News Blog for Seattle's Wallingford Neighborhood


North Transfer station education center named after JP Patches

December 16th, 2011 by master

By Sean Keeley
Seattle icon J.P. Patches was famously known as the Mayor of the City Dump on his long-running TV show.

Patches a.k.a. Chris Wedes appeared on KCTS 9 Wednesday night in his “final” TV appearance and, on it, City Council member Jean Godden suggested renaming the nearby North Transfer Station after J.P. as a fitting tribute.

While Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) wasn’t a big fan of their station being referred to as a “dump,” they did find common ground and plan to name a new education center in the transfer station, which is being redesigned and reopen in 2012, after the clown.

“The idea will be to show how thinking about solid-waste management has evolved over the last several decades. The education center will teach the next generation how to reduce the amount of materials we put into landfills every year,” said Hennessey, who claims to be a Patches Pal but admitted to liking J.P.’s burly sidekick Gertrude better.

And so, J.P. will live on as the Mayor of the Dump forever…just don’t call it a dump.

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Citizen group unanimously recommends transfer station reconstruction

July 19th, 2011 by master

The North Transfer Station Stakeholders Group is recommending the Concept C design (see below) for the reconstruction of the Seattle Public Utilities’ North Recycling and Disposal Station (1350 N. 34th St.)

Concept C design chosen for the reconstruction of the transfer station in Wallingford. A larger image can be found here (.pdf).

The group met 13 times to go over more than a dozen program options and ultimately came to the unanimous decision to go with this option. “The stakeholder group has done a superb job of studying the alternatives, asking for data, listening to each other, and creatively establishing a win-win solution that optimizes community and environmental protection with solid waste and recycling function,” Seattle Public Utilities Director Ray Hoffman said.

From Seattle Public Utilities:

The Option C plan includes:

  • Extensive setbacks and about an acre of landscaped and publicly-accessible open space.
  • Preservation of priority views.
  • Reduced noise, dust, odors from current levels.
  • A great reduction of customer vehicle backups onto the public street.
  • Increased traffic safety inside the station.
  • Expanded recycling.
  • More flexibility to address an evolving solid waste future.
  • A facility that will meet the LEED Gold standard.
  • Additional public benefits such as crosswalk improvements, pedestrian amenities, and an educational viewing room.
  • High-quality architectural design.
  • Moving forward, SPU said it will:

  • Continue to work closely with community groups and local neighbors to refine the programming for the public open space.
  • Incorporate the Stakeholder Group’s project parameters into the documents for selecting and contracting with a project designer/constructor.
  • Work with other city departments and the City Council to address zoning issues and the vacation of a block of Carr Place North.
  • The project is expected to take two years, starting in 2014 at an estimated cost of about $52-million.

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    North Transfer Station options narrowed to one

    May 17th, 2011 by master

    With an unanimous vote last night, the North Transfer Station stakeholder group agreed on which option should be recommended to guide the replacement of the North Transfer Station.

    Click here for a larger version of Concept C

    The group has decided on Concept C (.pdf), which was designed after hearing feedback at the April 30th community meeting. This concept:

    * Shifted transfer station west to match building footprint from Concept B and improve view corridor from Ashworth Ave N
    * Shifted Reuse & Recycling building 30 feet west from Concept A building location for increased buffer along Woodlawn Ave N
    * Maintained separated commercial and self-haul traffic
    * Separated commercial and self-haul roads to reduce site access congestion on N 34th
    * Separated inbound/outbound self-haul scales based on queuing requirements

    From Seattle Public Utilities:

    Stakeholders also had an in-depth discussion regarding amenities that could be associated with vacation of Carr Place N as part of the new station design. The group evaluated and prioritized a list of several possible amenities. Their top three priorities were replacing the Carr Place N. parking lot with community open space, providing pedestrian amenities along N. 34th Street, Woodlawn Avenue N. and N. 35th Street and creating publicly-accessible space on the green roof of the underground parking.

    Once SPU hears the recommendation report, the department will determine the best course of action. The timing of that decision is in about four to six weeks.

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    Designs for new transfer station narrowed to five

    November 29th, 2010 by master

    We’re one step closer to knowing what the new North Transfer Station on N. 34th Street will look like.  At their latest meeting, Seattle Public Utilities and a group of community stakeholders gave the green light to move forward with development of five hybrid concepts.  Those concepts include a facility that puts recycling into the same building as garbage and yard waste, a stand-alone recycling building, and a possible new neighborhood park.

    Concept that shows a separate recycling building. Click here to see all five concepts.

    The main goals of the latest meeting included minimizing noise and odor, maximizing public green space in the northeast corner of the site, and creating a better pedestrian experience for those walking in front of the facility.  In February, SPU will present flyover simulations for the five hybrid concepts and stakeholders will narrow the list to two.

    We recently took a tour of the current transfer station which will be torn down to make way for the new facility.  You can read more about current operations and some of the features that could be included in the new operation.

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    More design options for new transfer station

    October 18th, 2010 by master

    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.

    Current transfer station

    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.

    The pit

    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.  They also want to preserve the industrial buffer zone and to have a public park built at the corner of 35th and Woodlawn Ave.  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).

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    Designs unveiled for transfer station in Wallingford

    September 10th, 2010 by master

    Seattle Public Utilities has just released the seven initial design concepts for the new North Transfer Station in Wallingford.  You’ll have the chance to comment on the designs at a public meeting on September 14 from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Institute for Systems Biology at 837 N. 34th Street.

    SPU says the current station on North 34th Street is nearing the end of its life.  The new station will better control noise and odors, and streamline recycling and transfer operations.  You can look over all seven designs here.

    One of the design concepts for the new transfer station in Wallingford

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