Residents donate 400 pounds of scraps for trash-to-treasure composting effort

August 24, 2011

King County EcoConsumer Tom Watson mucks around in a pile of more than 400 pounds food scraps from Issaquah residents Wednesday. By Warren Kagarise

NEW — 12:50 p.m. Aug. 24, 2011

The half-gnawed corncobs, shorn pineapple tops, slippery banana peels and grease-stained pizza boxes simmered in the midday sun — a concoction assembled from the kitchen castoffs of 10 Issaquah families.

The festering pile in Donna Misner’s driveway included more than 400 pounds collected from residents in the Sycamore neighborhood near downtown Issaquah. King County joined the residents to increase food-scrap recycling for a month for a month to accomplish dual goals: demonstrate how easy such recycling can be and turn the garbage into rich compost for a community garden.

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AtWork! plugs in to statewide electronics recycling effort

August 2, 2011

Evergreen State consumers recycle old electronics by the bushel — more than 100 million pounds of outmoded computers, monitors and televisions since January 2009.

The haul is equal in weight to 181 fully loaded Boeing 787s.

Some 400,000 pounds of the statewide tally started as drop-offs to AtWork! The nonprofit organization helps connect employers and people with disabilities.

AtWork! operates a recycling center in Issaquah. The organization started collecting electronics in 2009 as the state rolled out E-Cycle Washington, a program to collect old electronics.

“That 200 tons of electronics has translated to more than $65,000 in revenue for our organization,” said Andrea Simmonds, director of development for Bellevue-based AtWork! “For us, every dollar that’s made in one of our social-enterprise businesses is a dollar that we can plow back into our mission of helping people with disabilities to find jobs in the community. So, for us, it’s kind of a win-win situation. We get to help the environment and it helps our ability to execute our mission.”

The organization sends, on average, two full trailers to E-Cycle Washington for processing twice each month.

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FISH hires new executive director

May 31, 2011

Jane Kuechle spent many hours as a girl on family road trips to out-of-the-way Oregon places.

Jane Kuechle

“Wherever we went, we would stop whenever we saw a salmon hatchery,” she recalled.

Kuechle, a longtime leader in local nonprofit organizations, is about to spend more time at a salmon hatchery. The expert in fundraising and nonprofit management is the next executive director of Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, the nonprofit group responsible for education and tours at the downtown hatchery.

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Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery selects leader

May 26, 2011

NEW — 3:30 p.m. May 26, 2011

Jane Kuechle

Jane Kuechle spent many hours as a girl on family road trips to out-of-the-way Oregon places.

“Wherever we went, we would stop whenever we saw a salmon hatchery,” she recalled.

Kuechle, a longtime leader in local nonprofit organizations, is about to spend more time at a salmon hatchery. The expert in fundraising and nonprofit management is the next executive director of Friends of the Issaquah Salmon Hatchery, the nonprofit group responsible for education and tours at the downtown hatchery.

Mayor Ava Frisinger, FISH board president, said members selected Kuechle from more than 30 applicants.

“The board went through a very long and rigorous process of selecting people,” Frisinger said after announcing the appointment Thursday.

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Off the Press

April 5, 2011

Recycling in Issaquah is a not-so-dirty job

My grandma spoils my sweet tooth. For holidays, birthdays or just for a lark, she’ll whip up a chocolate cherry cake or a marble pound cake, box it and mail it across the whole county, straight to me.

Laura Geggel Press reporter

Her famous kiffles — thin dough wrapped around a bounty of nuts and jelly — always disappear quickly, but the packaging peanuts stick around, and not just static-electricity wise.

For years, I am ashamed to admit, I would throw them away. In my defense, I didn’t know what to do with them. I would reuse them if I could, but it wasn’t often I needed packaging peanuts to send presents.

Now. as an avid recycler, I know just what to do with packaging peanuts. The UPS Store on Northwest Gilman Boulevard will take and reuse them. The store also recycles bubble wrap, another helpful packaging tool that often gets tossed into the trash once its work is done.

