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King County's Solid Waste Division is starting a process to site and build a new recycling and transfer station in northeast King County. A new facility is needed to replace the aging and limited Houghton Transfer Station in Kirkland, which has been in service for over 60 years. After siting, design and construction, the Northeast Recycling and Transfer Station is scheduled to start operating in 2027. Like the Houghton Station, a new recycling and transfer station will serve the growing communities of Kirkland, Redmond, Woodinville, and Sammamish, as well as unincorporated Northeast King County.

What is a recycling & garbage transfer station?

King County recycling and garbage transfer stations are facilities where garbage hauling companies, businesses, and King County residents can bring their recyclable materials and garbage. Learn where your curbside recyclables and garbage go Download PDF 150 K.

Why a new recycling & garbage transfer station is needed

The Houghton Transfer Station is Kirkland is one of King County's busiest transfer stations, but it offers limited recycling services, and it lacks the capacity to expand or to provide more recycling services to meet the needs of the growing population in northeast community.

Replacing the Houghton station with a larger, easy-to-use facility with more recycling options will make services more convenient and accessible and keep recyclable materials out of the landfill. Many people in northeast King County now have to drive 30 minutes or more to access some recycling services.

King County's 2019 Comprehensive Solid Waste Management Plan, which was adopted by 24 cities and the Washington State Department of Ecology, identified the need for a new station to replace the Houghton station.

The new station will be a modern, enclosed facility that meets the latest environmental standards and best practices

The facility will be designed to serve as a community asset and to aesthetically compliment the community in which it is located. It will feature a fully enclosed waste transfer building to control noise and odor, and provide larger and easier-to-use unloading areas to decrease customer wait times. Modern equipment will include waste compactors, which will reduce truck traffic and road impacts.

The new station will be a modern, enclosed facility that meets the latest environmental standards and best practices

The new station will provide convenient, accessible recycling services for a variety of items and materials

A new station will provide convenient, accessible recycling services for metal, appliances, yard waste, wood, cardboard, glass, paper, plastics, and other items

Recycling services will include:

  • Metals
  • Applicances
  • Yard waste
  • Wood
  • Glass
  • Paper
  • Plastics
  • Other items

Proposed project schedule
(For more detail, see project schedule)

Help shape decision making

The location of the new station has not been determined yet. King County's Solid Waste Division project team will work with the community to identify and evaluate possible sites. Due to COVID-19, we are not currently hosting in-person meetings or events. However, we remain committed to keeping the community informed and involved in the siting process.

We want to involve traditionally underrepresented and underserved communities, businesses, neighbors, Tribes, cities, school districts, environmental groups, and others to understand their values, concerns, insights and ideas about the siting, design, construction, and operation of a new station.

King County is also working closely with the cities of Kirkland, Redmond, Woodinville, Sammamish and unincorporated King County to identify and consider potential sites for the new station.

After carefully weighing technical requirements, environmental considerations, costs, and community input, the King County Executive will make a decision on the selected site by late 2022.

Here's how you can get involved:

Siting Advisory Committee

The Siting Advisory Committee (SAC) is a community-based committee that will advise King County on how and where to site the new station, possible locations, and design. Members of the SAC will meet regularly to learn about the siting process. SAC members will be expected to share information about the process with their communities. And finally, SAC members will listen to community concerns and hopes and share them with the County throughout the site selection process.

SAC meetings are open to members of the public, who can observe and make comments to the committee at the end of each meeting. Due to Covid-19, all meetings are currently planned to be held virtually. Instructions for accessing SAC meetings, will be posted here.

See Project schedule for list of SAC meeting dates. Meeting notes will be posted on this website after each meeting.

SAC Kick-off meeting – Oct. 14, 2020

Project schedule

  Updated October 2020 (subject to change)

Date Actions/Events/Public Meetings
Sept 2020 Recruit community members for Siting Advisory Committee
Oct 14, 2020 Siting Advisory Committee kick-off meeting, 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Fall 2020 Public engagement: Identify and evaluate possible sites for new station
Oct. 28, 2020 Siting Advisory Committee Meeting #1
Nov. 18, 2020 Siting Advisory Committee Meeting #2
Dec. 16, 2020 Siting Advisory Committee Meeting #3
Jan. 27, 2021 Siting Advisory Committee Meeting #4
Feb. 3, 2021 Siting Advisory Committee Meeting #5
March 3, 2021 Siting Advisory Committee Meeting #6
March 31, 2021 Siting Advisory Committee Meeting #7
April 28, 2021 Siting Advisory Committee Meeting #8
May 26, 2021 Siting Advisory Committee Meeting #9
June 23, 2021 Siting Advisory Committee Meeting #10
Early 2021 – late 2022 Begin environmental review, plan for public comment period on site options
Late 2022 Site for new station is selected
Late 2022-early 2023 Property acquisition
Early 2023-late 2025 Facility Design and Permitting
Late 2025 – Late 2027 Construction
Late 2027 Facility opens to the public

Stay informed, stay involved

Sign up for our free GovDelivery service, and get the latest project updates by email or text external link , including information on ways to participate in the siting process. You can sign up or opt out at any time.

Project library
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Project contacts

If you have questions or comments about the project, please contact the project manager or call the Solid Waste Division.

Project manager

Margaret Bay contact info for Margaret Bay – Project manager
King County Solid Waste Division
Telephone: 206-263-5851, TTY Relay: 711

King County Solid Waste Division
Telephone: 206-477-4466, TTY Relay: 711

Contact Us

 Call: 206-477-4466

TTY Relay: 711

Fax: 206-296-0197

King County Solid Waste Division mission: Waste Prevention, Resource Recovery, Waste Disposal