'Why not here?' port wonders
June 12, 2008 · Updated 10:04 AM
"The Port of Bremerton Commissioners on Tuesday collectively scratched their heads over why Kitsap County officials didn't bother to mention the port-operated Olympic View Industrial Park as a possible site for a new garbage plant and handler.Commissioner Bill Mahan said the county has clearly favored promoting a potential site at the Naval Submarine Base Bangor, while excluding Port of Bremerton property in the county's recently documented search.The Port of Bremerton Commissioners should craft a letter to the Kitsap County Commissioners objecting to the...obvious elimination of port property as a possible site for the garbage-transfer station, Mahan said, frustrated over an apparent lack of communication between the Port of Bremerton and Kitsap County.He said the suggestion of Bangor, to the exclusion of every other potential site, reduces the opportunity for competition, and feared that could mean higher garbage-removal costs for Kitsap County and its municipalities.In early May, county officials released a request-for-proposals document encouraging contractors to build a new garbage-transfer facility for the county. When submitting bids, the document requires contractors to include an option for a plant at Bangor. Contractors can propose any additional sites of their choosing.An as-yet-unnamed garbage company is expected to operate the new plant to load Kitsap's trash onto trains for export. Waste Management, Inc., which owns Brem-Air Waste Disposal, is currently Kitsap's main garbage handler, but the company plans to close its landfill by 2002, years earlier than anticipated because of a lawsuit filed by nearby residents.Gretchen Olsen the county's solid-waste manager said she was surprised to hear of the Port of Bremerton Commissioners' concerns. She said the RFP is intended to promote competition among contractors and garbage handlers.It's inclusive, not exclusive, she said this week, noting that a Bangor site might not even pass permitting muster and that a site at the industrial park is a strong possibility.The U.S. Navy, she said, has been part of the waste-management plan process since 1996, and has a representative on the solid-waste advisory committee. Olsen said the county has spoken in general terms with port officials since last year about the project but no specific site selected at the park for the project."