FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 23, 2010
Kitsap County Solid Waste Specialist
Kitsap County Inducted into the Waste Wise
Hall of Fame
(Port Orchard, WA)
- The US Environmental Protection Agency’s (USEPA) Office of Resource
Conservation and Recovery has selected Kitsap County for induction into
the Waste Wise Hall of Fame. The award is given to two organizations
each year for their outstanding achievements in waste reduction. On
April 26, a representative from the USEPA Region 10 office in Seattle
will present the award to the Board of County Commissioners at their
regular 7 p.m. meeting.
“We’re very proud
of this award,” says Waste Wi$e Kitsap Coordinator, Vicki Bushnell,
adding that joining the USEPA Waste Wise program inspired the County to
refine its efforts, such as implementing an employee training program
and tracking the progress of the departmental efforts.
Waste Wi$e Kitsap’s
framework includes designating a coordinator in every department who
oversees their waste reduction and recycling efforts, and serves as a
liaison between the program coordinator and department director or
elected official. They also help identify activities that are specific
to their own departments and report on their progress each year.
objectives are to reduce waste at its source, recycle more, use less
toxic products, and purchase more environmentally preferred products.
Those activities include such waste reduction strategies as revising
forms to use less paper, going electronic with timecards and pay stubs,
making double-sided copies, and performing more operations
electronically instead of with paper, such as offering online
applications and using laptops when performing fieldwork.
A challenge from
the start was tracking the progress of the program, which involved
coordinating invoices for garbage and office recycling, as well as the
many other items recycled from road shops, parks, and sewage treatment
“We’re still a work
in progress, but we’ve definitely made great strides” said Bushnell.
Last year Kitsap
County saved over $700,000 by recycling tires, asphalt, food and
beverage containers, and paper products; and reusing such items as road
sand, office products and ditch spoils. They also sent biosolids to a
farm for land application and recycled electronics and mercury-bearing
products such as fluorescent lights, thermostats, and batteries.
recycling became easier over time, because when technology evolved, more
items were acceptable. She notes that one of the changes over the years
included “going single stream”, which means all the office and break
room recyclables can go into the same cart without separating.
“It’s how you
recycle at home. Cans, bottles, and plastic bottles, jugs, and dairy
tubs go right in with the paper.”
Since the recycling
program began in the early 1990s, other advancements included accepting
all office paper types, such as manila envelopes, tablet backings, and
the paperboard boxes supplies come in, instead of “white paper only”.
There are 2,700
members in the USEPA Waste Wise program, which is a free, voluntary
program open to organizations, businesses, public agencies, and
non-profits. According to the USEPA, Partners have prevented and
recycled more than 160 million tons of solid waste since the program’s
inception in 1994.
register for Waste Wise online or call Vicki Bushnell at
360-337-4678 if they would like assistance.
USEPA Waste Wise Program:
Waste Wi$e Kitsap
Other Business Programs