King County increases garbage rate to fund system upgrades

September 27, 2012

NEW — 8 a.m. Sept. 27, 2012

The cost for garbage pickup in Issaquah and elsewhere in King County is expected to rise next year, after the King County Council approved a rate increase Monday.

Under the updated rate structure, the cost for commercial vehicles, such as garbage trucks, to dump trash at county facilities is $120.17 per ton. The current rate, put into place in September 2011, is $109 per ton.

Haulers, such as CleanScapes and Allied Waste, pass along the rate increase to customers. So, the average customer putting out a single can for pickup can expect to pay about 65 cents more per month next year, although the exact increase depends on how haulers pass on the rate hike to consumers.

The rate is due to increase to $19.22 from $17.49 per load for residents hauling garbage to county transfer stations.

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King County approves cell tower additions near Issaquah

August 28, 2012

King County approved a permit Aug. 23 for AT&T to add antennae and equipment to a cell tower near the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill.

The county issued a permit for the telecommunications giant to modify the existing cell tower at 14237 228th Ave. S.E. The tower is on Squak Mountain, just outside the landfill site.

AT&T applied to the King County Department of Development and Environmental Services to add three antennae, six remote radio heads and a surge protector to the cabinet on each tower.

Washington Conservation Corps seeks members

August 21, 2012

The teams maintaining the trails on state and King County lands near Issaquah often include members of the Washington Conservation Corps — a fresh-out-of-college bunch eager to earn experience in the environmental field.

Like the New Deal-era Civilian Conservation Corps, the 21st-century equivalent enlists young adults to tackle habitat and infrastructure projects.

The state Department of Ecology needs applicants to fill 300 service positions in 16 counties throughout the state.

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Department of Ecology seeks input on landfill rule changes

June 12, 2012

The state Department of Ecology seeks citizen input as the agency prepares to amend rules affecting landfills, including the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill near Issaquah.

The amendments to the state administrative code aim to bring the criteria for landfills into alignment with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency requirements.

The state agency is proposing changes to rules for landfill liner and cover design, standards and procedures for closing landfills, and other landfill practices and procedures.

Citizens can review the proposed rule language and related documents at www.ecy.wa.gov/laws-rules/activity/wac173351.html.

Mail comments to Wayne Krafft, Washington Department of Ecology, Eastern Regional Office, Waste 2 Resources Program, 4601 N. Monroe St., Spokane, WA 99205-1295. Email comments to rulecommentsw2r@ecy.wa.gov. The comment period ends July 6.

Issaquah School Board is unhappy about King County’s school site decisions

May 8, 2012

Members of the Issaquah School Board were unhappy to hear last week that a district-owned 80-acre property is most likely unusable.

“We own the land. If the county wants to condemn it then they can pay us and we’ll go find something else,” board member Brian Deagle said.

The board got the bad news at its April 26 meeting, when it received an update about the recent recommendations of the King County School Siting Task Force.

In his presentation to the board, Steve Crawford, director of capital projects for the Issaquah School District, explained that one of the recommendations is for Issaquah to basically give up the nearly 80 acres of land it owns on Southeast May Valley Road. The $1.4 million property, which sits between Squak Mountain to the north and the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill to the south, is outside of King County’s urban growth boundary.

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King County calls for new schools in urban areas

April 24, 2012

A 30-member task force unanimously agreed to recommend that new school sitings in King County be done in urban areas and rural towns, not in areas designated as rural.

King County officials announced the decision April 11.

“These are thoughtful recommendations that will help deliver educational excellence for our children without sacrificing the environment of our rural areas,” said King County Executive Dow Constantine in a press release.

According to the county, the School Siting Task Force evaluated an inventory of 18 rural properties owned by eight school districts in King County.

The county lists one such property owned by the Issaquah School District at 21569 S.E. May Valley Road.

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King County to answer landfill questions at Issaquah meeting

April 17, 2012

Residents from areas near the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill can offer feedback and receive updates at a public meeting soon.

The agency responsible for the landfill, the King County Solid Waste Division, is hosting a community meeting from 7-9 p.m. April 25 at the King County Library Service Center, 960 Newport Way N.W.

Meeting attendees can learn about landfill operations, plus construction and environmental projects at the 920-acre facility. Officials also plan to discuss the Bio Energy Washington landfill-gas-to-energy facility at the landfill site.

King County officials started meeting Cedar Hills Regional Landfill neighbors more than 25 years ago to offer information and collect feedback.

The landfill sprawls across unincorporated King County between Issaquah and Maple Valley.

The community meetings provide a forum for area residents and Solid Waste Division staff to discuss activities, conditions and problems related to the landfill.

Call 206-296-4490 or go to http://your.kingcounty.gov/solidwaste/facilities/cedar-hills-meetings.asp to learn more.

Solid Waste Division officials last hosted a meeting about the landfill in October 2011.

Press Editorial

April 17, 2012

Give a nod to planet Earth

Arbor Day is April 21, followed by Earth Day on April 22. Both are an equal opportunity to show appreciation for the third rock from the sun.

The city Parks & Recreation Department will plant 150 trees along Issaquah Creek on Saturday in honor of Arbor Day. Just last week, the city earned Tree City USA status for the 19th year.

Earth Day gets a jumpstart in Issaquah on Thursday when Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon fry are released into Laughing Jacobs Creek. Public tours are available this weekend to see what happens to unrecycled garbage at the Cedar Hills Landfill in south Issaquah. Also south of the city limits, volunteers will mulch and weed the Log Cabin Natural Area along Issaquah Creek. Volunteers will do back-country trail work on Cougar Mountain.

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King County hosts events to celebrate Earth Day

April 15, 2012

NEW — 4 p.m. April 15, 2012

King County starts countywide Earth Day celebration in Issaquah on Thursday, as conservationists gather to release Lake Sammamish kokanee salmon fry into Laughing Jacobs Creek.

The county is also opening the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill near Issaquah to public tours.

Other Earth Day events entice residents to participate in environmental activities or adopt a “green” lifestyle habit.

“Small choices can add up to big changes,” County Executive Dow Constantine said. “The future is in our hands — please join me in keeping King County green. With these steps, it’s easy.”

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City Council schedules hearing to gather input on proposed plastic bag ban

April 13, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. April 13, 2012

In a push to collect more input on a proposal to outlaw plastic bags at Issaquah business, City Council scheduled another opportunity for the public to comment on the proposed ban.

Supporters said a plastic bag ban could reduce landfill waste and marine pollution. Opponents said the legislation could lead to lost plastics manufacturing jobs in the region.

Citizens can comment on the proposed plastic bag ban at a special meeting and public hearing April 30. The council is not expected to reach a decision on the legislation at the meeting.

The council meets at 7 p.m. in the Council Chambers at City Hall South, 135 E. Sunset Way.

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