September 12, 2011
NEW — 8 p.m. Sept. 12, 2011
The cost for garbage pickup in Issaquah and elsewhere in King County is due to increase by about 80 cents per month next year.
King County Council members approved the rate increase Monday as part of a long-term effort to upgrade the solid waste system.
Under the updated system, the basic rate for commercial vehicles, such as garbage trucks, is $109 per ton. The current rate is $95 per ton.
The average customer putting out a single can for pickup should pay about 80 cents more per month next year.
For people hauling loads to county transfer stations, the rate is due to increase to $17.49 per load from $15.31 per load.
August 30, 2011
Residents donate 400 pounds of garbage for composting effort
The half-gnawed corncobs, shorn pineapple tops, slimy banana peels and grease-stained pizza boxes simmered in the midday sun — a concoction assembled from the kitchen castoffs of 10 Issaquah families.
The festering pile in Donna Misner’s driveway Aug. 24 included more than 400 pounds collected from residents in the Sycamore neighborhood near downtown Issaquah.
King County joined the residents to increase food-scrap recycling for a month to accomplish dual goals: demonstrate the ease of food-scrap recycling and turn the garbage into rich compost for a community garden.
“I don’t consider this waste. People always joke, ‘Oh, it’s garbage and it’s stinky. This is a material. This is a resource — that’s what this is right here,” King County EcoConsumer Tom Watson said during a midday event in the Sycamore driveway. “It may smell a little bit on a hot day, but when you do it at home, it’s not going to smell. When Cedar Grove makes it into compost, the final product is a product that’s going to help your garden grow. It’s a resource.”
Cedar Grove Composting plans to transform the refuse into compost and then donate the results to the Issaquah Flatland Community Garden near the AtWork! Recycling Center by late fall. Gardeners send 25 percent of the organic bounty to the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank.
“The garden is a nice focal point for the Issaquah community,” AtWork! Community Development Manager Dennis Wadja said. “Neighbors walk to the garden, children are exposed to growing food, the food bank receives nutritious organic food and space is available for the disabled population. We see this recycling project as an opportunity to connect deeper to the wider community.”
(Cedar Grove Composting is near the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill in unincorporated King County between Issaquah and Maple Valley.)
Officials and teams from the King County Solid Waste Division and Cedar Grove Composting — including a county staffer dressed as a banana — gathered at the Misner home along Issaquah Creek as Tiger Mountain basked in the sunshine beyond.
August 30, 2011
NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 30, 2011
See the destination for most King County garbage up close.
The county is opening the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill between Issaquah and Maple Valley for free tours Sept. 10. Cedar Hills, the last operating landfill in the county, encompasses 920 acres and accepts about 800,000 tons of garbage each year from across King County, excluding Seattle and Milton.
The tour is designed for adults. Call 206-296-4490 to organize tours for school-aged children and school groups.
The tour starts at 9 a.m. and lasts about one hour. The tour requires reservations. Reserve a spot by Sept. 6 by calling 206-296-4490, TTY Relay: 711.
August 24, 2011
NEW — 12:50 p.m. Aug. 24, 2011
The half-gnawed corncobs, shorn pineapple tops, slippery banana peels and grease-stained pizza boxes simmered in the midday sun — a concoction assembled from the kitchen castoffs of 10 Issaquah families.
The festering pile in Donna Misner’s driveway included more than 400 pounds collected from residents in the Sycamore neighborhood near downtown Issaquah. King County joined the residents to increase food-scrap recycling for a month for a month to accomplish dual goals: demonstrate how easy such recycling can be and turn the garbage into rich compost for a community garden.
August 23, 2011
Inch by inch, row by row, students are planting lettuce, herbs and broccoli in their school gardens.
This fall, teachers are transforming gardens into outdoor classrooms as students pick up trowels and learn about drip irrigation systems.
Dozens of schools incorporate gardening into their curriculum or have gardening clubs, including Apollo, Cascade Ridge, Challenger, Clark, Creekside, Discovery, Endeavour, Grand Ridge, Issaquah Valley, Maple Hills and Sunny Hills elementary schools; Issaquah and Pine Lake middle schools; and Liberty and Tiger Mountain Community high schools.
“I think the outdoors is just a natural place that kids want to be,” Sunny Hills fourth-grade teacher Jane Ulrich said.
August 10, 2011
NEW — 10 a.m. Aug. 10, 2011
King County Parks needs a fan to help judge a quirky camping contest.
County parks managers selected a team of boldface names to choose the winning design in the “Little Footprint, Big Forest” competition — a contest to create a camping shelter from a 20-foot-long shipping container — but they need one more judge.
In order to enter the drawing to be a judge, people must like King County Parks on Facebook and leave a post on the wall naming their favorite camping cuisine. The entry deadline is 4:30 p.m. Aug. 22.
The deadline to submit a design for the “Little Footprint, Big Forest” competition is also Aug. 22. The selected designer receives $4,500 and a chance to see his or her work become part of King County Parks’ award-winning system of parks and open space.
August 9, 2011
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.
July 12, 2011
Reusing office supplies at City Hall, recycling at local schools and businesses’ efforts to cut waste landed Issaquah officials and entrepreneurs on King County’s Best Workplaces for Recycling and Waste Reduction list July 1.
The county Solid Waste Division recognized 89 organizations in the annual awards. In Issaquah, the honorees include established “green” organizations and a newcomer, Outsource Marketing.
Each organization boasts exceptional recycling programs and a commitment to reducing waste. Issaquah municipal government and the Issaquah School District made the list. So did Pogacha, Rowley Properties and Timber Ridge at Talus.
July 5, 2011
Issaquah and King County residents could pay more — less than $1 per month in most cases — for garbage collection soon.
The proposed one-year rate increase is meant to raise funds to modernize the aging solid waste system. The proposal calls for county 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 all customers outside of Seattle and Milton.
Under the proposal, the fee applies to companies picking up and hauling trash to county transfer stations. The additional cost to the companies is likely to be passed on to customers.
“Our solid waste facilities were largely built in the 1960s, and they were never designed to handle the nearly 1 million tons of garbage we now process,” Solid Waste Division Director Kevin Kiernan said in a statement. “This one-year rate proposal keeps fees as low as reasonable, while covering the cost of providing the service and the capital improvements that our customers need and expect.”
July 5, 2011
King County environmental officials honored the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill for spotless wastewater discharge records last year.
The landfill and five companies earned Commitment-to-Compliance Awards for meeting discharge permit standards every month for five consecutive years and recording no violations of any kind. The county announced the awards April 27.
Since 1969, the Industrial Waste Program has required many companies to pretreat wastewater before discharging the material into the sewer. Besides regulatory enforcement, the program serves as a resource for businesses by supporting permit compliance efforts and educating entrepreneurs about pollution prevention, waste reduction and water conservation.
In addition, the Industrial Waste Program presented a Gold Award to 45 companies for meeting wastewater discharge regulations every month last year, and 18 companies earned a Silver Award for having no King County monitoring discharge violations last year.
The landfill — on 920 acres in unincorporated King County between Issaquah and Maple Valley — also received kudos from the Industrial Waste Program on May 5. The county Solid Waste Division operates the landfill.