Five more design options for the new North Transfer Station have been unveiled. Those five, along with four previous designs that have been tweaked, will be looked over later this week during a stakeholder meeting of community residents, businesses and station users.
The new station will be constructed on the current site at 1350 N. 34th Street after the old facility is demolished, probably sometime in 2012. Today, a crew from Seattle Public Utilities took us on a tour of the location to talk about challenges they face at the current facility and what they hope to accomplish with the new one.
“I think what the residents want is a station that’s going to be a good neighbor,” said Bill Benzer, SPU project manager for the new station.
The current transfer station was built in the 1960’s with the single goal of collecting garbage. Today, the station now has to deal with recyclables and yard waste. Long lines can sometime form on 34th Street as customers wait for their loads to be weighed. Neighbors are also forced to deal with noise, and even worse, the odor. One nearby resident told us the smell gets worse every year.
“You never get used it,” she said.
Now that food scraps are mixed in with yard waste, another problem has surfaced– crows.
“They’re grabbing all the oranges and pumpkins and all that stuff out of there and dropping it in neighbors’ yards,” one crew member told us.
To stop the crows and to help contain the noise and odor, the new station will be enclosed with a ventilation system and quick opening doors to let customers in and out. The weigh station could be moved further into the site to avoid lines. And while Seattle Public Utilities wants to make sure the new facility looks nice, they also need it to be functional.
“Over time our waste handling needs may change. There may be more items that we want to try and recover and the way to do that is to put it all on a flat floor so you can pick things out, move things to different piles, and they can be sent to different facilities,” said Benzer.
Some of the newly unveiled designs, including the one below, show a separate building for recyclables. The Wallingford Community Council has said it would only support a design that doesn’t call for the east side of the property to be used as a recycling operation. One stakeholder representing the Fremont Chamber of Commerce wants to make sure the front of the property is pedestrian friendly. In the end, SPU tells us the design will be shaped by community input.
“We are certainly looking for a building that fits in with the neighborhood,” said Benzer. “Part of this design program is to get the layout…but to also get into some aesthetics. We’re envisioning some nice grounds with perimeter landscaping.”
To see all of the design concepts under consideration, click here. The next transfer station stakeholder meeting is set for this Thursday, October 21 from 5pm to 8pm at the Institute for Systems Biology (837 N. 34th Street).