County plans major upgrade at destination for Issaquah trash
August 9, 2011
By Warren Kagarise
Before garbage from Issaquah reaches the landfill, but after trash departs from the curb, haulers transport the refuse to a transfer station.
The midpoint destination for local garbage is planned to receive a major makeover in the years ahead. In the meantime, the King County Solid Waste Division is reaching out to customers and residents to explain how the project could impact garbage collection.
Residents can attend a meeting at a Bellevue church Aug. 17 to learn more about the $77 million project. The meeting comes as the Solid Waste Division is preparing to submit permit applications to Bellevue.
Trash from Issaquah is hauled to the Factoria Transfer Station before crews prep the garbage for shipment to the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill. The transfer station is outdated and does not meet the same standards as a modern facility designed to handle recycling.
The landfill sprawls across 920 acres in unincorporated King County between Issaquah and Maple Valley.
“We have gotten our money’s worth out of infrastructure, and our intent is that future generations will get their money’s worth out of this infrastructure as well,” Solid Waste Division Director Kevin Kiernan said. “We’re building them to last and to fit into their communities and be good neighbors.”
Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station replacement project community meeting
The location, a 7.8-acre parcel along Interstate 90, allows the Factoria station to accommodate haulers coming from Bellevue, Mercer Island and Sammamish, in addition to Issaquah. The commercial garbage haulers serving Snoqualmie and North Bend also drop off loads at Factoria.
The project schedule calls for construction to start in 2013 and for the rebuilt Factoria Recycling and Transfer Station to open in 2015.
The rebuilt station should resemble the modern Shoreline Recycling Transfer Station, a showcase for “green” design.
Plans call for the updated Factoria facility to be enclosed, like the Shoreline station. The existing facility lacks walls, creating a challenge for controlling noise and odors.
Moreover, customers cannot drop off recyclables at the existing Factoria station. The rebuilt facility is designed to be more user-friendly.
Designers also hope the rebuilt facility can achieve Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design Gold certification. The division achieved LEED Platinum certification for the Shoreline station.
Under LEED, Projects receive points for sustainable features. The certification levels range from Certified, at the lowest level, to Silver, Gold and Platinum.
Since the county unveiled the design for the Factoria station in 1963, the design has remained for the most part unchanged. The division is in the midst of a long-term effort to upgrade and rebuild transfer stations countywide.
“We really do want people to look at Shoreline rather than the existing Factoria,” Kiernan said. “You’re not going to get what’s there. You’re going to get what’s in Shoreline, where things are enclosed inside a building.”
The division purchased some parcels nearby, in a commercial area near the Eastgate Park & Ride, to accommodate construction. Plans call for the existing facility to be demolished after construction is completed.
The construction cost for the rebuild is projected at $47 million. The total, including land acquisition, is $77 million. The project is funded by rates paid by garbage customers, and does not use any dollars from the county general fund.
In order to fund additional upgrades to the system, the County Council is considering a yearlong garbage rate hike.
The proposal is meant to raise funds to modernize the aging solid waste system and calls for Solid Waste Division disposal rates to rise from $95 to $108 per ton, or about 76 cents per month for the average residential customer putting out a single can for collection for 2012.
The proposal is scheduled for a hearing before the council’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee on Aug. 16.
“This is part of a plan to upgrade our transfer system,” Kiernan said. “The county designed them in ’63 and has been using them ever since.”
Warren Kagarise: 392-6434, ext. 234, or firstname.lastname@example.org. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.