A 45-foot tall mountain of trash in Snohomish County could burst into flames

EVERETT, Wash. — There’s a multimillion-dollar problem piling up in Snohomish County. A 45-foot tall mountain of trash has mounted in the Everett transfer station. Public Works fears the putrid pile, which has been building for weeks, could burst into flames at any moment.

“We have staff that are observing the pile every hour, 24 hours a day,” said Snohomish County Public Works Director Kelly Snyder. “It could spontaneously combust within the pile itself.”

The putrid pile began to form in early April and as junk keeps compiling and compressing, the pressure continues to grow. Solid Waste Director David Schonhard says it is only five feet away from reaching the ceiling.

“Obviously a fire in a facility on a pile that big is a huge problem to deal with,” said Schonhard.

If crews don’t move the 4,000 tons of throwaways soon, the Airport Road facility may need to temporarily shut down. The impact of this would be significant as it handles 50% of the county’s trash.

“All of my staff has been putting in extra hours,” said Schonhard.