Food Lifeline and Shoreline Community College honored for their recycling programs in the work place

Saturday, August 25, 2012

King County Executive Dow Constantine applauded 92 local companies for reducing waste and increasing recycling, naming them as the county’s “Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling for 2012.”

The sixth-annual list spans a wide array of businesses in King County, including hospitality, medical services, professional services, retail, finance, government, arts and entertainment and others. The list includes an honor roll for companies that have made the list at least five years in a row.

Local organizations on the list:

  • Food Lifeline
  • Shoreline Community College - Honor Roll

Shoreline Community College joins King County’s Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling for their fifth consecutive year. Receiving this recognition is a college goal each year. The college continues to increase the number of recycling bins across the campus and to make efforts that increase recycling awareness. In the next year, they are hoping to work with students involved in a service learning project. The project will be focused on better educating the student body on the recycling program and, specifically, how to properly recycle. The college also has a recycling booth in their Student Union Building lobby to assist in educating staff and students. The booth was set up last year and was a collaborative effort with their recycling vendor, CleanScapes.

Food Lifeline joins King County’s Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling for the second consecutive year. As Washington’s largest hunger relief organization, Food Lifeline is an inherently green organization simply through the work they do to salvage healthy food and feed hungry people. By gathering food directly from local growers, manufacturers and grocery stores, they provided more than 745,000 people in western Washington with more than 27 million meals last year. Without Food Lifeline, much of the healthy and perishable food they distribute would end up in the waste stream.

This past year, through their Green Team, Food Lifeline has increased their focus on waste reduction by developing quarterly green themes, creating a green recognition program to highlight outstanding staff members, and inviting representatives from environmental organizations such as Cedar Grove to speak at staff meetings. They are looking forward to improving their green business practices this next year and supporting the community, environment, food banks, meal programs and shelters they serve.

Advice to others: “You don’t have to go big to go green. Look around your organization and see where you can implement small changes to make a big difference. Some of the most effective changes they have made were the simplest. Things like reusing paper for printing, installing motion-detection light switches, or going for a quick walk with colleagues to pick up garbage on the street. It’s also easy to make waste reduction fun. This past year, we have had a great time developing quarterly green themes for our staff like green gift giving for the holidays and green spring cleaning. We also created a “green high five” recognition program to thank staff members for the great work they do reducing waste.”

Last year, businesses in King County sent more than 180,000 tons of recyclable materials to the landfill. King County’s Solid Waste Division compiles the “Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling” list annually to recognize the top recyclers and waste reducers, and help motivate others in the local business community.

All businesses operating in King County outside the City of Seattle are eligible for the list. To secure their spot, businesses are required to meet the same five basic criteria, as well as 10 additional waste reduction and recycling criteria, such as using reusable or compostable dishware in kitchens, collecting batteries for recycling or sending electronic invoices.

To see the complete list of 2012 Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling and to learn more about what these businesses are doing to improve recycling programs, see the website.


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