FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kitsap County Solid Waste Division Announces Earth Day
(Port Orchard) -The annual Earth Day Awards presentation will take place at 5:30 pm on April 23rd, at the Board of County Commissioners regular televised meeting at the Kitsap County Administration Building in Port Orchard. There will be a reception immediately following the presentation in the Administration Building’s main lobby. The press is invited to meet this year’s winners.
The 2012 Earth Day Awards are presented to individual citizens, organizations, schools, and businesses for their innovative environmental programs or projects. Nominations were sought for exemplary environmental leadership qualities in programs or projects emphasizing environmental leadership, environmental education, waste reduction and recycling, and hazardous waste management. The awards committee selected these outstanding achievers who make a difference with their choices and lead the way as they make others aware of environmental issues.
Best Hazardous Waste Management Program: Auto
Owner Jim Kurle ensures the purchase of less toxic alternative products, and the recycling of all materials. Equipment and technology also play a part in Auto Body Experts' success. Computerized paint mixing minimizes paint waste by mixing accurate amounts, and high volume low pressure paint spray guns deliver the paint with a minimum amount of waste. The spray booth is state-of-the-art, with a special filtration system to capture the maximum amount of airborne particles. Above industry standard equipment includes positive-pressure fresh-air respirators that protect staff during vehicle spray coating. Future investments are planned to move beyond low volatile organic compound lead free paints to cutting edge waterborne paints. Auto Body Experts have a strong commitment to pollution prevention and hazardous waste recycling and reduction. By implementing these business practices, they have taken steps towards protecting the environment and health of customers and employees.
Excellence in Environmental Leadership:
Concern regarding financial sustainability was overcome through the use of limited paid staff, volunteers, community service workers, handicapped worker programs, and workers obtained through Kitsap Community Resources. In addition to free pickup and drop off sites, a vast number of items are collected. Furniture, scrap metal, and donated vehicles have recently been added. They also now assist with the deconstruction of homes, where items are handpicked for resale. Store Manager Don Nelson and staff are always looking for ways to identify sources of quality surplus material that can be marketed to the general public, thereby raising funds for Habitat home construction, as well as reducing the amount of materials currently going to the landfill.
Excellence in Recycling: Sound City Foods
Jeff Rose, with Sound City, expressed interest in doing more recycling to improve their bottom line as well as their environmental impact. The partners reviewed options and began a "back of house" food waste recycling program at the Mile Hill Burger King store in Port Orchard. Store management and staff received training, and immediately started collecting waste materials left over from food preparation and products with expired dates. Initially, a slight overall solid waste expense was encountered. In anticipation of a reduction in refuse services and an increase in the volume of organics diverted from the waste stream, these costs should decline, with a net positive to the bottom line. This program has diverted nearly two and a half tons of food waste from the waste stream. The Port Orchard Burger King sets an example for many others and demonstrates Sound City Food's commitment to its role in the community at large, reflecting the core values of its ownership and employees.
Partner in Environmental Education: Carla
Last year, Carla was awarded fifteen hundred dollars in grants from the Department of Ecology and the Peninsula Credit Union. In an effort to expand recycling efforts to include food waste, she has leveraged community partnerships with local waste free lunch advocate Eat your Greens, and the Kitsap County Solid Waste Division’s Food to Flowers school lunchroom food waste recycling program. Kitsap EZ Earth Worm Farm provided information and materials to investigate worm composting in the classrooms, and so far 5,000 pounds of organic waste has been diverted from the landfill. Through her outreach efforts, she demonstrated the cost savings and ease of implementing a recycling program at Crosspoint. As a result of her hard work and dedication, the entire staff and student population are more aware of recycling, composting, and the importance of being environmental stewards.
Waste Wi$e Kitsap: Kitsap County District
By completing the transition of the hard copy criminal files to electronic, they ended the use of shelves of files, reams of paper, hundreds of hole punches, tape dispensers, staplers, stacking trays, and thousands of staples and paper clips. These actions and associated products reflect the true cost of paper usage; it’s more than just the cost of a ream of paper. They are now in the process of converting the civil files to paperless, resulting in more cost savings and waste reduction. However, they didn’t stop there. Throughout the past year, Waste Wi$e department coordinator Kathryn Martin was instrumental in getting surplus office equipment posted to the Wa$te Exchange; the county’s in-house, online surplus exchange program. At one point they had so many items it was not practical to post them all. Instead, she advertised in the county employee’s newsletter. All together they successfully exchanged 175 items, with a value of $1,694, while diverting 190 pounds of waste from the landfill. Thank you Maury Baker and staff, for preserving resources and preventing waste in Kitsap County government.
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April 23, 2012