Bow Lake Transfer Station done, to accept numerous recyclables

King County Executive Dow Constantine, fifth from left and holding the cutters, cuts an evergreen bough at the grand opening Tuesday of the county
King County Executive Dow Constantine, fifth from left and holding the cutters, cuts an evergreen bough at the grand opening Tuesday of the county's new Bow Lake Transfer Station in Tukwila. He's joined by city officials from Tukwila, Normandy Park, Renton and Auburn and by Pat McLaughlin, director of the county's Solid Waste Division, at Constantine's right. The new station includes a dedicated drop-off for yard waste.
— image credit: Dean A. Radford/Tukwila Reporter

Starting Wednesday, users of the county's Bow Lake Transfer Station in Tukwila will have a whole new array of recycling opportunities.

The new services begin after Tuesday's dedication of the new $88 million transfer station on Orillia Road in Tukwila. That's $4 million under budget.

The City of Tukwila worked closely with the county in developing the new transfer station. Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton spoke at the dedication.

The county's Solid Waste Division opened the transfer station in July 2012 for garbage collection only; the grand opening awaited the new facilities for recycling, new scale house, artwork and other environmental improvements.

Rainwater is collected to wash down floors and equipment.

The scale house has moved closer to the main transfer building and is at the center of new landscaped lanes that direct users to different parts of the facility.

"Bow Lake is enormous," said county Executive Dow Constantine in his remarks at the dedication Tuesday.

More than one-third of all waste collected by King County passes through Bow Lake on its way to the Cedar Hills Landfill near Maple Valley.

New efficiencies will allow the county to reduce the number of transfer trailer trips by about 30 percent, meaning fewer trucks on the roads and lowered fuel costs, Constantine said.

He said the new facility will meet the needs of the county's growing population, now about 2 million, for years go come.

"This facility is a solid investment in our region's future," said Constantine.

The transfer station, which is visible from Interstate 5, is now fully set up to accept yard waste, clean wood, appliances, scrap metal, bicycles and bicycle parts, glass and cardboard. Medical sharps, such as syringes, are collected for safe disposal.

There is a charge to recycle some items (appliances, clean wood and yard waste); the minimum fee to dispose of garbage is $22.

Information about the Bow Lake station and other county Solid Waste Division facilities is available at

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