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

Date: April 13, 2015
Contact: Christopher Piercy, Recycling Coordinator
360.337.4898 or
No: 2015-034

Media Photo Opportunity
There is a reception immediately following the presentation in the Administration Building's main lobby. The press is invited to meet this year's winners there.

Kitsap County announces Earth Day Award winners

(Port Orchard, WA)  The annual Earth Day Awards presentation will take place at 5:30 pm on April 13th, at the Board of County Commissioners regular televised meeting at the Kitsap County Administration Building in Port Orchard.

The 2015 Solid Waste Division 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 sustainability, waste reduction, recycling, and hazardous waste management. These outstanding achievers make a difference with their choices, and lead the way as they make others aware of environmental issues.

Waste Wise @ Work Business of the Year – Watson
The Waste Wise @ Work program is a voluntary technical assistance and recognition program for businesses with outstanding waste reduction and recycling practices. Watson components are manufactured using recycled and recyclable materials, building adjustable furniture that lasts, which prolongs its life cycle, facilitates re-use, and conserves the resources, required to replace it.
Watson has an aggressive resource conservation program for their almost 300 employees, recycling 93% of all their materials. These include wood, steel, saw dust, bottles, fabric, cardboard, cans, paper and specialty items such as printer cartridges and batteries. “Recycling stations” are color coded, well labeled, and placed in convenient locations.

They have instituted a number of innovative, sustainable practices throughout their factory in Poulsbo. All wood procured is grown within 500 miles of the factory. Packaging options are researched and evaluated by a packaging expert and reused where possible. Any extra supplies are donated to local organizations or offered free to employees who are encouraged to submit ideas for reducing waste.

Clif McKenzie, Watson CEO said, “We are Builders. We create jobs and careers by building products that excite us – and that others are pleased to buy. We do this in a manner in which our parents and our children would be proud.”

Best Hazardous Waste Management Program: Rebecca Asencio, Central Kitsap School District
As Environmental Specialist for Central Kitsap School District, Rebecaa Asencio has been instrumental in managing the District’s hazardous waste materials, and getting the most toxic items out of harm’s way.

Most school districts throughout the country have an inventory of very old and dangerous lab chemicals, often from the early 1960’s or before. Kitsap County’s moderate risk waste program works with all of the area school districts to manage such chemicals.

Since 2006, with periodic assistance from county technicians Nate Matthews and Lisa Monroe, the district has removed over 13,000 pounds of hazardous waste from school properties: including mercury; corrosives; water reactives; and highly flammable materials. This success is due in no small part to Becky’s efforts, which provide a great example to other districts in our area.

One of the leading national experts in school lab chemical management, Dave Waddell, had this to say, “My experience working with Becky Asencio was as a contractor with the school district, to help reduce their chemical hazards and ensure hazardous waste was properly disposed. All environmental health and safety issues we identified were addressed quickly and properly. That’s above average, but she did it with grace, good humor and patience; which is a rare combination.”

Partner in Environmental Education: Mike Derzon, The Island School
The Island School has successfully completed Washington Green Schools certification in five categories: Waste and Recycling, Energy, Water, Transportation, and Healthy School Buildings. In 2014, the Island School became the first certified Level 5 school in Washington State.

Washington Green Schools requires that schools complete a six-step certification process in the Waste and Recycling category. This includes building a Green Team of students, teachers, and parent volunteers, then completing an assessment, using this as the baseline for the school's progress. Next, schools must implement a Lasting Change that will address an environmental issue on campus. Finally, they have to share their story with the rest of the community.
This effort was led and coordinated by fifth grade teacher Mike Derzon. The Green Team was formed and began with Lasting Changes in the home; encouraging parents to change their purchasing practices and buy durable products. They also launched a poster campaign to showcase their new sustainable composting and recycling practices; inspiring the community at large to dispose of waste more responsibly.

Leigh Michaels, Outreach Coordinator with Washington Green Schools said, “Today, the Island School continues to recycle and compost carefully, educate the school community on how to properly manage waste, and implement anti-disposable initiatives. As a result, their campus is sustainable and healthy.”

Adopt-A-Road Volunteer: Paul Savage
The Adopt-A-Road Program offers individuals, service groups, and other community groups – including local businesses – an opportunity to volunteer their time to help keep Kitsap County clean. Volunteers receive safety training, safety equipment, litter bags, and free disposal for roadside cleanup activities.

Paul Savage joined the Adopt-A-Road program in 2014. He has taken it upon himself to pick up litter on over 6 miles of various roads in the Burley area of Port Orchard as well as the Burley Community Park. Last year he logged in 70 hours, removed 623 pounds of litter, and cleaned up 67 miles of roadway.

In 2014, Kitsap County added a new recognition component to the program, “Be Green and Be Seen”! Volunteers who meet the program’s annual cleanup commitment, and wish for us to show off their adopted road, are recognized with an Adopt-A-Road sign.

Being the humble man that he is, Paul wanted his sign to state, “A Caring Neighbor”. Upon finding out that he was going to be recognized, Paul said, “Thank you for the attention. It’s my pleasure to care for my area. I'm really grateful that the Adopt-A-Road program exists.”

Excellence in Waste Reduction and Recycling: Olympic Organics, Jeff West
Composting has significant economic and environmental benefits, such as improving soil health and structure, increasing drought resistance, and reducing the need for supplemental water, fertilizers and pesticides.

Olympic Organics is a composting and topsoil company providing high quality organics to the community. Jeff West, co-founder and president of New Day Recycling and the newly opened Olympic Organics, re-introduced composting service in to Kitsap County as the only composting facility in the county. During the last year they turned this non-operational facility located in Kingston, into a viable and valuable piece of the Solid Waste system.

In 2014 they processed 14,000 yards of organic waste ranging from yard debris from the general public, to food wastes collected from local school programs. They cleaned up approximately 6,000 cubic yards of biosolids and 7,000 yards of stumps that were left on site.
The addition of Olympic Organics will better enable New Day Recycling as well as others to provide services for the collection of organics, offering both residential and commercial composting services.

"We can't force people to compost," said Jeff West, "but we can provide a place for people to do so if they choose."

Waste Wi$e Kitsap: Public Works, Sewer Utility, Central Kitsap Treatment Plant
As Hall of Fame members of the EPA’s WasteWise program, Kitsap County has established itself as leader of sustainability in local government. This year, we honor the Central Kitsap Treatment Plant with the Waste Wi$e Kitsap Award for their exemplary efforts in waste reduction and cost-saving efficiency improvements.
The Central Kitsap Treatment Plant’s Resource Recovery & Process Improvement Project includes multiple upgrades to improve energy efficiency and water quality. A major improvement is the lean burn generator, capable of using methane gas byproducts to generate an estimated $120,000 a year in electricity for use inside the plant, and an estimated $135,000 in diesel fuel savings by generating heat for water. The installation of an enclosed waste gas burner allows more than 99% destruction of methane, to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality standards. Construction is currently underway on a tertiary sand filtration system to produce reclaimed water for irrigation purposes.

In addition, bio solids resulting from the treatment process are repurposed as a soil enhancement for land application in eastern Washington. Staff has also increased their recycling diversion rates by participation in recycling training and adding a large cardboard recycling container.

We echo the words of Matt Pickering, Waste Water Lab Analyst, in honoring the plant today, “It’s great to hear how well Kitsap County is doing in the world of waste reduction. I’m glad to be a part of an organization that is leading the way.”

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Last Updated:  April 14, 2015