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Natural Resources and Parks

King County, Washington

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July 9, 2012

Bow Lake Transfer Station opens new transfer building, recycling services, as project continues

Transfer station expansion brings much-needed updates and efficiencies to County’s busiest solid waste transfer station

Completing the new solid waste transfer building and adding recycling services represent a major milestone in the multi-year modernization project at King County’s Bow Lake facility in Tukwila. The entire project, including an expanded recycling area, will be completed in late 2013.

Beginning July 11, customers will be able to recycle appliances, yard waste, clean wood, scrap metal, bicycles and bicycle parts, at the new facility. Customers can also drop off home-generated medical sharps at the transfer station, which is located at 18800 Orillia Rd. S.

Recycling services have been unavailable at Bow Lake since early 2009, when the major redevelopment project got under way. Garbage disposal services have not been disrupted at the facility, which handles more than one-third of all the tonnage in the County’s solid waste transfer system.

This redevelopment project moves the County ahead by bringing efficiencies, enhancing service and ensuring regulatory compliance. In addition to areas for recycling, key features of the new solid waste transfer building include:

  • Two pre-load compactors that increase the efficiency of loads transported to the landfill by about 30 percent, thereby reducing the number of transfer trailer truck trips to and from the station;
  • Easier-to-use unloading areas and expanded capacity, to reduce customer wait times;
  • Sustainable design features that improve energy efficiency, including translucent skylights and window panels that allow natural light into the building, rainwater harvesting, recycled content building materials such as steel, asphalt and concrete and landscaping with drought-tolerant plants.

Construction will be ongoing into 2013, including deconstruction of the existing transfer building, the addition of a larger recycling area to accept other materials, installation of public art, new scales and scale house. 

The King County Solid Waste Division has completed replacement or renovation at its Vashon, Enumclaw and Shoreline locations. After renovations at Bow Lake are complete, upgrades to the Factoria station in Bellevue and replacement of the Algona and Houghton stations are planned. Modernization of the County’s regional solid waste and recyclables transfer system is part of the division’s capital program and funded through solid waste fees.

More information about King County transfer stations is available at

Related information

Bow Lake Transfer Station

King County Solid Waste