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Council News Release

4/5/2007  1:15:00 PM
Sara Nelson, Conlin Office, (206) 684-8805

Councilmember Richard Conlin

Councilmember Richard Conlin will initiate action on completed study

SEATTLE Eight months ago, Councilmember Richard Conlin, chair of the Environment, Emergency Management and Utilities Committee, posed a critical question for the City, Can Seattle take another important step toward sustainability by adopting a zero-waste strategy? Now the first in-depth study of the question is complete and results will be presented to the Committee on Tuesday, April 10th, at 2 p.m.

The Citys strategy for dealing with solid waste must be consistent with our environmental values and our emerging understanding that waste is really just a resource out of place, said Councilmember Conlin. In the 1980s, Seattle rejected a plan to incinerate wastes and instead embraced a commitment to recycling a minimum of 60 percent of our solid waste. Twenty years later, recycling has peaked at 44 percenta good achievement, but short of our goal. Its time to reassess our goal and the ways we can make progress. We have a great opportunity to move toward an even more sustainable way of dealing with our solid waste said Councilmember Conlin.

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) was a partner in commissioning and staffing the consultant study. The study, entitled Moving Toward Zero Waste: Seattle Solid Waste Recycling and Facilities Opportunities, will be published on Friday, April 6th and posted on Seattle Public Utilities website. There will be two briefings to the Committee in April: April 10th and April 24th. The first briefing will discuss the studys background, goals and preliminary conclusions. The second briefing will present the results of public input surveys and outline possible next steps toward revising Seattles solid waste strategy.

The Committee will gather public comment on the studys findings during April and May. Comments can be sent to Councilmember Richard Conlin, PO Box 34025, Seattle, WA 98124-4025 or email:

The Committee will also hold a public comment meeting on June 7th, at 5:30 in the Council Chambers at City Hall.

The Council will consider legislation in June to increase waste reduction, set potentially more ambitious recycling goals, and possibly revise Seattles solid waste facilities plans.


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