City to pilot recycle effort?

Aiming to put Eastside communities in a more environmentally sound footing, a King County advisory board has called for area communities to recycle at least half of all their waste by 2016.

But Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson believes the community can reach that milestone within a year or two.

Larson attended a recent meeting of the county's Solid Waste Advisory Committee, in which a 50 percent recycling goal for local cities was discussed. While some communities may need more infrastructure to meet that goal, Snoqualmie may be a prime candidate for a pilot program to beat that challenge in the near future.

"Because of our size, we're more nimble," Larson said. "It seems like we could achieve those levels much faster."

Getting there might be pretty simple.

According to data from the county's Solid Waste division, Snoqualmie residents already recycle about 32 percent of their garbage. If all households in the city recycled or composted all food waste, Snoqualmie could reach the 50 percent goal.

Food and yard waste typically make up about 24 percent of a community's waste, according to the National Association of Counties.

Anything originating from a plant is compostable or recylable in Snoqualmie's existing yard waste bin, but proteins and fats, such as meat and cheese, cannot be recycled in these bins.

If residents recycle more food and other materials, 50 percent seems attainable, Larson said.

"It's a very easy goal to get to," Larson said. "Most of us could do it by next year."

Snoqualmie residents already support increasing recycling levels, according to early results from a survey conducted by University of Washington students. The survey measured green attitudes and awareness in the city.

"We're a little ahead of the game now," Larson said.

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