County considers a local compost facility, seeks input

Zero Waste Vashon is working to establish better infrasture for composting and needs island’s input.

Correction: A previous version of this email provided an incorrect URL to take King County’s survey gauging interest in a composting facility on Vashon. The correct link is

Zero Waste Vashon has been working for several years with King County Solid Waste to establish better infrastructure for composting yard and food waste on Vashon.

Now, that work is paying off — but the nonprofit organization needs islanders’ help.

Nancy O’Connor, who is the president of Zero Waste Vashon, is urging islanders to watch their mailboxes for a postcard from the county, due to arrive between Jan. 18 and 20. The postcard will provide more information about a survey being conducted over the course of the next three weeks that will gauge interest in establishing a community-scale compost facility on the island.

The survey, said O’Connor, will also seek input on establishing the option of curbside pickup of yard and food waste — a service 99% of King County residents already have.​​

“We believe environmentally-conscious islanders want this facility and curbside collection so they can put their organic waste to good use,” said O’Connor.

The establishment of an on-island compost facility has long been advocated by Zero Waste Vashon and has been a major focus of the group’s careful step-by-step work with the county.

One of the group’s first major accomplishments was to encourage the county to accept yard and food waste at Vashon Recycling and Transfer Station — a goal that was achieved in 2015.

Still, households and businesses on Vashon don’t have curbside organics collection. Instead, some islanders compost their own organics or haul it to the Transfer Station. Once collected at the transfer station, the organics are then transported to a processing facility in Maple Valley.

This led to a new phase of Zero Waste Vashon’s efforts — working with the county to establish Vashon’s own compost facility, which would eliminate the greenhouse gas emissions and costs created by trucking this waste off the island, and allow islanders to use their own organic waste to improve island soils.

The county has now completed a Vashon Organics Processing Feasibility Study, viewable at and

Results from the study, said O’Connor, were encouraging.

“The study confirmed that it makes sense both from a cost and GHG perspective to establish a community compost facility on Vashon,” she said. “When food waste collection is increased, the benefits are even greater.”

Next, islanders need to weigh in — look for the county’s postcard or visit to take the survey. Also, watch for emails with the survey link.

After processing the survey results, King County also plans to have an online community event to share both the survey and study results.

Want to give feedback on the Vashon Organics Processing Feasibility Study now? Follow this link: