May 2008

King County, Washington’s new recycling and transfer station recognized

The recently renovated Shoreline Recycling and Transfer Station, King County’s model for future solid waste handling facilities, has earned accolades in an international competition from the Seattle Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIA), receiving an Honorable Mention designation.

Featuring a number of green components, including a rain-harvesting roof and recycled content material, the recycling and transfer station is one of 13 projects recently honored by the Seattle chapter of the AIA in its ‘What Makes it Green?’ Regional Top Ten Green Awards.

“The new facility is more efficient for users, quieter for the neighboring community, offers increased recycling opportunities and helps protect the headwaters of a nearby salmon-bearing stream,” said King County executive Ron Sims.

The recycling and transfer station was built on the site of an old landfill. It reopened in mid-February, following a nearly two-year closure while the $24 million rebuilding project was completed.

The Shoreline Recycling and Transfer Station is targeting a gold rating under the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design rating system. Its energy-saving and sustainable features include:

A roof-top rainwater harvesting system collects water to wash floors and equipment and to flush toilets. This reduces water needs by 57 percent, saving 254,000 gallons of water annually.

Solar panels generate electricity even during cloudy days and will provide up to 5 percent of the building’s energy needs.

The facility uses natural daylight as the primary light source through the translucent wall panels and overhead skylights, reducing energy costs by 50 percent.

A natural ventilation system pushes air through the building, reducing energy needs for ventilation by 80 percent. Low volatile, organic compound paints and adhesives contribute to healthy indoor air.

Green building materials include: recycled content steel, Forest Stewardship Council-certified wood, and fly ash concrete. Landscaped bioswales slow water flow to reduce stream bank erosion along Thornton Creek, a nearby salmon-bearing stream.