Now that I have a venue to recycle packaging material, I started thinking of places I could recycle other things, like plastic bags, cellphones or alkaline batteries.

It turns out that Issaquah is a haven for recycling just about everything.

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Registration opens for AtWork! breakfast fundraiser

March 8, 2011

Help AtWork! raise money for programs as the nonprofit organization hosts a fundraising breakfast April 13. The event runs from 7-9 a.m. at The Westin Bellevue.

The fundraiser is open to individuals, groups and corporate sponsorships. Register online at www.atworkwa.org/breakfast2011/index.html.

AtWork! is dedicated to helping disabled people learn skills, find and retain jobs. The organization designs customized employment solutions to enhance workplace productivity, and the lives of clients. AtWork! also offers clients a range of training and employment opportunities in landscaping, recycling and document-management services.

The organization operates a recycling and training facility along Seventh Avenue Northwest in Issaquah.

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Registration opens for AtWork! breakfast fundraiser

January 25, 2011

Help AtWork! raise money for programs as the nonprofit organization hosts a fundraising breakfast April 13. The event runs from 7-9 a.m. at The Westin Bellevue.

Registration is open for the event. The fundraiser is open to individuals, groups and corporate sponsorships. Register online at www.atworkwa.org/breakfast2011/index.html.

AtWork! is dedicated to helping disabled people learn skills, find and retain jobs. The organization designs customized employment solutions to enhance workplace productivity, and the lives of clients. AtWork! also offers clients a range of training and employment opportunities in landscaping, recycling and document-management services.

The organization operates a recycling and training facility along Seventh Avenue Northwest in Issaquah.

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Who’s News

January 25, 2011

Issaquah resident wins on Wheel of Fortune

Matt Molen

Matt Molen, of Issaquah, won $4,000 during his appearance on “Wheel of Fortune” Jan. 10.

Molen, a marketing professional for a board game company, tried out for the show at Emerald Queen Casino in Tacoma.

Issaquah Curves wins decorating contest

Curves of Issaquah won first place in the DownTown Issaquah Association’s sixth annual Deck the Halls DownTown decorating contest. Flying Pie Pizzeria won second place and Buddha Belly placed third.

Issaquah gets Aktion Club

Aktion Club

The charter installation of the Issaquah Aktion Club, formed by Chris Brandt, of Issaquah’s AtWork! facility was Dec. 15. It was the first such club in the Northwest. Frank Morehouse, Kiwanis Pacific Northwest governor, emceed the event and Sylvester Neal, the president of Kiwanis International, attended to congratulate the club and its efforts.

EFR honors Issaquah Swedish

Eastside Fire & Rescue recently presented its Friends of EFR award to Swedish Hospital in Issaquah for the good work provided by way of inoculating the EFR work force.

The Friends of EFR award recognizes extraordinary service by community members and organizations that have been instrumental in helping EFR accomplish the agency mission.

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AtWork! hires leadership staffer

January 18, 2011

AtWork! has hired a senior leadership staff member: Karen Walters.

The nonprofit organization is dedicated to helping disabled people learn skills, find and retain jobs.

Walters comes to the organization after serving as CEO of the Washington State Business Leadership Network, a network of businesses, employers and community partners set up to support and educate other businesses to recruit, hire, retain, promote and increase customer service for disabled people.

AtWork! designs customized employment solutions to enhance workplace productivity, and the lives of clients. AtWork! also offers clients a range of training and employment opportunities in landscaping, recycling and document-management services handled by the organization.

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Residents dump old electronics for E-Cycle Washington

January 12, 2011

NEW — 2 p.m. Jan. 12, 2011

Evergreen State residents recycled 39.5 million pounds of outdated TVs, computers and monitors last year through the E-Cycle Washington program.

The total recycled material beat the amount recycled in 2009 — 38.5 million pounds. Discarded televisions comprised 61 percent of the total.

The state passed legislation in 2006 to require manufacturers and the Department of Ecology to establish and run a statewide system to collect and recycle electronics. Manufacturers fund the program.

Before the program launched, many old electronics ended up in landfills. The result is a potential mountain of wasted resources — and toxic runoff.

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