Scott Barden stands next to the pit that will house the newest, and possibly final, section of the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill near Maple Valley. The pit is 120 feet deep, and around another 180 feet will be built on top of it over the next decade. (Aaron Kunkler / Sound Publishing)

Scott Barden stands next to the pit that will house the newest, and possibly final, section of the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill near Maple Valley. The pit is 120 feet deep, and around another 180 feet will be built on top of it over the next decade. (Aaron Kunkler / Sound Publishing)

King County’s landfill is going to get bigger

A ninth cell will be built, extending its life by another decade.

King County’s last remaining landfill will get even larger after the county council voted on April 24 to extend the landfill’s life and expand it in a 5-2 vote.

The decision will create a ninth cell at the landfill, which will be filled with garbage at a cost of around $270 million. This option has been roundly opposed by neighbors who have continued to show up at King County Council meetings and who again voiced their concerns at the April 24 meeting.

Council members Reagan Dunn and Kathy Lambert both voted against the plan.

“I’m going to vote no today because I want to protest the monolithic pile of garbage,” Dunn said.

The plan also included provisions for county staff to complete a study identifying alternate ways to deal with the county’s trash, including shipping it to other landfills, creating a waste-to-energy plant and creating technology to break down the garbage in the landfill. Lambert, who has been an advocate for a waste-to-energy plant, voiced her unhappiness with the decision of the council.

“To plan anything other than the best in the world is just not good enough,” she said. “This plan does not do enough to respond to the neighbors around the landfill.”

Located near Maple Valley, the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill is the last remaining in King County and was created in the 1960s. The ninth cell will extend the life of the landfill well into the future, possibly up to 2040. A current eighth cell is being built and would have given the county until 2028 to find another way to deal with its trash.

King County generates roughly 1.3 million tons of waste annually. The council’s decision to increase capacity at the landfill could potentially put it in conflict with previous settlement agreements if it increases height to 830 feet above sea level in some places. It currently has a height limit of 788 feet.

Neighbors of the landfill have voiced concerns over increases in smells and garbage being dumped on their property by eagles, which pick at trash. One man showed up to multiple meetings with medical bags that he said contained blood and plasma bags dropped on his property by eagles.

Several amendments were also included in the measure. These include mandating the county make a good faith effort to keep the landfill at 788 feet above sea level, creating and implementing a bird management plan, and requiring a progress report on exploring alternate ways of disposing trash to be delivered to the council by the end of 2021.

This story originally appeared in the Redmond Reporter, a sibling paper to the Herald.

Talk to us

More in Northwest

The Seattle Fishermen's Memorial is shown Thursday, Jan. 2, 2020 in Seattle. Items left at the memorial Thursday included a ball cap with the name of the crab fishing boat Scandies Rose. The search for five crew members of the Scandies Rose in Alaska has been suspended, the U.S. Coast Guard said after two other crew members of the vessel were rescued after the 130-foot crab fishing boat from Dutch Harbor, Alaska, sank on New Year's Eve. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Experts point to ice in testimony on Scandies Rose sinking

Naval architects said regulations fail to account for the effects of ice buildup on boats and crab pots.

FILE - In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash., two men stand armed with guns in front of the Governor's Mansion during a protest supporting President Donald Trump and against the counting of electoral votes in Washington, DC, affirming President-elect Joe Biden's victory. The open carry of guns and other weapons would be banned on the Capitol campus and at or near any permitted public demonstration across Washington under a measure being considered by Washington lawmakers. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
State Senate approves open carry ban at Capitol in Olympia

The measure passed on a 28-20 vote and now heads to the House.

Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler, R-Wash., speaks during a Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee hearing about the COVID-19 response on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, June 4, 2020. (Al Drago/Pool via AP)
Rep. Herrera Beutler censured over Trump impeachment vote

The Clark County Republicans pledged to vet and select a different candidate to champion in 2022.

State Senate approves police accountability bill

A state agency’s ability to decertify has been hamstrung for years.

Oregon plans to open vaccines for all by July

Gov. Kate Brown announced Oregonians who are 16 and older will be eligble no later than July 1.

FILE - In this June 30, 2020, file photo, a sign on the street reads "Welcome to CHOP" as protesters stand near barricades, at the CHOP (Capitol Hill Occupied Protest) zone in Seattle. The area, which was also known as CHAZ, was occupied for several weeks during the summer by protesters after Seattle Police pulled back from their East Precinct building following violent clashes with demonstrators. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, File)
Biden ends Trump’s order that named Seattle an ‘anarchist city’

The designation, had it stuck, would have led to a cut federal funding.

Police recommend charges in WSU frat alcohol poisoning death

The 19-year-old became unconscious and died about four hours before fraternity members called 911.

A sign opposing the Geo Group, the private contractor that operates the Northwest Detention Center, hangs on a fence outside the facility in Tacoma, Wash., Tuesday, July 10, 2018. The Trump administration rushed to meet a deadline Tuesday for reuniting dozens of youngsters forcibly separated from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Washington House aims to close Northwest immigration jail

“It is a moral injustice to profit off of those who are incarcerated,” said Mukilteo’s Rep. Ortiz-Self.

State Patrol worker arrested in child sex sting operation

He worked as a commercial vehicle enforcement officer assigned to the school bus inspection program.

Most Read