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Plan would expand King County’s only landfill one last* time — UPDATE

King County needs more time to sort out a new era solution for getting rid of its copious mountains of trash — burning the garbage in a waste-to-energy like they do in densely populated areas of Europe, Japan, and.. checks notes… Spokane seems like a probable future.

But in the meantime, there is a plan to create a new addition to the county’s Cedar Hills Regional Landfill that officials say will give the giant garbage collecting facility — and the county’s only landfill –another 21 years of life. The King County Council will vote on the plan Monday.

UPDATE: The council announced Monday morning that the vote has been pushed back so officials have more time to consider newly proposed amendments to the legislation.

Here’s the announcement from the King County Council:

A scheduled vote on final passage of the proposed plan to expand the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill will not occur today as planned.

 This is because legislation authorizing the expansion was amended by council this morning, which means the plan will now be sent back to the Regional Policy Committee. The amendments, proposed by Councilmember Reagan Dunn, were all passed unanimously and can be found in the attached PDF.

 “These amendments are a major victory for the environment and the people of King County,” said Dunn. “We must continue to work toward finding a common-sense, long term solution that protects the health of our communities.”

 The Regional Policy Committee next meets on April 17th and the legislation will be considered at that time. If and when it passes out of committee the plan will be sent back to the county council for further consideration.

Council member Reagan Dunn who represents the area says many of his constituents who live near the south county facility “have reported extreme hardships associated with landfill operations.”

The Seattle Times reports on a series of updated end of life plans for the landfill that have extended its use over the years thanks to everything from improved composting and recycling to the reduction in trash caused by slowdown in the economy. The new plan could extend the facility’s life through 2040.

Without an alternative, where else are you going to put King County’s trash? The proposed plan backed by King County Executive Dow Constantine explicitly doesn’t address that but says the expansion will give the county time to sort the problem out. You can read the 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan – King County Solid Waste Division plan (PDF) here.

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