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December 2006

Washington county works to increase business recycling

King County’s Solid Waste Division is extending its “Recycle more. It’s easy to do.” education campaign to improve recycling practices among local businesses. A campaign to improve recycling in homes was launched in September.

Currently, more than half of what ends up in King County’s Cedar Hills Regional Landfill is readily recyclable, including mixed paper, plastic film and cardboard, plus food waste from businesses such as hotels and restaurants.

Each year, businesses in King County send more than 800,000 tons of recyclable materials to the landfill, with an estimated value of $40 million.

“Although King County is recognized nationally as a leader in successful recycling programs, the reality is that we can do better,” said Executive Ron Sims. “We’d like to see all businesses take a closer look at their recycling practices, and for employees to recycle all they can in the workplace.”

Businesses may not realize that by increasing recycling, they can save 20-50 percent on their garbage bill. Smaller or fewer garbage containers may be needed when recycling increases and the volume of waste decreases.

As part of the business recycling campaign, King County solid waste experts will offer one-on-one customized assistance to nine local companies. Experts will help the businesses evaluate their waste and improve recycling practices. The campaign targets large hotels, retailers and business service companies, based on the high percentage of recyclable materials each business type generates.

In addition, companies that increase their recycling or are already recycling a large amount of their materials are encouraged to apply for King County’s new “Best Workplaces for Recycling” list. The list will be published next spring to publicly recognize companies that serve as role models for other businesses in the community.

For more information about recycling in King County or to apply for the “Best Workplaces for Recycling” list, visit www.metrokc.gov/recyclemore.


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