A worker prepares a truckload of trash for transport April 29 at the Airport Road Recycling and Transfer Station in Everett. (Ryan Berry / Herald file)

A worker prepares a truckload of trash for transport April 29 at the Airport Road Recycling and Transfer Station in Everett. (Ryan Berry / Herald file)

With 10 million pounds of trash gone, garbage crisis averted — for now

Planned dump closures in Snohomish County this weekend were canceled. But another trash mountain may be on the horizon.

EVERETT — Crisis averted.

Snohomish County successfully cleared its massive backlog of steamy garbage. Local dumps were shuttered last Saturday and Sunday for the first time since 2008 as crews removed over 10 million pounds of trash.

A second weekend of closures was avoided “through sheer hard work,” Solid Waste Director David Schonhard said in a news release.

The county approved an emergency contract with Waste Management last month to address the trash mountain that had been growing for months. The pile was at risk of spontaneous combustion, and required steadfast rat control.

Officials say issues that caused the buildup still need to be resolved — namely, the shortage of containers railroads use to haul our garbage away.

“We know the closure was an inconvenience, and we appreciate our customers’ patience last weekend,” Public Works Director Kelly Snyder said in a statement. “We stopped the immediate health and safety hazard, but there is much more work and coordination left to do with the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway (BNSF), Republic Services, Waste Management and others to prevent additional closures later this spring and summer.”

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