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On May 28, six Renton neighbors accepted the challenge to see how much they could reduce their garbage. Over a period of four weeks, each family competed to drop the weight of their trash by at least 20 percent. You can meet the families Download PDF , 142 K and view the extensive news coverage of the competition. Here are the final results.

Recycle More Neighborhood Challenge results

We weighed the total garbage for the following six families over four consecutive weeks


Initial garbage
weigh-in May 28

June 5

June 12


June 26

Avg. compared to initial weigh-in

Family 1:

17 pounds

12.9 pounds

9.6 pounds

7.3 pounds

6 pounds

47% lost

Family 2:

30.8 pounds

17 pounds

18.5 pounds

20.1 pounds

15.4 pounds

42% lost

Family 3:

62.6 pounds

32.8 pounds

24.6 pounds

18 pounds

14.6 pounds

63% lost

Family 4:

7.4 pounds

5.2 pounds

3.9 pounds

4.5 pounds

3.9 pounds

46% lost

Family 5:

16.8 pounds

2.7 pounds

3.5 pounds

2.9 pounds

2 pounds

82% lost

Family 6:

11.6 pounds

29.8 pounds

18.4 pounds

12.6 pounds

8.9 pounds

147% gained

In the news

June 26, 2008

King County announces winner of ‘Recycle More Neighborhood Challenge’
See more coverage from The Seattle Times,, KOMO4 News and The Renton Reporter (external links).

June 25, 2008

Renton families wrap up recycling challenge June 26 external link
It's the home stretch in the Renton Neighborhood Challenge, and the competitors are still going strong—from the Renton Reporter

June 13, 2008

Renton Neighborhood Challenge contestant is 38 lbs. lighter, all from recycling external link
Two weeks ago, Baiba Rubino had the most trash to lose. Weighing in at 63 pounds, her garbage was dumped in front of reporters and photographers, while a "garbologist" picked through her family's dirty diapers and rotting crab leg, pointing out items that could be recycled—from The Seattle Times

May 30, 2008

Renton recycling contestants go on "trash diet" external link —from The Seattle Times
View additional video coverage from and external link

Tom Watson—King County’s resident "Garbologist"— judges the Recycle More Neighborhood Challenge.
Tom Watson—King County’s resident "Garbologist"— presided over the Recycle More Neighborhood Challenge.
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King County Solid Waste Division mission: Waste Prevention, Resource Recovery, Waste Disposal