Recycle post-feast grease for free — and prevent clogged pipes

November 26, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Nov. 26, 2010

Turn Thanksgiving post-feast grease into biodiesel — and help prevent a hazard in local sewer systems.

King County has joined General Biodiesel to offer disposal locations for free and eco-friendly option to dump cooking fats and grease through Dec. 31.

The closest 24/7 disposal site to Issaquah is the Sammamish Safeway, 630 228th Ave. N.E. Find a complete list of disposal sites here.

The announcement came as Issaquah officials consider a plan to cut on the amount of food grease running down restaurant drains and into the municipal sewer system.

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Protect pipes from freezing before bitter cold arrives

November 20, 2010

NEW — 8 a.m. Nov. 20, 2010

With freezing temperatures forecast for Thanksgiving week in Western Washington, residents should take steps ASAP to protect pipes from freezing.

National Weather Service forecasters said cold air moving into the state in the days ahead could bring a chance of snow at lower elevations. Temperatures in the region could drop into the 20s and 30s into early next week.

The cost of a frozen and broken pipe can be more than just the cost of a plumber. Residents might be forced to go without water until the leak is repaired. If no one is home as the pipe thaws, flooding and property damage could lead to sizable repair costs and inconvenience.

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Planning for worst-case scenario is business as usual for emergency director

November 2, 2010

King County faces risks from earthquakes, floods, terrorism, volcanic eruptions and more than a dozen other threats.

For Hillman Mitchell, director of the King County Office of Emergency Management, planning for a worst-case scenario is business as usual. The longtime emergency planner and Sammamish resident settled into the role Aug. 3 after a stint as the emergency management coordinator in Tukwila.

Mitchell served in the South King County city as the region braced for a destructive Green River flood exacerbated by the storm-damaged Howard Hanson Dam. Though the flood did not occur, the effort — and a candid assessment of potential damage across the region — earned Mitchell respect from leaders in other cities.

“Obviously, the Green River planning activity really brought together a lot of those collaborative and cooperative opportunities to look at how we respond, not just from a city’s perspective, but as we respond to disasters that don’t respect political boundaries,” he said.

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Recycling carpets is good for environment

October 19, 2010

Recycling carpet can be a Sisyphean task. Part fuzz, part glue and part plastic, most people throw it away, explaining why every year about 50,000 tons of carpet ends up in the King County landfill.

“It’s a tremendous amount of valuable resources that goes to waste,” King County Solid Waste Division Program Manager Kris Beatty said.

Carpet can be ground up and then used as an oil absorbent, or its materials can be separated and then sold back to carpet manufacturers or other companies, like toy makers.

Long’s Floors in Issaquah (above) recycled more than six tons of carpet from August to September by working with Benchmark Recycling hauling company and Recycle 1, of Tacoma. By Bill Johnson

Jeff Long, co-owner of Long’s Floors in Issaquah and a recycling advocate, said he looked for years for a way to recycle the tons of carpet his company removes from houses.

He recycles so much, he can often be found rooting through his company’s dumpster, looking for cardboard, plastics or electronics that can be recycled instead of routed to the landfill.

For the past eight years, he has recycled urethane carpet cushions, the padding that goes underneath carpets, but he could never find a way to recycle the carpet itself.

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City makes history in effort to turn restaurants ‘green’

September 28, 2010

A plastic fork and spork get picked out of the compost waste pile by Cedar Grove Composting General Manager Nick Harbert. By Greg Farrar

Groundbreaking packaging ordinance takes effect Oct. 1

Inside the neon-illuminated Rollin’ Log Tavern, the full effect of the city-mandated change from foam and plastic to eco-friendly cups, containers and utensils is apparent after a quick glance at the timeworn bar.

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Council seeks to fine-tune food-packaging ordinance

August 24, 2010

Less than eight weeks before a landmark food-packaging ordinance goes into effect, city leaders plan to fine-tune the legislation to compensate for fast-melting compostable straws, foil-backed sandwich wrappers and other potential pitfalls.

In a milestone decision late last year, Issaquah became the first Eastside city to ban polystyrene food containers and instead require containers and utensils fashioned from compostable materials. The ban goes into effect Oct. 1 — but businesses can ask to be exempt until early next year.

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Join discussion about polystyrene ban tonight

August 18, 2009

NEW — 11:45 a.m. Aug. 18, 2009

Issaquah officials will hear from Seattle Public Utilities staffers tonight about Seattle’s ban on polystyrene food containers. Issaquah City Council members are considering a similar measure.

Join officials and business leaders tonight as they discuss the proposal at a Council Sustainability Committee meeting. The panel meets at 5:30 p.m. in the Pickering Room of City Hall Northwest, 1775 12th Ave. N.W.

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