Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling

Sunday, August 14, 2016

The King County Solid Waste Division just released its annual list of businesses and organizations
named as “Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling”.

“King County businesses are doing a lot to lessen the impacts of climate change by reducing waste,” said King County Solid Waste Division Program Manager Karen May.

“We want to ensure businesses get the recognition they deserve for their efforts and inspire others to take action too.”

On the list:
  • City of Shoreline
  • City of Lake Forest Park
  • North City Water District
  • Bastyr University

The organizations on the 2016 Best Workplaces for recycling list implemented innovative ways to reduce waste and increase recycling. Last year, businesses and institutions in King County sent more than 276,000 tons of recyclable materials to the landfill. 

City of Lake Forest Park - second year on the list. 

The City of Lake Forest Park offers recycling at City Hall for electronics, batteries, and CFL lightbulbs so residents can easily drop off their used or unwanted items at a central location.

The City also hosts the Earth Smart Green Fair, where they have educational information on best practices and "how-to's" on recycling, natural yard care, and reducing waste.

They also reduce waste and save money on paper and ink by printing less, using double sided printing, and editing documents via email and on a shared drive.

The City also added compost bins in the eating areas and bathrooms to reduce waste.

City of Shoreline makes the list for the fourth year in a row.

Shoreline continues to expand its recycling program by incorporating recycling opportunities into a new maintenance facility.

Most recently, the City has prevented waste by not allowing pesticide use in its right-of-way maintenance contract, i.e. weeds need to be hand-pulled.

Reducing the amount of irrigation at Shoreline City Hall and various other City locations saved an estimated $35,000 this year.

Additionally, City Hall recycles batteries from employees and community residents.

North City Water District is the only utility on the entire list.

North City Water District (NCWD) is a public water district that serves approximately 25,000 people in parts of Shoreline and Lake Forest Park. The NCWD returns to the Best Workplace for Waste Prevention and Recycling list for the third time this year.

Recently, the NCWD installed a water bottle filling station in its lobby to encourage the public to drink tap water as opposed to bottled water. This reduces waste and conserves fuel used in the production of plastic bottles.

The lobby also has a collection container for employees and customers to recycle used household batteries.

Advice for others: “We are in the process of transitioning paper files to electronic for many of our old records. Changing old habits is hard but with continued education and reduction of surplus items in the workplace, others are inspired and encouraged to change habits.”

Bastyr University in Kenmore is on the list for the seventh year.

The University’s recycling programs continue to thrive even with a growing student population and increased staff. Materials recycled on campus include mixed paper goods, cardboard, compost, batteries, ballasts, lamps, fluorescent tubes, polystyrene, electronics, and metal.

Each floor has centralized trash and recycling collection to help save can liners and hours of custodial services, while also increasing awareness of recycling programs and compliance.

Since last year, the school reduced the number of compost collection containers by 60 percent by locating them strategically throughout the campus. The school was able to reduce the cost of labor and bin liners while maintaining the same level of compost collection.

All businesses operating in King County outside of the City of Seattle are eligible for the list. To qualify, businesses must meet five basic criteria, as well as 10 additional waste reduction and recycling criteria. Learn more here.


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