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King County announces ‘Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling’ list

Summary

King County’s Solid Waste Division is honoring 97 local companies for adopting business practices that reduce waste and increase recycling, naming them “Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling for 2014.”

Story

King County’s Solid Waste Division is honoring 97 local companies for adopting business practices thatBest_Workplaces_2014 reduce waste and increase recycling, naming them “Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling for 2014.” This is the highest number of businesses listed since the program began in 2007.

“The creativity and commitment shown by these organizations to limit waste and increase recycling merits special recognition,” said Pat McLaughlin, Director of the King County Solid Waste Division. “Whether it’s converting to paperless billing or holding recycling events for employees to donate old clothing and cell phones, these organizations demonstrate that sustainability can be simple and effective.”

The “Best Workplaces” list is now in its eighth year and includes a wide variety of businesses in King County – from hospitality, medical services, professional services, technology, retail, finance, government, arts and entertainment and others.

The list also includes an honor roll for companies that have made the list at least five years in a row.

The organizations on this year’s list have put in place ways to be eco-friendly and sustainable. For example:

• AMEC eliminated bottled water and traded disposable plates and utensils for dishes and silverware in the workplace.

• PCC Natural Markets converts its food scraps into organic liquid fertilizer that is sold at its stores. 

• Taco Time Northwest recycled 51,270 gallons of cooking oil into 46,143 gallons of biodiesel fuel.

King County is also recognizing one business from this year’s list with the “Re-Innovator Award,” for exceptionally innovative waste reduction programs. Kirkland-based accounting firm VWC earned the Re-Innovator Award by becoming a paperless office.

Client documents, bills and mail coming into their office by paper are scanned into their paperless system, which eliminates paper files that must be stored offsite.

The bulk of VWC’s business relies on transferring and delivering documents to clients, so their carbon footprint-reduction efforts were focused on slashing paper use. Doing so has dramatically cut their printing and mailing costs.

All businesses operating in King County outside the City of Seattle are eligible for the list. To secure a spot, businesses are required to meet the same five basic criteria, as well as 10 additional waste reduction and recycling criteria. To see the complete list, visit www.kingcounty.gov/recyclemore, and click on the link.

To learn more about the program, contact Karen May at 206-477-5281, or karen.may@kingcounty.gov.