Neighbors stand in Lisa Jansson’s yard to get a view of the wall of processed wood remains, or hog fuel, building up along the property’s border with DTG on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Snohomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Neighbors stand in Lisa Jansson’s yard to get a view of the wall of processed wood remains, or hog fuel, building up along the property’s border with DTG on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Snohomish, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

After complaints, county shuts down DTG’s Maltby recycling facility

For months, neighbors have reported constant noise and pollution at the facility. By July 15, DTG must stop accepting material there.

SNOHOMISH — After not obtaining proper permits from the county for over a year, recycling company DTG can no longer operate its facility near Maltby, under a new ruling issued by the Snohomish County hearing examiner.

The findings validated a slew of complaints from neighbors about DTG. For months, residents reported issues about escalated noise, dust and traffic at the 18827 Yew Way site.

By July 15, DTG must stop accepting material at the site. Two years from now, the company also needs to remove stockpiles of materials there.

DTG staff need to apply and obtain proper permits and certificates for unpermitted buildings and land-disturbing activity on the site, in addition to closing its recycling facility, county Hearing Examiner Peter Camp determined. The company has until fall 2024 to obtain proper permits, or else remove the buildings.

Lisa Jansson and her husband own a 5-acre property adjacent to DTG’s facility. She told the hearing examiner she wears hearing protection if she spends more than an hour outside. Using a noise meter, Jansson found sound reached 65 to 70 decibels when the company’s tub grinders chopped up woody debris. Inside her home, noise dropped to about 40 decibels, but she still compared it to a dishwasher that can never be turned off.

“I don’t hear birds anymore,” Jansson said in a previous interview with The Daily Herald. “I hear grinding.”

In March, water flowing along the edge of Jansson’s yard — typically clear and blue — turned brown and foamy and smelled of sewage.

Jansson and fellow neighbor Patti Olsen took a sample and submitted it to a lab. It showed high levels of fecal coliform and E. coli, according to results from AM Test Laboratories. The fecal coliform, at 28,000 colony-forming units per 100 milliliters of water, was 140 times greater than levels allowed at a swimming beach, under federal guidelines. But a test conducted by county officials several weeks later found 470 colony-forming units per 100 milliliters of water, Olsen said, still higher than allowable levels at a swimming beach.

Foamy brown water, emanating a smell similar to sewage, runs along the property line of Lisa Jansson’s home on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Snohomish, Washington. Jansson said the water in the small stream had been flowing clean and clear only a few weeks earlier. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Foamy brown water, emanating a smell similar to sewage, runs along the property line of Lisa Jansson’s home on Tuesday, March 5, 2024, in Snohomish, Washington. Jansson said the water in the small stream had been flowing clean and clear only a few weeks earlier. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)

Since the hearing examiner’s decision, Olsen said operations at the DTG site have been “louder than ever.”

She is happy about the ruling, but worries DTG may request the hearing examiner to reconsider the decision.

“We can’t live like this forever,” Olsen said in an interview Tuesday.

DTG has until May 13 to request reconsideration.

A DTG spokesperson declined to comment.

Last month, DTG and county surface water management staff visited Jansson’s property and took samples of the polluted ditch water.

DTG offers recycling to commercial, industrial and construction clients. The company has several recycling sites in Western Washington, as well as a landfill in Yakima.

Last year, DTG acquired United Recycling’s facility on Yew Way, and along with it, a history of violations.

County code enforcement had previously found United Recycling in violation of constructing and occupying buildings without proper permits. United Recycling appealed the findings, arguing the company sought permits from the county in the past, but its requests were refused.

When DTG took over, the company accepted the violations that workers constructed buildings without following county protocol. But DTG disputed the county’s allegations that operations at the Yew Way site were not allowed in an R-5 zone, or a “rural 5-acre” area. The area has been zoned that way since 1966.

Last week, the county hearing examiner noted operations at the Yew Way site exploded over the past two decades. An annual report submitted to the state Department of Ecology found the facility processed more than 130,000 tons of material in 2022 — over seven times the weight of wood waste the site expected to process in 1999.

Jansson, Olsen and other neighbors said noise, dump truck traffic and dust from the facility became more of an issue when DTG took over in 2023.

The county is not issuing any penalties at this time, said county Planning and Development Services spokesperson Jacob Lambert.

If DTG does not comply with regulations by the set dates, the county may issue penalties at that time.

Ta’Leah Van Sistine: 425-339-3460; taleah.vansistine@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @TaLeahRoseV.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

A big decision for Boeing’s next CEO: Is it time for a new plane?

As Boeing faces increased competition from Airbus, the company is expected to appoint a new CEO by the end of the year.

A Mukilteo Speedway sign hangs at an intersection along the road in Mukilteo. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Mukilteo Speedway name change is off to a bumpy start

The city’s initial crack at renaming the main drag got over 1,500 responses. Most want to keep the name.

Two workers walk past a train following a press event at the Lynnwood City Center Link Station on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Trains up and running on Lynnwood Link — but no passengers quite yet

Officials held an event at the Lynnwood station announcing the start of “pre-revenue” service. Passengers still have to wait till August.

Nedra Vranish, left, and Karen Thordarson, right browse colorful glass flowers at Fuse4U during Sorticulture on Friday, June 7, 2024, in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
A promenade through Everett’s popular Sorticulture garden festival

Check out a gallery of the festival’s first day.

Left to right, Everett Pride board members Ashley Turner, Bryce Laake, and Kevin Daniels pose for a photo at South Fork Bakery in Everett, Washington on Sunday, May 26, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Second Everett Pride aims for even bigger rainbow of festivities

Organizers estimated about 3,000 people attended the first block party in Everett. This year, they’re aiming for 10,000.

Pride flag vandalism raises concerns on Whidbey Island

Reports of theft involving LGBTQ+ pride-themed displays have increased around South Whidbey.

The I-5, Highway 529 and the BNSF railroad bridges cross over Union Slough as the main roadways for north and southbound traffic between Everett and Marysville. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Highway 529 squeeze starts now between Everett, Marysville

Following a full closure for a night, starting late Sunday, Highway 529 will slim down to two lanes for months near the Snohomish River Bridge.

An emergency overdose kit with naloxone located next to an emergency defibrillator at Mountain View student housing at Everett Community College on Tuesday, March 5, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
As deadly overdoses decline, Snohomish County builds on what’s working

Opioid-related deaths have decreased 20% compared to this time last year. Local health officials say there’s “still much work to do.”

Police blocked off southbound I-5 near Marine View Drive in Everett after an “incident” blocked the roadway on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. (Photo provided by WSDOT)
None injured in shooting that closed I-5 south in Everett

The shooting shut down traffic on the freeway Wednesday near Marine View Drive, causing a major backup.

Edmonds City Council members answer questions during an Edmonds City Council Town Hall on Thursday, April 18, 2024, in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds begins process to join South County Fire

To avoid a lapse in services, the city will likely come to voters in April asking for their final approval.

A man led police on a high speed chase through north Snohomish County on Thursday, Dec. 10, 2020. (Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office)
New public database answers Snohomish County’s pressing crime questions

Prosecutor Jason Cummings hopes the database can give a better understanding of the local criminal justice system.

PUD employee Kyle Tucker opens part of the breaker system at the Jennings Park Substation in Marysville, Washington on Wednesday, June 5, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
With eye on growing county, PUD replaces aging Marysville substation

The $8.4 million project north of Jennings Park is expected to be finished in October. It’s one part of a 10-year PUD plan.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.