Map of proposed landfill expansion sites (screenshot from King County website)

Map of proposed landfill expansion sites (screenshot from King County website)

Waste management expert knocks county’s plan to expand landfill

The waste management advocate said the decision to expand seems pre-determined despite assessment.

Waste management experts from the non-profit Institute for Energy and Resource Management are calling King County’s assessment of the Cedar Hills Landfill a “boondoggle,” and a waste of time and money in favor of continuing what they believe is poor policy.

Philipp Schmidt-Pathmann, President and CEO of the Institute for Energy and Resource Management, said King County’s recently completed Environmental Impact Statement for “potential” expansion of the Cedar Hills Landfill is yet another example of the County going through the motions but having the conclusion decided well beforehand.

“If you look at the timetable the County set out months ago, you will see that the last item is ‘Construction of new landfill area within the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill property.’ There was never any question, regardless of public sentiment or scientific findings.” he said.

The Cedar Hills Landfill environmental impact statement comes after a growing consideration for landfill alternatives such a Waste-To-Energy, which some county leaders have recently pushed for.

Schmidt-Pathmann cited EPA studies that suggest landfilling is the “least desirable” waste management technique and he also claims landfilling is more expensive than most people consider because of the hidden and “perpetual” costs.

Schmidt-Pathmann has conducted studies specific to King County’s adoption of an integrated waste management system that does not rely fully on landfilling as it does now. He also led the team that helped Los Angeles adopt a Waste-To-Energy program.

He says landfills are a significant source of methane leaks which are a greenhouse gas negatively impacting climate change conditions. He said landfills in California contribute roughly 40 percent of the state’s methane emissions, more than both livestock and agriculture.

Schmidt-Pathmann has advocated for an Integrated Waste Management System, which utilizes multiple waste management strategies including source reduction and reuse, improved recycling and composting, energy and material recovery from waste streams and better treatment and disposal. He said an integrated waste strategy could be implemented by 2030, could save billions of dollars in the coming decades and would reduce the environmental impacts of our waste system.

“Anyone who cares about the environment and their property tax bill should be concerned about this,” said Schmidt-Pathmann. “It is critical that you contact your County Councilmember and let them know you don’t want any more public money sunk into the ‘landfill liability’ including transfer stations. There is a better – and cheaper – solution.”




Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in News

Hugh Lyman poses for a picture with RFWF volunteer Michelle Apodaca. Photo by Alex Bruell.
Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation back to delivering regular hot meals

The Hot Meals program is back up to speed after COVID-19 forced changes to it last year.

The Buckley Multipurpose Center, where the city council meets.
Buckley City Council narrowly approves Ellison Townhomes design

Housing development would put 40 units just south of the White River

Malibu, CA-- Rambo Pacifica roadway was closed due to a severe landslide caused from heavy winter storms. Asssistance to State and local governments for actions taken to prevent long term risk to life and property are authorized under federal disaster declaration DR 1884. Adam DuBrowa/FEMA
Portion of Lake Sawyer Pkwy closes for a year

A bypass road will connect Ten Trails Parkway to Lake Swayer Road.

Divers make final preparations before submerging in Lake Sawyer.
A bong, a ladder, and other oddities dredged in Lake Sawyer ‘Dive Against Debris’

Divers spent around two hours combing the Black Diamond lake for trash and treasure.

Google Images
Racial disparities in bike helmet law forces decision by King County health board

On Oct. 21, the King County Board of Health discussed striking down… Continue reading

The colors are changing, and that means fall weather is here too. Photo taken looking south down Railroad Street in Enumclaw by Alex Bruell.
Weekend storm brings scattered outages to Plateau

A few hundred customers were still without power Monday morning, according to Puget Sound Energy.

Trish Stallard and Glen Yadon.
Black Diamond council candidate drops out; only one contested race left

If Corey Bailey wins his race, he will have to resign, and the Black Diamond City Council will be forced to go through an appointment process.

Geographic dispersion of Washington State Patrol commissioned personnel who lost their jobs Oct. 18. (Washington State Patrol)
Rather than get vaccine, nearly 1,900 state workers lose jobs

Exactly how many people will be out of work for ignoring Gov.… Continue reading

Most Read