Turning waste into resource to benefit communities
StoryThe Metropolitan King County Council today adopted a motion calling on a partnership with the city of Seattle to create Eco-Industrial Districts (EID) in Seattle and throughout King County. The goal of the legislation is to assist development in Seattle’s industrial core by coordinating several public sector initiatives on sustainable communities.
“Eco-industrial developments offer great opportunities for local industries to create green jobs and share resources for the benefit of their business and the environment,” said County Councilmember Larry Phillips, the sponsor of the motion. “We are pleased to partner with Seattle and other local governments to develop eco-industrial districts that advance our regional vision for land and resource conservation, energy efficiency and shared energy resources, recreational amenities, and transit access.”
“Seattle’s industrial core is a unique and extremely valuable resource and critical to the long term economic health of the region. The City Council’s interest in EIDs has a dual purpose, both to strengthen our industrial core and to improve the environmental quality of the Duwamish river corridor,” stated Seattle City Council President Richard Conlin. “I commend the leadership of Councilmember Phillips and the King County Council and their commitment to partner on this initiative.”
EIDs can vary in size, from a few properties to a large industrial community, within which manufacturers located in close proximity utilize waste products from one firm as an input resource for a neighboring firm, and where workforce housing, recreation and public transit are located nearby. EIDs help create sustainable communities by using waste byproducts, maximizing resources, promoting green job creation, applying sustainable manufacturing practices, and creating livable communities.
In partnering, the jurisdictions hope to identify opportunities for innovation and collaboration within Seattle’s industrial center, provide public sector support for those innovations that may face legislative barriers and partner with industrial companies to support existing businesses and attract new business to the region.
The motion adopted by the Council today supports Seattle’s leadership in creating eco-industrial parks and districts and expresses interest in partnering with Seattle, other jurisdictions, non-profit organizations, labor organizations, and businesses to help develop eco-industrial parks and districts.
King County manages regional utilities including transit, solid waste and wastewater treatment, and has resources—traditionally thought of as waste byproducts—to offer for this effort, including heat from wastewater trunk lines, treated wastewater effluent, mixed municipal waste and solid waste recyclables. The motion calls for the County Executive to coordinate these resources to ensure that they will be available to interested cities as they move forward and develop eco-industrial districts or other facilities that promote the sustainable use of resources and development of green communities in urban areas throughout King County.
The Seattle City Council is working with the Seattle Office of Economic Development and the Mayor to draft a scope of work this fall. The Council will continue outreach to the state and federal governments and looks forward to new cooperative efforts with King County.
The adopted motion advances the Council’s priorities of Environmental Sustainability, Local Jobs and Economic Development, Safe, Healthy and Vibrant Communities and Local and Regional Cooperation.