County to buy property as part of long-term trash plan

EVERETT — The Snohomish County Council on Monday green-lighted the purchase of a north Everett rail yard that forms a linchpin of regional trash operations.

The nearly 16-acre rail yard is where garbage trucks take solid waste so it can be loaded onto trains. From there, the trash is sent to a Klickitat County landfill.

Council members voted 4-0 to authorize the county executive’s office to complete the purchase of the yard for $7.8 million and to pay for it with proceeds from an upcoming bond sale. Council Chairman Brian Sullivan was absent.

The Port of Everett earlier this summer authorized the sale to the county.

Trash company Allied Waste has a long-term lease to use the rail yard. The facility is central to the company’s $20-million-per-year contract to dispose of Snohomish County’s waste.

That contract is set to expire next year. County leaders have offered Allied a four-year contract extension, with an optional extra year. A sticking point has been proposed language that would allow the county to end the contract without cause.

The county plans to open the long-haul trash contract to other bidders within the next few years. Allied’s major competitor, industry giant Waste Management, has shown intense interest in the long-term contract.

Both companies sent representatives to Monday’s council meeting.

Noah Haglund: 425-339-3465; nhaglund@heraldnet.com.

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