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Council News Release

6/21/2007  10:33:00 AM
Sara Nelson, Conlin Office, (206) 684-8805

Councilmember Richard Conlin


SEATTLE Councilmember Richard Conlin and Mayor Greg Nickels held a joint press conference today to announce new programs and policy directions for a new zero waste strategy that will reduce garbage, increase recycling and improve Seattles management of its transfer stations.

Councilmember Conlin, chair of the Environment, Emergency Management, and Utilities (EEMU) Committee, initiated a review of Seattles solid waste programs and facilities in the fall of 2006 in order to improve recycling and waste reduction. The review also analyzed the Citys solid waste facilities plan to determine the most cost effective way of upgrading Seattles transfer station system.

Once the review was completed last April, the EEMU committee analyzed its findings and sought public input into the appropriate mix of programs and facility upgrades needed to work toward a goal of Zero Waste. This Zero Waste strategy takes a different approach and gets better results. It implements strategies based on the idea that waste is a resource rather than something to just throw into a landfill and forget about, Councilmember Conlin said.

Councilmember Conlin and the Mayor have agreed on the strategys main components including:

  • The implementation of a new program in 2009 which will provide all single-family residences with food waste pick-up for composting.
  • Plans to increase the recycling of Construction & Demolition waste.
  • The expansion of the existing two transfer stations for improved recycling and the decision not to purchase land for a third facility.

The zero waste strategy also includes expanding producer responsibility programs, considering product bans and considering alternatives for managing self-haul to transfer stations. Another component of the plan entails revising garbage rates for commercial customers to create incentives for recycling food and construction and demolition waste. Councilmember Sally Clark, a member of the EEMU committee, said, Setting and reaching new recycling goals for food and construction wastes will help businesses save money on collection while creating new jobs and invigorating our economy.

Councilmember Conlin said, The people of Seattle are passionate about wanting a solid-waste strategy that embodies their environment values. Im very pleased that the Mayor and I have found a way to do that. This is a critical step on Seattles journey toward sustainability

The zero waste strategy will be outlined in a resolution scheduled for a vote in the Environment, Emergency Management and Utilities Committee on July 10th. Comments can also be sent to Councilmember Richard Conlin, PO Box 34025, Seattle, WA 98124-4025 or email:


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