November 2005

SWANA honors King County, Tacoma utilities

The King County Solid Waste Division and Tacoma Solid Waste Management were honored by the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) with 2005 Excellence Awards.

SWANA’s Excellence in Solid Waste Management Program was created to encourage innovation and acknowledge outstanding programs and facilities that are committed to the “environmentally and economically sound management of solid waste.” This year’s winners were recognized at a luncheon at WASTECON 2005 on September 29, in Austin.

The King County Solid Waste Division received three Excellence Awards – a Gold for Landfill Gas Control, a Bronze award for Landfill Management, and a Bronze for Special Waste Management.

King County’s Landfill Gas Control system won the top award in the nation for the gas collection system at the Cedar Hills Regional Landfill. A landfill, always settling due to waste decomposition, drags wells, valves and pipes along with it. The innovative gas collection system at Cedar Hills is designed to move with the waste as it settles.

The Bronze award for Excellence in Landfill Management was awarded to King County for the Solid Waste Division’s focus on preventive maintenance of equipment, facilities, roads and environmental control systems at the state-of-the-art Cedar Hills Regional Landfill. This focus saves their ratepayers money and prevents unplanned releases to the environment.

King County Solid Waste also received the Bronze for Special Waste Management for a pilot project that tested the feasibility of collecting TVs for recycling in a retail store setting. A partnership with Good Guys, an electronics retailer with four stores in Western Washington, showed that an in-store take-back program was both feasible and popular – they recycled more than 4,000 televisions in one month.

Tacoma Solid Waste Management received the Gold Communication Excellence Award for the creative and effective way the utility launched “Tacoma Recycles @ Work,” which encouraged employees to recycle, reduce waste and purchase products with recycled content.

SWANA awarded Tacoma’s internal recycling campaign with top honors for promoting socially, environmentally and economically sound waste management.

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