April 9, 2012
NEW — 5 p.m. April 9, 2012
See the destination for most King County garbage up close.
The county is opening the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill between Issaquah and Maple Valley for free tours April 21.
Cedar Hills, the last operating landfill in the county, encompasses 920 acres and accepts about 800,000 tons of garbage each year from across King County, excluding Seattle and Milton.
The tour is designed for adults. Call 206-296-4490 to organize tours for school-aged children and school groups.
The tours start at 9 and 11 a.m. and last about one hour. The tour requires reservations. Reserve a spot by April 16 by calling 206-296-4490, TTY Relay: 711.
Parking is provided at the landfill, 16645 228th Ave S.E., and participants board a Metro Transit bus for the guided tour. The bus is wheelchair accessible.
April 2, 2012
NEW — 9:03 p.m. April 2, 2012
The decision to outlaw plastic bags at Issaquah businesses is on hold, City Council members decided Monday after a contentious discussion and appeals from environmentalists concerned about Puget Sound pollution and plastics manufacturers anxious about lost livelihoods.
The proposed plastic bag ban at local retailers is meant to limit garbage headed for the King County landfill and reduce marine pollution.
The measure stalled after speakers questioned the proposal’s scope and timing. The council opted in a 6-1 decision to postpone further discussions on the plastic bag ban to a still-unscheduled meeting.
The plastic bag ban proponent, Issaquah Highlands entrepreneur and Councilman Mark Mullet, said the legislation offers Issaquah a chance to reduce the estimated 10 million plastic bags the city sends to the King County landfill each year.
March 29, 2012
NEW — 10:30 a.m. March 29, 2012
Issaquah Chamber of Commerce leaders decided to remain neutral as the City Council considers legislation to outlaw plastic bags, but entrepreneurs raised concerns about possible impacts on local businesses due to such a ban.
The council is considering legislation to ban plastic bags for most retail uses and require stores to collect 5 cents for each paper bag provided to customers. The fee is meant to help retailers offset the cost.
The proposed ordinance reaches the council for discussion and a possible decision April 2. If enacted, the legislation calls for the ban to start in 2013.
In a letter to council members, chamber CEO Matthew Bott outlined the organization’s position and asked leaders to consider unintended effects.
March 27, 2012
The proposal to ban plastic bags from Issaquah stores reaches the City Council for a public discussion April 2.
The city could join Bellingham, Edmonds, Mukilteo and Seattle to ban plastic bags at local retailers — a step designed to limit garbage headed for the King County landfill and reduce pollution in Puget Sound.
Issaquah council members could decide to vote on the measure or continue the discussion at a later meeting.
“The goal isn’t just to get everyone to switch from plastic to paper, it’s to get people to switch from bags that you use once to bags that you reuse,” Councilman Mark Mullet said.
March 13, 2012
Officials said greenhouse gas emissions produced by goods and services from outside King County double the collective carbon footprint for the region.
The study, titled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions in King County” and released Feb. 8 by County Executive Dow Constantine, said emissions related to the production of food, goods and services from outside the county pose a challenge. Emissions from local sources increased 5 percent in King County between 2003 and 2008, but per-person emissions decreased during the same period, in part due to reduced driving and vehicles’ increased fuel efficiency.
In King County, per-person sources of greenhouse gas emissions amount to half the national average, due to clean energy sources and the types of industry in the region.
Overall, greenhouse gas emissions from producing goods and services, including materials and manufacturing, comprise more than 60 percent of all emissions related to consumption. Then, using goods and services — such as fueling a car or powering a refrigerator — represents more than 25 percent of consumption-based emissions.
February 14, 2012
Officials intend to use Seattle ordinance as model
Canvas bags could turn into a more common sight in Issaquah checkout lanes soon.
The city is poised to join Bellingham, Edmonds, Mukilteo and Seattle to ban plastic bags at local retailers — to limit garbage headed for the King County landfill and reduce pollution in Puget Sound.
Though a decision on a plastic bag ban is months distant, the Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee plans to start collecting input from businesses owners and residents Feb. 16.
“To me, the beauty of it is, you get to your end objective, which is getting rid of plastic bags, and you’re not putting an undue, negative impact on the businesses in your community,” said Councilman Mark Mullet, a local merchant and the committee chairman.
February 9, 2012
NEW — 8 a.m. Feb. 9, 2012
Officials said greenhouse gas emissions produced by good and services from outside King County double the collective carbon footprint for the region.
The study, titled “Greenhouse Gas Emissions in King County” and released Wednesday by County Executive Dow Constantine, said emissions related to the production of food, goods and services from outside the county pose a challenge. Emissions from local sources increased 5 percent in King County between 2003 and 2008, but per-person emissions decreased during the same period, in part due to reduced driving and vehicles’ increased fuel efficiency.
In King County, per-person sources of greenhouse gas emissions amount to half the national average, due to to clean energy sources and the types of industry in the region.
December 14, 2011
NEW — 11 a.m. Dec. 14, 2011
Washington’s recycling rate increased to the highest level ever on record last year, reaching 49 percent.
The information comes from a report released Wednesday from the state Department of Ecology. Officials said Washington residents recycled more and tossed less in the trash.
The total amount of municipal waste recycled by state residents increased by more than 540,000 tons last year — up 14 percent from 2009. The total amount of waste disposed from households and businesses decreased through the recession.
The trend continued in 2010 as disposal dropped by about 65,000 tons, or 1 percent.
“Reducing and recycling waste have economic, environmental and public health benefits for our state’s residents,” Laurie Davies, Waste 2 Resources Program manager for the Department of Ecology, said in a statement. “It protects our water, reduces our exposure to toxic chemicals which lowers health risks, and can build a clean, ‘green’ economy for Washington’s future.”
December 13, 2011
The items relegated to closets, crawlspaces, garages and junk drawers need not be banished to the landfill during a home decluttering effort.
Local recycling and reuse experts said the trick is to find fresh uses for old and unnecessary items, either through donations or repairs. Items in good condition make ideal candidates for donations to thrift stores. King County and local businesses offer recycling services for many household goods and items in not-so-good shape.
King County EcoConsumer Tom Watson said options abound for unloading the items cluttering the nooks and crannies in a home.
“Always consider donation, because reuse is better than recycling,” Watson said. “Someone else can use it — family, friends,” online classified services and thrift stores.
Watson adds another R to the time-tested mantra to reduce, reuse and recycle — repair. Often, furniture and other household items in otherwise good condition can be repaired for less expense and hassle than replacement. Old furniture, for instance, is a candidate for reupholstering.
Arie Mahler, donations manager for Seattle Goodwill, said sending items to a thrift store is a solid choice to reduce clutter — and aid a local nonprofit organization in the process, too.
“We’re pretty forgiving when it comes to donations,” he said.
December 13, 2011
Waste Management is offering a series of online public service announcements to encourage residents to recycle food scraps and other materials.
The series — available at www.youtube.com/wastemanagement — features Waste Management Joe, a Waste Management driver moonlighting as a psychiatrist and offering recycling advice to customers.
The videos feature a quirky cast of characters and a few surprises to help drive home the recycling message.
The series’ goal is to encourage people to recycle food scraps, glass and other materials otherwise taking up space in the county-run Cedar Hills Regional Landfill near Issaquah.
Waste Management serves Issaquah neighborhoods other than Greenwood Point and South Cove.