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King County honors 112 businesses as ‘Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling’

Summary

The King County Solid Waste Division is honoring 112 businesses and organizations that have reduced waste and increased recycling by naming them to the 10th-annual “Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling” list.

Story

Commitment to innovation, cutting waste and saving resources areBWP-Icon-2016 common traits among a diverse group of 112 businesses – along with their inclusion to the King County Solid Waste Division’s 10th-annual “Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling” list.

“King County businesses are doing a lot to lessen the impacts of climate change by reducing waste,” said King County Solid Waste Division Program Manager Karen May. “We want to ensure businesses get the recognition they deserve for their efforts and inspire others to take action too.”

Companies that have made the list five years in a row are recognized with an Honor Roll designation. This year, 24 businesses joined the “Best Workplaces” list for the first time, and 54 businesses received the Honor Roll designation. 

The organizations on the 2016 Best Workplaces for recycling list implemented innovative ways to reduce waste and increase recycling. For example:

• Redhook Ale Brewing changed the design of 12-pack boxes to use less paper, and tracked paper usage to plant trees to offset that paper use. Overall, Redhook diverts 98-½ percent of their waste from landfills.
• Blueprint Consulting Services LLC created a water bottle competition for employees to see who could use their reusable water bottle the most and reduce disposable water bottle use.
• Alaska Airlines piloted and implemented an on-board composting program that includes composting the 250,000 pounds of coffee grounds that are created during flights each year.

Along with the “Best Workplaces” awards, King County is honoring Rainier Industries with the “Re-Innovator Award,” which recognizes the organization that has adopted the most-innovative waste reduction program or action.

A custom manufacturer of yurts, canopies, and other shade products since 1896, Rainier Industries has had a sustainability initiative in place for nearly a decade, including an environmental management plan.

In 2015, Rainier Industries recycled 479 tons of materials, including wood, metal, PVC, paints, and fabric, which resulted in disposal cost savings of $63,199. This past year, they have reduced waste by upgrading their machinery to manufacture right-size boxes for shipping their custom orders and reusing scrap cardboard for padding in place of foam. Rainier Industries is transparent about their practices, tracking their waste and posting the information on their website.

Last year, businesses and institutions in King County sent more than 276,000 tons of recyclable materials to the landfill.

All businesses operating in King County outside of the City of Seattle are eligible for the list. To qualify, businesses must meet five basic criteria, as well as 10 additional waste reduction and recycling criteria. To learn more, visit www.kingcounty.gov/recyclemore.

To learn more about the program, contact Karen May at 206-477-528 or karen.may@kingcounty.gov.