South County Recycling and Transfer Station will feature a number of environmental and community enhancing features including:

  • The use of solar panels
  • Creek realignment and habitat enhancements
  • The capture and use of rainwater from the site
  • The use of sustainable construction materials
  • Landscaping with native, drought tolerant plants

Public involvement

Public involvement is an essential part of developing designs or plans for any new station. As we began to evaluate a new station for south County residents, our staff asked the community to share what was important to them.

During that outreach, the community said that recycling, garbage and hazardous waste disposal were important services. They also shared that they were concerned about traffic, odor, and impacts to the stream and wetlands on the site.

We also asked the community what benefits they would like to see from a new station. Job training and apprenticeships, walking and biking trails, and environmental impacts were some of the most common responses.

Using this information, we worked with representatives from south county cities, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe, businesses, residents and solid waste hauling companies to develop a design for the South County Recycling & Transfer Station that would serve the communities needs and desires.

Public art

Public art for the South County Recycling & Transfer Station

In 1973, King County created the 1 Percent for Art Program. This program requires that 1% of funds from capital construction projects, such as the South County Recycling & Transfer Station, be set aside for public artwork. This funding is managed by 4Culture, the county's cultural services agency.

The artists selected for the South County Recycling and Transfer Station Project are the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe's Cultural Division and Evan Blackwell, a visual artist and faculty member at Evergreen State College. 

The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe seeks to "create regenerative spaces for people in natural ecosystems" and is committed to the support, cultivation, preservation, and sharing of cultural traditions. With this project, they are interested in accessing ancestral teachings, translated through design, artwork, and a holistic approach to the site. The site is near the Muckleshoot Reservation and its wetlands feed into the White River watershed, a sacred resource to the Muckleshoot.  

Evan Blackwell's artwork began with early training in ceramics and has evolved into the inventive reuse and repurposing of items such as salvaged building supplies, disposable products, and post-consumer waste. 

Project schedule

Updated May 2023 (subject to change)

Date Actions/Events/Public meetings
July 2012 - Sep 2016

Potential locations for the new facility are identified, criteria to evaluate locations are developed, an Environmental Impact statement is completed, and multiple community meetings are held.

Learn more about our facility siting process.

Feb 2017

King County selects the site 35101 West Valley Highway S, Algona, WA as the location for new South County Recycling and Transfer Station.

Nov 2018 Preliminary station design begins.
Nov 29, 2018 First Design Advisory Group meeting.
Dec 12, 2018

Open House is held at Algona City Hall, 200 Washington Blvd., Algona for community members interested in learning more about the project and providing input on design.

Read Open House #1 Summary (56KB)

Feb 8 - June 2, 2019 Online open house is held. Community members are invited to give their input on the design of the new station, including ideas on sustainable design features, services to be offered, and impacts and benefits to the community.
Feb 28, 2019 Second Design Advisory Group meeting.
May 30, 2019 Third Design Advisory Group meeting.
Fall 2019 - Winter 2020 Value Engineering Study and environmental analysis and studies (noise, geotechnical, traffic, wetlands and stream) are performed.
Feb 14, 2020 4Culture initiates Call for Artists to create public art for the project.
Aug 2020

4Culture announces a rtists selected for the project.

Read about Muckleshoot Indian Tribe and Evan Blackwell

May 28, 2020 Fourth Design Advisory Group meeting.
July 1, 2021 Fifth Design Advisory Group Meeting.
Aug 25, 2021 Online Open House is held. This is an opportunity for community members to learn more, ask questions, and give input to project team on 60% design.
Summer 2021 - Fall 2022 Station final design.
May 18, 2023 Construction groundbreaking
2023 - Spring 2026 Construction of new facility.
Summer 2026 New facility opens to the public.