Issaquah businesses, government honored, ranked as top recyclers

July 12, 2011

Reusing office supplies at City Hall, recycling at local schools and businesses’ efforts to cut waste landed Issaquah officials and entrepreneurs on King County’s Best Workplaces for Recycling and Waste Reduction list July 1.

The county Solid Waste Division recognized 89 organizations in the annual awards. In Issaquah, the honorees include established “green” organizations and a newcomer, Outsource Marketing.

Each organization boasts exceptional recycling programs and a commitment to reducing waste. Issaquah municipal government and the Issaquah School District made the list. So did Pogacha, Rowley Properties and Timber Ridge at Talus.

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King County eyes garbage rate increase

July 5, 2011

Issaquah and King County residents could pay more — less than $1 per month in most cases — for garbage collection soon.

The proposed one-year rate increase is meant to raise funds to modernize the aging solid waste system. The proposal calls for county Solid Waste Division disposal rates to rise from $95 to $108 per ton, or about 76 cents per month for the average residential customer putting out a single can for collection for all customers outside of Seattle and Milton.

Under the proposal, the fee applies to companies picking up and hauling trash to county transfer stations. The additional cost to the companies is likely to be passed on to customers.

“Our solid waste facilities were largely built in the 1960s, and they were never designed to handle the nearly 1 million tons of garbage we now process,” Solid Waste Division Director Kevin Kiernan said in a statement. “This one-year rate proposal keeps fees as low as reasonable, while covering the cost of providing the service and the capital improvements that our customers need and expect.”

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County honors landfill for pollution prevention

July 5, 2011

King County environmental officials honored the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill for spotless wastewater discharge records last year.

The landfill and five companies earned Commitment-to-Compliance Awards for meeting discharge permit standards every month for five consecutive years and recording no violations of any kind. The county announced the awards April 27.

Since 1969, the Industrial Waste Program has required many companies to pretreat wastewater before discharging the material into the sewer. Besides regulatory enforcement, the program serves as a resource for businesses by supporting permit compliance efforts and educating entrepreneurs about pollution prevention, waste reduction and water conservation.

In addition, the Industrial Waste Program presented a Gold Award to 45 companies for meeting wastewater discharge regulations every month last year, and 18 companies earned a Silver Award for having no King County monitoring discharge violations last year.

The landfill — on 920 acres in unincorporated King County between Issaquah and Maple Valley — also received kudos from the Industrial Waste Program on May 5. The county Solid Waste Division operates the landfill.

Issaquah businesses, government honored for recycling

July 5, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. July 5, 2011

Reusing office supplies at City Hall, recycling at local schools and business’ efforts to cut waste landed Issaquah officials and entrepreneurs on King County’s Best Workplaces for Recycling and Waste Reduction list July 1.

The county Solid Waste Division recognized 89 organizations in the annual awards. In Issaquah, the honorees include established “green” organizations and a newcomer, Outsource Marketing.

Each organization boasts exceptional recycling programs a commitment to reducing waste. Issaquah municipal government and the Issaquah School District made the list. So did Pogacha, Rowley Properties and Timber Ridge at Talus.

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County proposes yearlong trash rate hike to modernize system

June 8, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. June 8, 2011

King County residents could pay more for garbage collection under a proposal to increase the disposal rate for one year in order to raise funds to modernize the county’s aging solid waste system.

The proposal calls for county Solid Waste Division disposal rates to rise from $95 to $108 per ton, or about 76 cents per month for the average residential customer putting out a single can for collection for all customers outside of Seattle and Milton. The proposed hike is the second rate increase in the last 12 years for the Solid Waste Division.

“Our solid waste facilities were largely built in the 1960s, and they were never designed to handle the nearly 1 million tons of garbage we now process,” Solid Waste Division director Kevin Kiernan said in a statement. “This one-year rate proposal keeps fees as low as reasonable, while covering the cost of providing the service and the capital improvements that our customers need and expect.”

