Seattle’s Trash to Generate Even More Clean Electricity for City Light


The Columbia Ridge power plant in Oregon.

Seattle’s trash will soon generate even more clean energy for Seattle City Light customers.

Waste Management is doubling the generating capacity of its Columbia Ridge landfill gas power plant in Oregon and City Light will buy all the electricity it produces.

“Even the trash we throw away is a resource that can be used to generate clean electricity,” said Jason Rose, Area Vice President. “We are completing the circle of sustainable practices, maximizing the resources of even our garbage to find new, alternative energy in an environmentally responsible manner.”

Seattle Public Utilities ships Seattle’s garbage to Columbia Ridge for disposal. Since 2009, Waste Management has captured the methane created by the decaying garbage and used it to fuel a power plant on site. City Light then purchases the electricity that is produced and uses it to help power the more than 400,000 homes and businesses it serves.

Currently, Columbia Ridge has the capacity to generate 6.4 megawatts of electricity. The expansion is expected to be ready for commercial operations in August with a new capacity of 12.8 megawatts. That’s enough electricity to power about 12,500 typical Seattle homes.

More generators like these are being added at Columbia Ridge to generate more clean electricity from Seattle’s trash.

“Adding the increased generation from Columbia Ridge to our energy portfolio helps us meet our customers’ electricity needs, continue our status as a carbon-neutral utility and meet the new renewable energy goals of Initiative 937,” City Light General Manager and CEO Jorge Carrasco said.

“Opportunities like this are how we limit our environmental impact while delivering reliable electricity to our customer-owners at some of the lowest prices in the country,” he said. “It’s another example of why we are the nation’s greenest utility.”

Seattle City Light is the 10th largest public electric utility in the United States. It has some of the lowest cost customer rates of any urban utility, providing reliable, renewable and environmentally responsible power to about 750,000 Seattle area residents. City Light has been greenhouse gas neutral since 2005, the first electric utility in the nation to achieve that distinction.

Meadowbrook Community Center and Pool will remain open during nearby construction – public meeting May 13

35th Avenue NE, at Thornton Creek, to be closed six months for Seattle Public Utilities project

Beginning Monday, May 19, part of 35th Ave. NE will be closed for approximately six months while the city’s longest creek is reshaped to prevent chronic flooding and restore habitat for threatened salmon and other species.

To perform the work, it will be necessary to close a section of 35th Ave. NE, between NE110th St. and NE 105th St., for about six months. During the closure, 35th Ave. NE will be open only to local access traffic. Meadowbrook Community Center and Meadowbrook Pool will have to be accessed from the south. However, the community center and pool will remain open and offer regular programming.

Beginning Monday, May 19, traffic will be detoured from 35th Ave. NE to Lake City Way NE via NE 110th St. and NE 95th St. Detour signs will be in place prior to the closure.

Southbound Metro buses (Route 64 and 65) will be detoured to Lake City Way NE via NE110th St. and NE 95th St. Northbound Metro buses will be diverted to Sandpoint Way NE via NE 95th St. and NE 110th St. As the closure date approaches, more information will be found at

For years, the confluence of the North and South branches of Thornton Creek, just east of 35th Ave. NE, has been prone to flooding. High waters have frequently inundated nearby homes, Nathan Hale High School and Meadowbrook Community Center and Pool and closed the road to traffic.

To fix the problem, Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) will remove an undersized culvert under 35th Ave. NE and realign the existing creek channel through a new two-acre flood plain. The wider channel and flood plain connection will help native fish habitat by spreading out and slowing the peak flows of Thornton Creek.

Additionally, the project will construct a new bridge under 35th Ave. NE slightly north of where the creek currently runs.

To learn more about Seattle Public Utilities’ Thornton Creek Confluence Project, click HERE. For the latest project and construction updates, click HERE.

A public meeting hosted by the project team at Seattle Public Utilities will be held from 5:30-7 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13, at Meadowbrook Community Center. The public is invited to drop by and learn about traffic and construction impacts and to chat with the construction and project teams.