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

Diners Bonnie Breitman, left, and Casey McGan huddle near an outdoor gas fire as they eat lunch outside in a blustery wind Tuesday, Nov. 17, 2020, in Bellingham, Wash. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee on Sunday announced tighter restrictions in the state in response to a flood of new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. Restaurants and bars will again be limited to outdoor dining and to-go service, gyms, and some entertainment centers will be required to close indoor services. Retail stores, including grocery stores, will be ordered to limit indoor capacity and indoor social gatherings will be prohibited unless attendees have quarantined for 14 days or tested negative for COVID-19 and quarantined for a week. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
New shutdown expected to cost Washington restaurants $800M

The Washington Hospitality Association urged lawmakers to figure out ways to support hospitality businesses.

Teen girl found dead after driving into Skagit River

The search for the girl, and the vehicle, was suspended because of hazardous conditions.

Ryan Warren Ward, left, looks over court papers with attorney Lane Wolfley during Ward's sentencing for three counts of aggravated first-degree murder and multiple counts of theft and firearms violations on Thursday in Clallam County Superior Court in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Man sentenced to life in prison in triple-murder

Ryan Warren Ward was the second defendant sentenced in the December 2018 slayings.

Virus playing part in booming ranch sales in US West

Some buyers drawn to rural areas are motivated by a “get me out of here” kind of mentality.

Seattle City Council rejects effort to block police hiring

The measure was promoted by organizations that emerged during Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee speaks during a news conference, Sunday, Nov. 15, 2020, at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Inslee announced new restrictions on businesses and social gatherings for the next four weeks as the state continues to combat a rising number of coronavirus cases. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Inslee announces $135 million pandemic relief plan

The state will use CARES Act dollars to help businesses and people impacted by latest restrictions.

Darrin Moseley (Washington State Department of Corrections)
Whatcom man allegedly held girl, 16, in shack for 10 days

The suspect’s many warrants included one for failing to register as a sex offender in Snohomish County.

Monroe Correctional Complex (Washington State Department of Corrections)
Commission suspends license of ex-doctor at Monroe prison

Dr. Julia Barnett was fired in April 2019 by the state Department of Corrections.

Bellingham Public Schools
· November 15, 2018 · Edited · 
 
Principal Lynn Heimsoth and Dean of Students Amy Berreth at Sunnyland Elementary.
Legacy scholarship honors slain former Marysville principal

Lynn Heimsoth, 58, was found fatally shot in her home west of Bellingham last December.

Middle-school counselor Shanon Baker poses for a photo in the school's library Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020, in Sammamish, Wash. A master's degree and a full-time job weren't enough to help Baker land an apartment she could afford in Seattle's east-side suburbs. But a $750 million commitment by a partnership backed in part by Microsoft's affordable housing initiative helped do the trick. Urban Housing Ventures is cutting rents at 40% of the units in three buildings as part of an effort to make sure teachers, nurses and other middle-income professionals can live in the communities where they work. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)
Microsoft-led housing effort cuts rents in Seattle suburbs

The plan is to help middle-income professionals live in the communities where they work.

Coyote Ridge Correctional Center in Connell, Washington.
Everett man dies at Coyote Ridge Corrections Center

The man may have suffered a head injury during a fight with another inmate. Officials are investigating.

Steve Lerch, executive director of the Washington state Economic and Revenue Forecast Council, walks in front of the Washington state flag, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020, following a meeting of the council at the Capitol in Olympia, Wash. Lawmakers were told that the state's latest revenue forecast shows they have significantly more money to work with as they prepare to unveil their supplemental state budget proposals. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Uncertainty remains, but Washington sees revenues increase

September and October saw a jump in real estate taxes due to record-low mortgage rates.