Community

Why waste? Snoqualmie Valley residents should recycle more

Offering help in achieving higher recycling levels, Patrick Pirtle is the  Snoqualmie Recycling Program Intern - Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Offering help in achieving higher recycling levels, Patrick Pirtle is the Snoqualmie Recycling Program Intern
— image credit: Seth Truscott / Snoqualmie Valley Record

By Patrick Pirtle,

Snoqualmie Recycling Program Intern

Over the next several months, Snoqualmie residents will be given the tools and information they need to take their recycling to a new level.

Residents will be encouraged to step up their recycling efforts through an education campaign from King County.

Snoqualmie has been chosen as one of three pilot cities as part of King County’s ongoing recycling campaign, “Recycle More. It’s Easy to Do” The focus of this pilot project is a grassroots outreach that promotes the long term and economic benefits of recycling more and wasting less.

“More than fifty percent of what ends up in the landfill each year could have been recycled,” said Sharon Aller, program manager with King County Solid Waste Division. “This pilot program gives us the chance to work hand-in-hand with the residents of Snoqualmie to recycle more and reduce waste.”

King County launched the “Recycle More. It’s Easy to Do.” campaign in 2006 in an effort to decrease the amount of waste put into our landfills. The goal of the overall campaign, including the work in the pilot cities, is to increase recycling (excluding yard waste) to 45 percent by 2015 for single family residences.

To reach this goal in Snoqualmie, King County and Snoqualmie government will work to inspire the people who are already recycling to do more and educate those who aren’t already recycling about its benefits.

To show his support, Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson and his family have put forth much effort in limiting their own carbon footprint by recycling and composting.

“I have never had to remove one branch or blade of grass from my property,” said Larson. “Now my family includes food scraps in our recycling.

“I think it’s cool watching all this stuff turn into valuable compost for our garden,” he added. “This summer, I produced eight wheelbarrows full. Not only is this a great experience for my kids, but I get free compost and save on my garbage bills as an added bonus.”

Over the next couple of months, King County will have a booth with games and prizes related to recycling at local Snoqualmie events. King County has found that the biggest barriers to recycling are the “ick” factor and convenience. These booths will supply informational brochures on recyclable materials and provide examples of possible methods to overcome these hurdles and make recycling easier for the entire family. There will also be a presentation available for classrooms, businesses, and organizations that want to learn more about the importance and methods of recycling.

Local schools have already taken a leadership role in promoting composting and recycling through King County’s Green Schools Program. Eight out of ten schools in the Snoqualmie Valley School District are Level 1 schools in the program, which requires developing and implementing a recycling and waste reduction action plan.

For more information about the “Recycle More. It’s Easy to Do” campaign, go to the campaign Web site at www.kingcounty.gov/recyclemore.

If you have questions about this pilot project or want to know what you can do to increase your recycling efforts, send an e-mail to SnoqualmieCityHall@ci.snoqualmie.wa.us or call (425) 888-1551 x203.

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