CleanScapes is leading candidate to haul Issaquah trash

September 15, 2011

NEW — 10 a.m. Sept. 15, 2011

The leading candidate to haul Issaquah garbage, recyclables and compostables from the curb next summer is Seattle-based CleanScapes.

The city formed a review panel to study proposals from CleanScapes and other haulers. The panel then selected CleanScapes to proceed to the next step, contract negotiations.

Council Utilities, Technology & Environment Committee members heard a briefing about the process Tuesday. The final contract is expected to go before to the complete City Council for consideration in October.

CleanScapes serves customers in Seattle, Shoreline, San Francisco and Portland, Ore. The company started operations in Seattle’s Pioneer Square 14 years ago.

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Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank emphasizes fresh fare

September 6, 2011

The emphasis at the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank is on fresh fare, as clients call for more healthy options on pantry shelves and administrators add more space for nutritious foods.

The nascent effort to offer more fresh fare to clients comes as Cori Kauk settles in as executive director and pantry staffers put information from a client survey into use.

The municipal Resource Conservation Office and AmeriCorps members conducted a survey in July to gather input from food bank clients. The respondents asked for more fresh and healthy foods, plus more fruits and vegetables, at the downtown pantry. The survey also indicated clients’ interest in gluten-free and reduced-sodium foods.

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Pickering Barn volunteer garden showcases drip watering system

August 23, 2011

“We’re not just growing food, we’re trying to educate,” said Faalah Jones, of Seattle Tilth.

Water resources manager for the Cascade Water Alliance, Michael Brent, agreed.

“We’re just trying to show the potential of a few things,” he said.

Manager of the Issaquah Resource Conservation Office, David Fujimoto said much the same.

“It’s kind of a learning garden,” he said.

All three were referring to a large public garden alongside Pickering Barn on 10th Avenue Northwest in Issaquah.

While it is maintained almost exclusively by volunteers, the nonprofit organization Seattle Tilth oversees the garden. The latest project in the garden is a new drip irrigation system being installed by the city and the water alliance, Brent said.

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Waste Management rates rise in Issaquah soon

June 16, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. June 16, 2011

Waste Management customers in Issaquah start paying a few cents more for garbage service July 1.

The adjustment reflects changes to the Consumer Price Index, plus a hike in the state business-and-occupation tax. The increase applies only to Issaquah customers.

The garbage hauler sent notices to Issaquah residences and businesses about the change. For a residential customer using a 35-gallon container — the most popular size in the city — the monthly rate for weekly pickup is due to increase from $13.20 to $13.43. Expect similar hikes for other residential and commercial services.

The city Resource Conservation Office is encouraging customers to consider composting and recycling as methods to reduce garbage bills. Interested people should email the office at rco@ci.issaquah.wa.us.

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Forecast is green for Issaquah Valley Elementary rain garden

June 7, 2011

Project gives water a place to go in school parking lot

A group of Issaquah Valley Elementary School students plant native species in the rain garden near a new city-owned parking lot and bus loop by their school. By Mary Joe de Beck

What used to be a strip of gravel parking spots near Issaquah Valley Elementary School is now a paved parking lot and bus loop. The new impervious surface has led to another development: a student-dug rain garden filled with 500 plants of varying shades of green.

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City counts 219 bicycle commuters on Bike to Work Day

June 7, 2011

The city Resource Conservation Office declared National Bike to Work Day a success in Issaquah.

Cascade Bicycle Club, the largest such organization in the United States, helped put on Puget Sound’s F5 Bike to Work Day event May 20.

Issaquah set up a station at state Route 900 and Northwest Sammamish Road to count cyclists, offer bike repairs and hand out snacks. Officials counted 219 cyclists on Bike to Work Day in Issaquah — more than last year but shy of the record 254 in 2008.

Participants met bike commuters coming from as far away as Duvall and headed as far as Kent.

Resource Conservation Office employees, alongside Pacific Bicycle Co. owners Scott and Kristie Fredricks, and Cycle the Wave ambassadors from the Lakemont Ladies Cycling Club staffed the station. Issaquah-based Costco donated fruit and Pacific Bicycle Co. offered bike repairs.

Bikers received free Clif Bars, water bottles, maps and information about bicycling in the Puget Sound region.

‘Fresh’ film explores industrial food system

May 31, 2011

The municipal Resource Conservation Office is offering something fresh for filmgoers.

“Fresh,” the film, celebrates farmers, thinkers and business people in the midst of reinventing the food system.

The free film is at 6:30 p.m. June 30 at the King County Library Service Center, 960 Newport Way N.W. Participants can arrive early for a chance to talk to experts and exhibitors, and to enjoy a light snack. Call 837-3400 to learn more.

The film explores the darker impacts of industrial agriculture: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources and obesity. “Fresh” also highlights healthier and sustainable alternatives for the future.

Participants can also learn about local food in Issaquah.

City counts 219 bicycle commuters on Bike to Work Day

May 31, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. May 31, 2011

The city Resource Conservation Office declared National Bike to Work Day a success in Issaquah.

Cascade Bicycle Club, the largest such organization in the United States, helped put on Puget Sound’s F5 Bike to Work Day event May 20.

Issaquah set up a station at state Route 900 and Northwest Sammamish Road to count cyclists, offer bike repairs and hand out snacks. Officials counted 219 cyclists on Bike to Work Day in Issaquah — more than last year but shy of the record 254 from 2008.

Participants met bike commuters coming from as far away as Duvall and headed as far as Kent.

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Mark Issaquah drains Saturday — and help Puget Sound

May 12, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. May 12, 2011

Help improve Puget Sound — in Issaquah.

More than 8,000 storm drains flow directly into area creeks and Lake Sammamish. Then, local waterways drain into Puget Sound.

Help install the “Puget Sound Starts Here” markers Saturday. Volunteers meet at the Pickering Barn Learning Garden, 1730 10th Ave. N.W., at 10 a.m. Email Laura Matter at Seattle Tilth to learn more.

The event includes a discussion about how to protect the watershed. Then, participants head out to mark drains at 11 a.m. and return to the garden at 2 p.m.

The city Resource Conservation Office has received grant funding to purchase markers for every storm drain in Issaquah.

Officials estimate about 75 percent of all pollution in Puget Sound comes from storm water runoff.

The runoff comes from the water passing over roads, sidewalks, driveways and yards — picking up oil, grease, metals, soaps and yard chemicals along the way.

People in the Puget Sound watershed can change a few things around their homes to help prevent pollution from reaching Puget Sound. Puget Sound Start Here offers some simple tips for residents.

Garbage haulers tout ‘green’ credentials

May 10, 2011

James Connors (left) and Rey Bravo, yard waste and recycle truck drivers, respectively, for Allied Waste, each drive the new compressed natural gas-fueled trucks on their South Cove routes. By Greg Farrar

City seeks eco-conscious company for trash contract

The city is on the hunt for a company to collect garbage and recyclables from Issaquah curbs, and the hauler displaying the “greenest” credentials could receive a boost in the selection process.

Come fall, leaders plan to select a company to handle the smelly task in the years ahead. In the meantime, Allied Waste and Waste Management — the haulers operating in Issaquah — continue to emphasize eco-conscious programs.

Allied Waste rolled out compressed-natural-gas-powered trucks on routes through the Greenwood Point and South Cove neighborhoods in recent months.

In February, the hunter green Waste Management fleet received a clean-air certification after a rigorous audit.

“Sustainability is always on the agenda,” city Resource Conservation Manager David Fujimoto said. “It’s important to the city and to the waste-management contracts.”

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