Seattle sues county over trash cash from recycling centers

<p><p>Associated Press</p></p><p><p>SEATTLE – The city of Seattle is suing the county government in a dispute over $3 million worth of trash fees that stem from the recycling system.</p></p><p><p>The Seattle Times <a href=””>reported</a> Seattle filed a lawsuit Thursday against King County in King County Superior Court in order to resolve a years long dispute over who should be paid for the handling of garbage that ends up in their local recycling programs.</p></p><p><p>At the heart of the issue is the fact that recycling bins collected by King County outside of Seattle’s jurisdiction are ultimately processed in facilities located inside the city.</p></p><p><p>The city has handled 1,980 tons of “recyclable residuals” – or trash that ends up in the recycling bin that is not recyclable – for the county. That garbage must be taken to the landfill and both the city and county charge the recycling facilities to dump that trash.</p></p><p><p>The two sides have been splitting the money in half since February, but Seattle wants all of it.</p></p><p><p>The Seattle City Attorney’s Office and the King County Department of Natural Resources issued a joint statement on the lawsuit, saying that the two agencies share a commitment to the environment but that they needed the court to settle this dispute.</p></p><p><p>“(I)n this matter, there are conflicting code language interpretations that require independent review,” the two sides said. “After considerable good faith conversations, Seattle and King County concluded a neutral, third-party decision maker was needed to provide clarity and resolve the difference in the interpretation of each jurisdictions’ regulations.”</p></p><p><p>The city claims the state constitution, state law, and city and county codes indicate that waste disposal within a city is the realm of the city, regardless of whether the waste may have originated from outside the city.</p></p>