EVERETT, Wash. — Snohomish County had planned to close all solid waste transfer stations and drop boxes for two weekends, but crews only needed one weekend to clear a 45-foot-tall mountain of trash that was at risk of bursting into flames.
During last weekend’s closure May 7 and 8, Snohomish County Public Works staff worked long hours to clear a backlog of garbage that piled up. All Snohomish County Solid Waste transfer stations and drop boxes will operate on regular business hours this weekend, May 14 and 15.
The 4,000 tons of garbage began piling up at the Airport Road transfer station in early April. The Everett facility is the busiest in the county, accounting for 49 percent of the garbage processed, according to public works.
Officials said there weren’t enough workers to move the trash and due to a shortage of shipping containers, there was no place to put it.
Snohomish County Public Works officials feared the pile could burst into flames at any moment.
The county approved $2 million in emergency funding to haul some of the trash to Oregon.
Last weekend, crews cleared nearly 5,400 tons — more than 10 million pounds — of garbage from the Airport Road Recycling and Transfer Station in Everett and Southwest Recycling and Transfer Station in Montlake Terrace.
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