Index of issues

Composting and land fill odor

Part of the Four Creeks area is inside the Urban Growth Boundary and therefore intended ultimately for annexation or incorporation. Specifically the area is the unincorporated area on the plateau east of Renton that has been designated part of Renton’s Potential Annexation Area (PAA).

Although the FCUAC does not take a position for or against annexation or incorporation, it is working with citizen groups on the plateau with a focus on assuring a quality transition from an unincorporated area to an incorporated one. Perhaps the most visible and active group on the plateau is Citizens Alliance for a Responsible Evendell (CARE) headed by former FCUAC member and officer Gwen High. Jointly, FCUAC and CARE have been actively working with Renton and King County governments to develop a transition plan that is focused on the quality of life for residents.

For more information visit the CARE website If you’re interested in contacting the groups active in the annexation issue, contact us and we’ll pass along their contact information. Note that CARE does have a position on annexation although they also have a separate community quality of life identity. It is that identity that the FCUAC is working with representing the citizens of the plateau. Our referral to the CARE site does not advocate for annexation. That decision lies solely with the residents of the PAA.

The May Valley Basin lies in a watershed from multiple higher areas including the hills south of Newcastle, the plateau east of Renton, Tiger Mountain, and Cougar Mountain. Of particular importance is a diversion of water that happened some decades ago at the quarry at the summit of the hill between Issaquah and Renton on SR 900. Construction on the site diverted water that had been running into Tibbets Creek and therefore bound for Issaquah into runoff areas that ultimately feed into the May Valley area.

This diversion has been estimated to be as much as 800 foot-acres of water annually.

Composting and landfill odor
Many of the residents of the Four Creeks area, particularly on the east-most part of the plateau east of Renton, have been concerned about composting odors in their neighborhood. The FCUAC has been working directly with Cedar Grove Composting to review their situation and have been impressed about how conscientious they are about these type of complaints.

In the last few years, close to 50% of the volume that had been coming into Cedar Grove has been diverted to the Everett site. That site uses a technique, called “Gore” that significantly reduces processing time while also significantly reducing resultant odors.

The Cedar Grove facility also uses the same Gore technique but still has some of its processing using methods that have exposed piles and generate a bit more odor. Only 20% of their total processing uses these techniques.

One interesting thing about the visit to the Cedar Grove site was a discussion about whether there was a pattern to the odor complaints. One such pattern is that most of the complaints come in the morning. One possible cause of this has to do with the wind patterns during a typical day. At night the wind is still which could result in a buildup of odor over the site which is then move by the prevailing north-northwest winds in the morning.

The FCUAC will be following up with Cedar Grove to see if their scientists agree with the possible pattern and look for ways to disperse the buildup before the winds start up.

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