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King County Executive honors ‘Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling’

Summary

Businesses small and large across King County are being honored for their commitment to recycling and waste prevention - diverting tons of recyclable materials from the landfill and saving resources.

Story

The King County Solid Waste Division and Executive Dow Constantine are honoring 112 Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling this year, recognizing businesses and organizations that are going the extra mile to reduce waste and increase recycling.

“These companies deserve special recognition for demonstrating their ingenuity and commitment in preventing waste,” said Executive Constantine. “From composting in lunchrooms to reusing packing materials, they’re showing that sustainability can be simple and rewarding.”

The “Best Workplaces” list has been celebrating waste prevention and recycling in local businesses for nine years and features a wide array of businesses in King County, including hospitality, medical services, professional services, technology, retail, finance, government, arts and entertainment and others. Companies that have made the list five years in a row are recognized with an honor roll designation. This year, 29 businesses joined the “Best Workplaces” list for the first time.

The organizations on the list this year developed innovative ways to be eco-friendly and sustainable, including:

• Alaska Airlines’ In Flight team collected 2,200 tons of recyclables in 2014, keeping 77 percent of recyclables from Alaska Airlines and 94 percent of recyclables from Horizon Airlines out of the waste stream.
• The City of Tukwila expanded food composting opportunities in their facilities.
• BladeGallery's Epicurean Edge makes every effort to avoid waste by collecting packing peanuts and air pillows from their employees and reusing them for outgoing packages.

King County is also honoring Woodinville-based Division 9 Flooring with the “Re-Innovator Award,” which recognizes exceptional innovative waste reduction programs. Division 9 is an industry leader for its unique carpet and carpet pad recycling program. Since 2008, it has recycled and diverted more than 900,000 pounds of carpet and pad from the landfill. Division 9 has also been an engaged stakeholder in the Northwest Carpet Recycling Project, and a sponsor, presenter and exhibitor at one of the Washington State Recycling Association’s most successful “Washington Recycles Every Day” events — In the Loop: the NW Carpet Recycling Value Chain.
                    
Last year, businesses in King County sent more than 200,000 tons of recyclable materials to the landfill. Businesses of all sizes are looking for ways to decrease this number. For example, Boeing worked with a supplier to reuse and recycle protective floor panels from the 737 line in Renton, reducing waste by over 50 tons annually.

All businesses operating in King County outside the City of Seattle are eligible for the list. To qualify, businesses must meet 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.