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King County approves recycling facilities ahead of construction and demolition disposal ban

Summary

Taking another step toward reducing waste, King County is increasing the number of private businesses that can take readily recyclable construction and demolition (C&D) material.

Story

“More than 250,000 tons of construction and demolition debris generated in King County go to landfills as waste every year – and a significant portion of that can be recycled or reused,” said Christie True, Director of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks. “Diverting recyclable and reusable materials from landfills is in line with our strong stewardship ethic.”

The new regulation, the nation’s first such ban on a countywide scale, requires C&D materials of value from projects in King County to be sent to facilities that sort out readily recyclable materials and properly dispose of the pieces too small or contaminated to have value.

The materials of value include metal, cardboard, new gypsum scrap, clean wood, asphalt paving, brick and concrete.

King County will continue its practice of directing C&D waste (materials without value) to privately-owned transfer facilities, which are routinely monitored to ensure compliance with environmental standards.

To support this new regulation, King County has established a facility designation system covering both C&D processing facilities and C&D waste transfer facilities.

This system allows new C&D processing facilities to be designated in the future. Check the website frequently for the latest updated list of facilities authorized to accept C&D recyclable materials and C&D waste.

Small loads of C&D waste in vehicles lacking dumping mechanisms will still be accepted at county-operated transfer stations.

The regulation is in line with the goals of the County’s Strategic Climate Action Plan by reducing greenhouse gas emissions through recycling and reusing construction materials, rather than manufacturing new materials.

The regulation also aligns King County requirements with those already established by Seattle Public Utilities, creating common disposal requirements for construction projects in the region.