Swedish Medical Center earns honor for ‘green’ landscaping practices

March 6, 2012

Swedish Medical Center landscapers improved the environment — and the organization’s bottom line.

The landscaping staff at Swedish/First Hill worked to qualify as a 5-Star EnviroStars group — a designated awarded to organizations based on a demonstrated commitment to reducing hazardous materials and waste.

Swedish joined more than 700 EnviroStars businesses in the area.

Several facilities in the Swedish system had a contract for spraying fungicides and insecticides on shrubs and trees. But as staffers examined the plants, soil conditions showed in need of spraying — such as aphid infestations — had disappeared. Once regular pesticide spraying stopped, birds returned to keep insect populations under control.

Swedish’s switch to the integrated pest management system saved about $10,000 per year.

The integrated pest management program is in use at Swedish/Issaquah, the 7-month-old hospital in the community, and other campuses.

“It is imperative that medical centers focus on health outside of their facilities, as well as on the inside,” said Liesl Zappler, landscape coordinator for Swedish/First Hill. “Being organic protects patients, visitors and staff, as well as the environment, and we have been able to do this at a significant cost savings.”

Swedish Medical Center earns honor for ‘green’ landscaping practices

February 16, 2012

NEW — 11 a.m. Feb. 16, 2012

Swedish Medical Center landscapers improved the environment — and the organization’s bottom line.

The landscaping staff at Swedish/First Hill worked to qualify as a 5-Star EnviroStars group — a designated awarded to organizations based on a demonstrated commitment to reducing hazardous materials and waste.

Swedish joined more than 700 EnviroStars businesses offering services, such as car repair, dentistry, dry cleaning and printing. EnviroStars is a program of the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County.

Several facilities in the Swedish system had a contract for spraying fungicides and insecticides on shrubs and trees.

Read more

King County offers hazardous waste guide to businesses

October 25, 2011

Entrepreneurs in need of some help manage to hazardous waste can turn to the Hazardous Waste Directory.

The directory is produced and distributed by the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County. Call the Business Waste Line at 206-263-8899 to order a copy, or read the directory at www.lhwmp.org/home/YellowBook/index.aspx.

Business owners rely on the directory to determine how to manage hazardous waste. The directory also describes how to receive help, outlines regulations, explains how to choose a disposal or recycling vendor, and more. The directory lists wastes and includes information about handling, recycling, regulations and chemical hazards.

The program is a partnership of local governments, including King County and suburban cities, to manage hazardous wastes and protect health and the environment.

Options abound for dumping household hazardous waste

May 29, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. May 29, 2011

Ditch old alkaline batteries without tossing them into the garbage at a household hazardous waste disposal facility in King County.

“Batteries come in all sizes, shapes and purposes, and it has been confusing for residents who are trying to dispose of them safely,” Jay Watson, Local Hazardous Waste Management Program administrator, said in a news release. “Residents can bring in alkaline batteries, as well as lead acid, button, lithium, Ni-Cad and other rechargeable batteries for disposal. We appreciate that they are using our services to keep pollutants like mercury out of our environment.”

Some of the batteries contain mercury and other dangerous materials.

Find a disposal location or call the Household Hazards Line at 206-296-4692 or 1-888-869-4233.

Read more

Dirt-y film educates residents about soil

June 1, 2010

Conservation officials will dig deep for the next showing in the city Sustainability Film Series.

“Dirt! The Movie” will be the feature when the series returns June 8. The documentary — pardon the pun — sifts through a valuable and underappreciated source of fertility: soil.

The film examines the environmental, economic, social and political impact of dirt through stories from experts around the globe.

Following the film, a panel of experts will lead a discussion about dirt and what residents can do in their yards to keep soil healthy and toxin-free. Free information and refreshments will be available; door prizes will be awarded after the film.

The free event runs from 6:30-9 p.m. June 8 at the King County Library Service Center, 960 Newport Way N.W.

The city Resource Conservation Office presents the Sustainability Film Series through a grant from the King County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program. Call the Recourse Conservation Office at 837-3400 to learn more.

Free sustainability movie series continues with “Addicted to Plastic”

November 7, 2009

NEW — 6 a.m. Nov. 7, 2009

A series of free movie nights with films about sustainability will continue Nov. 10 with the documentary “Addicted to Plastic.”

The documentary will be shown at 6:30 p.m. at the King County Library Service Center Community Room, 960 Newport Way N.W. City officials said the event aims to educate the community about plastics, the effects of plastics on the environment and human health, and the plastics industry.

A panel of experts will lead a discussion on plastics and other related environmental issues after the movie. Information about eco-friendly programs, as well as refreshments provided by Cedar Grove Composting, will also be available to attendees. Organizers will give away door prizes after the film.

The free movie nights are presented by the city Resource Conservation Office and paid for through a grant from the King County Local Hazardous Waste Management Program.