Vashon Community Compost Facility Study

The King County Solid Waste (KCSW)-funded Vashon Organic Recycling Facility Feasibility Study began April 2020. The study was supposed to take about four months to complete, but then Covid happened. ZWV volunteers will be helping KCSW with community outreach and assisting the contractor, HDR, in compiling selected organics feedstock data.

At this point we are only looking at the feasibility, that is the potential, of locating a small scale, community compost facility on our island community. We know Vashon has an abundance of organic material that could be composted to build the soils in our farms and gardens. What’s the best way to make this happen? The study will recognize and start to answer basic questions like:

  • What feedstocks are available to work with?
  • What is the volume and frequency of these available feedstocks?
  • If a compost facility is feasible, what size and services may be included?
  • What public/private partnerships could be taken advantage of in the shaping of what could happen?
  • What potential island sites are available, considering location, available infrastructure, and environmental mitigation?
  • Ballpark costs are usually provided as well, sometimes for different sized compost facilities possible.

The feasibility Study must recognize Island concerns and input. During this feasibility process there will be two main ways to participate:

  1. There is a King County Solid Waste Division website set up that encourages public comment/exchange. See link below. We are expecting this website thread along with personal outreach will create a dialogue by which we address suggestions and concerns.
  2. A public forum is planned for August/September (subject to Covid-19) to present the findings and receive people’s comments.

Zero Waste Vashon’s role, as the process moves forward, will be to represent and answer our community’s concerns: ZWV and KCSWD will need community assistance and input to create a good working solution. In the meantime, for comments and questions, please visit the KCSWD information page linked below.

King County Feasibility Study Beachcomber Article

HDR Inc.  Solid Waste

UPDATE: December 2021

The King County Vashon Island Organics Processing Feasibility Study has been completed! The study assesses project viability and doesn’t include facility siting. They looked into feedstock, composting methods, technologies, estimated costs, and end markets. The next phase will be a survey to gather community input on organics collection, processing, and on-island compost use. It’s set to conclude by early 2022. Once it does, KCSWD will host an online community event to share and discuss the survey and study results.

There were two phases of the study, and the reports for both phases are now available for public review. Access them through the County webpage or through the Zero Waste Vashon website.

The study confirmed that it makes sense both from a cost and greenhouse gas perspective to establish a community compost facility on Vashon. King County currently pays $200,000 per year to truck Vashon’s organic waste to Cedar Grove in Maple Valley. This does not include Vashon food waste which currently is treated as garbage. ZWV wants to change this and turn our organics into a valuable, local resource. Take a moment to review this important study.

King County Vashon Island Organics Processing Feasibility Study

Now What?

The next step is for our community to let the county know that Vashon will support a Community Composting Facility on the island. You can help with this. The County is now working with a research firm and Zero Waste Vashon to create a survey that will be sent to all Island residents by mid-January 2022. They will use it to gauge residents’ interest in both a local facility and the option of curbside pickup of yard and food waste.  99% of County residents already have this option.

Please be on the lookout for the survey postcard coming in mid-January 2022, and take a few minutes to let the County know that Vashon Supports Compost!  It could be one of the most important steps you take to fight climate change in the New Year.

Dec 30, 2021 Beachcomber Op-Ed on what is coming next 

Update May 21, 2022

Public invited to learn more about King County’s plans for organic waste disposal on Vashon Island

King County’s Solid Waste Division will host a virtual public meeting to discuss organic waste processing on Vashon Island on Tuesday, June 7 from 6 to 8 p.m. via Zoom. Project staff will give an overview of a recent organics processing study, share the results of a community survey, discuss future projects under consideration, and answer questions from the public.

King County’s Solid Waste Division has been working with Zero Waste Vashon and other island partners to consider the costs and benefits of processing organic waste produced by Vashon, on Vashon. This work has included a recently completed Vashon Organics Processing Feasibility Study and a community survey to learn more about public opinion on the topic.

The Solid Waste Division will host a public meeting on Tuesday, June 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. via Zoom at: bit.ly/VashonOrganics. Attendees will hear an overview of the feasibility study, the results of the community survey, and some potential options for future projects. Project staff will also answer questions from the public and discuss potential next steps for Vashon Island organics processing.

RELEVANT LINKS

Join us via Zoom on Tuesday, June 7 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.


Learn more about the Vashon Island organics processing feasibility study

Frequently Asked Questions