Updates on Cedar Hills Regional Landfill

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Councilman Dunn Banner

Your Update on What's Happening at the King County Council  

Dear friends:

I want to take a moment to say thank you, again, to those of you who attended our special King County Council meeting in Renton on March 20, and also to offer an update on what has happened since.

Because of our excellent turnout at the special King County Council meeting, which included public testimony from almost 80 members of the community, we were able to attract the attention of both local and national news outlets. (Read the Seattle Times story here and the New York Times article here.)

Since the meeting, I’ve been deliberating with my colleagues on the Council and pushing for amendments to the draft Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan that will provide relief to area residents from some of the worst effects of the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill. I am pleased to report that all six amendments that I proposed passed unanimously through the Council—this is a major victory for communities that neighbor the landfill.

  • Amendment #1: Reinforces the requirement of a 1,000 foot buffer surrounding the landfill
  • Amendment #2: Requires that the Solid Waste Division develop and implement a plan to manage the bird population at the landfill
  • Amendment #3: Requires the Solid Waste Division to report to the Council on best practices for the use of top lifts and temporary covers in landfill operation
  • Amendment #4: Clarifies and reiterates that the Solid Waste Division is required to make a good faith effort to keep the maximum height of 788 feet for Areas 5, 6, and 7 of the landfill
  • Amendment #5: Requires that King County’s Office of Performance, Strategy, and Budget engage with the Solid Waste Division and regional partners to develop a plan for a long-term waste disposal method, with a progress report due to the Council by December 31, 2021
  • Amendment #6: Requires the Road Services Division to implement a study on charging the Solid Waste Division for the repair and maintenance of roads near the landfill

Due to these amendments, the vote on the Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan and landfill expansion has been pushed to April 17th, when it will be considered by the Regional Policy Committee. If and when it passes out of committee, the plan will go to the full Council for consideration.

When the times comes, I plan to vote “no” on the plan that would extend the life of the landfill. I believe it is time that we start seriously considering alternative solutions to solid waste management, rather than continuing to kick the can down the road.

I will continue to work toward finding a long-term solution that makes sense for the health of our communities, stewardship of our environment, and responsible waste disposal.


Reagan Dunn

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