Images of Kitsap County
Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598
 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Date:

 April 23, 2010

 Contact:

 Vicki Bushnell,
 Kitsap County Solid Waste Specialist

 No:

 2010-21

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.

The program’s 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 plants.

“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.

Bushnell said 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.

Businesses can register for Waste Wise online or call Vicki Bushnell at
360-337-4678 if they would like assistance.

Related Links:

USEPA Waste Wise Program:
www.epa.gov/osw/partnerships/wastewise/index.htm

Waste Wi$e Kitsap
www.kitsapgov.com/sw/wastewise.htm

Other Business Programs
www.kitsapgov.com/sw

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To contact the Public Communications Manager, 
call Doug Bear at 360-337-4598 or email: dbear@co.kitsap.wa.us

Last Updated:  May 27, 2014