Under the proposal, companies, such as Allied Waste and Waste Management, picking up garbage at the curb and hauling trash to county transfer stations would pay the fee. The additional cost is likely to be passed on to customers.

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Guest Column

May 24, 2011

Spring Cleaning Week helps residents clear out the clutter

Winning the war against clutter can be tremendously satisfying. That may be why a whole industry has developed around fighting clutter.

You can see it on Oprah, and you can ooh and ah at the worst cases on shows like “Hoarders.” You can even pay an organization coach to get your clutter under control — if you’re willing to pay up to $50 an hour.

But you can also just take a few easy steps on your own. Because cutting clutter means reducing waste, the King County “Recycle More. It’s Easy to Do.” program designated May 9-13 as Spring Cleaning Week. You can find lots of resources at www.kingcounty.gov/recyclemore, but here are a few to get you going.

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Issaquah community’s ‘green’ achievers observe Earth Day

April 19, 2011

Earth Day is observed April 22, but some Issaquah-area residents celebrate the eco-conscious holiday year-round.

As people elsewhere take initial steps to “green” vehicles, volunteer for earth-friendly activities, reduce carbon footprints and make homes and gardens more earth-friendly, the Issaquah community includes avid recyclers, car-free families and “green” homeowners.

Issaquah resident Kent Peterson, who traded his car for a bike more than 20 years ago, leads a procession of well-wishers as he departs last year for Banff, Alberta, the starting line for the 2,745 mile Tour Divide race. By Greg Farrar

Recycling to superstar status

Wayne Elson started recycling cans and bottles more than 30 years ago — long before recycling became as simple as a trip to the curb.

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County honors Issaquah district schools as Earth Heroes

March 30, 2011

NEW — 12:15 p.m. March 30, 2011

King County is honoring Grand Ridge Elementary School — plus teachers, a student, and a staff member from across the Issaquah School District — as Earth Heroes at School.

The annual honor highlights schools and people for contributions to environmental protection and student environmental education. The county Department of Natural Resources and Parks’ Solid Waste Division announced the 2011 honorees Wednesday.

“Winners of the Earth Heroes at School awards are a diverse group who share the common goal of making our world a better place,” County Executive Dow Constantine said in a statement. “It is an honor to recognize their achievements in environmental education, waste reduction, energy conservation and other positive efforts.”

Grand Ridge Elementary recorded a 35-percent recycling rate last year.

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King County invites landfill neighbors to Issaquah meeting

March 29, 2011

King County is considering changes to how officials communicate to residents about the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill near Issaquah.

Officials started meeting with landfill neighbors in the mid-1980s to offer updates about landfill activities, and to allow citizens a chance to provide feedback and ideas for improving operations.

The county Solid Waste Division is hosting the next community meeting April 6 in Issaquah.

Participants can hear updates about proposed changes to community meetings, updates about operational activities — including construction and environmental management activities at the landfill — and the Bio Energy Washington landfill gas-to-energy plant at the site.

The community meetings offer a forum for residents and Solid Waste Division to discuss conditions and problems at the landfill. The meetings occur at least twice per year.

The landfill encompasses 920 acres in unincorporated King County between Issaquah and Maple Valley.

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County announces changes to address landfill neighbors

March 18, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. March 18, 2011

King County is considering changes to how officials communicate to residents about the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill near Issaquah.

Officials started meeting with landfill neighbors in the mid-1980s to offer updates about landfill activities, and to allow citizens a chance to provide feedback and ideas for improving operations.

The county Solid Waste Division is hosting a community meeting in Issaquah from 7-9 p.m. April 6 at the King County Library Service Center, 960 Newport Way N.W.

Participants can hear updates about proposed changes to community meetings, updates about operational activities — including construction and environmental management activities at the landfill — and the Bio Energy Washington landfill gas-to-energy plant at the site.

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