Dump cleanup set for JuneGroups are already lining up to make use of the property.
June 9, 2008 · Updated 3:43 PM
"Today's dump could be tomorrow's park. But first comes the removal of yesterday's garbage. And that is expected to begin in June, with excavation of 120,000 cubic yards of material - one-third of which will be trucked away for disposal elsewhere - at the Vincent Road landfill.Cost of the cleanup is expected to hit $2 million, to be split between the county and city. In return for its commitment, the city will get the whole 40-acre parcel, at least two-thirds of it useable for open space, recreation or other purposes.It's a phenomenal project, said Michelle Miller of the county's public works department. When it's all done, we think everybody's going to be really happy with it.County and state officials discussed the plan, several years in the works and nearly ready to go out for bid, at a public meeting Monday at the Bainbridge Commons.Town dumpThe property was purchased by Kitsap County in 1942, and served as a dump for 30 years. All manner of household waste, and some industrial waste from the Wyckoff creosote plant, wound up there; garbage was burned on-site until 1968. The dump closed in 1975, although Bainbridge Disposal still operates a successful recycling station at one edge of the property.Since then, the landfill has been the subject of ongoing concerns that toxins might be carried from the site to contaminate nearby wells.In 1992, the county hauled out 475 tons of contaminated waste; a year later, another 930 tons were removed. The county considered capping the remaining material - concentrated in about 13 acres - with an impermeable surface, but opted instead for removal of any remaining hazardous wastes.Samples removed as part of cleanup modeling found that most of the remaining waste is relatively immobile and unlikely to cause problems off-site, Miller said. We found all kinds of things - intact bottles, whatever's in people's waste stream, she said. There could be a tire or two, who knows?Beginning in June, contractors will dig as deep as 43 feet in the small valley next to the current recycling area. Material will be run through a mechanical sieve, and anything larger than a bottlecap will be hauled away to the Olympic View Landfill in Bremerton. The work is expected to be completed by next fall.Monday, neighbors asked county officials to mitigate the impact of truck traffic to and from the site, estimated at 30 trips per day during peak work.They also asked for designation of a viewing area, so the public can watch the dump's reclamation without getting in the way of traffic at the recycling center.After complaining for 15 years that it's not being cleaned up, it will be nice to be able to watch it, said Charles Schmid of the Association of Bainbridge Communities.The area will be regraded and capped with two feet of fresh soil, leaving the 13 acres - possibly as little as 7-8 acres - subject to ongoing monitoring and use restrictions.Future usesAnd then what? With most of the 40 acres to be available for public use, potential suitors are already lining up. An ad hoc citizen group recently proposed multiple uses for the site, including park space, demonstration composting and gardening, recycling and affordable housing.The park board covets at least part of the property for ball fields, to get the district out from under an ongoing controversy over plans to put diamonds near Gazzam Lake.The bond levy for the Gazzam purchase included $800,000 for ball field construction, but a minor furor ensued when the board discussed converting 24 acres of the 318-acre parcel to active use.Since then, the district has channeled the money in other directions - $200,000 for the new Hidden Cove Road ball field complex, and another $200,000 for a planned complex on Sands Road.That leaves $400,000 yet unspent, and district commissioners are eying the landfill parcel - for political ease, and for cost.Even before field construction at Gazzam Lake could begin, access improvements would cost an estimated $500,000, prompting park commissioner Chris Llewellyn to muse at a recent meeting, Do we want to have a road to nothing?Ball fields on Vincent Road, park commissioner Dave Shorett agreed Monday, would save a lot of problems for us.Comment period on the landfill cleanup itself continues through April 6. For information, contact Brian Sato at the state Department of Ecology, (425) 649-7265. "