Sunday, May 20, 2007

Save Georgetown! No Dump!

Instead of meetings its recycling goals, Seattle Public Utilities has announced that it wants to build a huge "intermodal transfer station" (i.e., a dump) smack in the middle of the historic neighborhood of Georgetown.

Some developers will make big bucks building this monstrosity, and everyone in Seattle and the surrounding areas will be able to relax and continue to throw stuff out instead of working harder at reusing and recycling.

Thanks, but we're already flattered that you government folks have chosen us for sex-offender housing and also considered us for Southwest and Alaska airline terminals and a new strip club zone. For a change of pace, why don't you guys give another neighborhood a chance at some of your munificence? Just a thought!


From a recent flyer:

In 1998, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) set the goal for Seattle to reach 60% rate. Because SPU has failed to achieve this, they have asked for repeated extensions. Currently, they are between 42% and 44% rate.

In 2001, SPU was directed to develop a 20-year master facilities plan. SPU decided they needed a third facility to achieve their waste management goals.

SPU set out to identify property for a third waste station. Many sites were eliminated because they were less than five acres or because they had established businesses on site. Nine businesses exist on Corgiat, including Puget Sound Energy. Isn’t Puget Sound Energy a well-established business?

In 2003, SPU listed their top six choices: Corgiat was not on that list. Corgiat received a mediocre score of 12.5. 16 other sites received higher scores.

In 2005, SPU announced five options: 1) was a no-build option; 2) involved two sites on Harbor Island; and 3) involved two sites in Georgetown (one being Corgiat).

In February 2006, the Georgetown Community Council submits its official stance against Corgiat being a possible site for SPU’s waste station. Reasons include traffic concerns, environmental issues and social justice.

On April 4th, 2006, SPU announces Corgiat as its preferred site. Tim Croll (SPU) makes calls to various community leaders stating that SPU is pleased to be part of the neighborhood and they look forward to working with us. Tim said a meeting would be arranged so we can start discussing mitigation.

According to Resolution #30431, this third station could serve Seattle AND the surrounding region’s needs. Imagine hundreds of trucks and containers driving through our neighborhood every day. There are no designated routes.

SPU says building a third station is needed because the existing facilities (in North and South) are old and inefficient. Those stations will be rebuilt and redesigned regardless if a third station is built.

South Seattle neighborhoods start questioning the siting, asking about inequities, inquiring if a third waste station is necessary, and encouraging the city to examine other possibilities such as adopting a zero waste strategy.

In November 2006, the city hires an independent consultant to study zero waste. URS, Norton Arnold and Company, and Herrera Environmental were hired to conduct a six-month study.

April 2007, the consultants complete their study. Mayor Nickels and SPU released the study on April 9, 2007: it is two volumes and over 600 pages.

The zero waste study provides scenarios where a third station is not needed. The city could expand their recycling policies, like including more organics and construction (construction debris makes up over 40% of what we send to landfills!). The city could use private companies who have facilities that already exist. Building a third station is a waste of money and will just continue our dependency on landfills.

Public hearings will be held June 7th and June 20th. The Utilities Committee will vote on June 26th. This matter will go before Full Council on July 2nd. Please contact City Council today!

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