Kent recycling makes tons of difference

Blue bins are now practically synonymous with recycling. Many know that soda cans and old newspapers go into recycling bins, destined to become other useful products.

But what about old electronics? Emptied propane tanks? Scrap metal leftover from a home project? These and many other materials can be recycled too, though often not as easily. Since 2016, ECOSS has worked with the City of Kent to help King County residents recycle less-common items such as refrigerators, concrete, tires and mattresses.

Learn more about Kent recycling events

In 2018, we helped with three free community recycling events, which collectively welcomed over 4,000 vehicles full of recyclables. The events altogether collected over 3,000 toilets, mattresses and other individual items plus over 300 tons of material like scrap metal, bulky wood debris and concrete!

ECOSS strives to make environmentally sustainable practices accessible to all. Many people are interested in reducing their environmental impact. We empower people to act on those interests and to let others know how they can make a difference, too.

Check out our other waste reduction projects

Kent Recycling Collection Event at Kent Phoenix Academy

Recycling symbolThe City of Kent is holding a recycling collection event at Kent Phoenix Academy on June 2, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.!

Dispose of household materials safely and reduce waste! Multiple stations make it more convenient for you to recycle everything at once.

Here’s a list of the event’s recycling stations:

  • Batteries
  • Household Goods
  • Concrete
  • Yard Debris / Scrap Wood
  • Cardboard
  • Shredding
  • Electronics
  • Mattresses
  • Scrap Metal
  • Appliances
  • CFC’s – Fridges/Freezers/Air Conditioners
  • Sinks / Toilets
  • Propane Tanks

You can find more details about the event here.

Learn More About These Recyclable Materials

Summer Recycling Event & Composter Sale-Kent

Bring “beyond the curb” items to be recycled. Items accepted include appliances, scrap metal, propane tanks and mattresses. There will also be secure document shredding.

Check out the event flyer for a complete list of accepted items.

No vehicles admitted after 3 p.m.

A limited supply of “The Earth Machine” composters to make your own backyard compost are available for purchase at the event.

The bins are available for $25 ($80 value), cash only while supplies last.

Image of the Earth Machine backyard composter

Update: First ECOSSolutions event = Awesome

The other week, we hosted the ECOSSolutions information session I mentioned in a previous blog entry. I thought it went quite well. The panel was informative about their respective programs and they gave clear, direct answers to questions from the audience.

Patrick Hoermann and Trevor Fernandes shared relevant stories about past experiences with former clients who saved money on hazardous waste disposal through financial incentives, while Jeff Ketchel demonstrated how easy it is to use the IMEX website to find or list waste materials. Michael Arbow of EcoLights NW and Yvonne Pascal and Dave Baugh of Total Reclaim spoke about disposal services for fluorescent lights, HVAC materials and e-waste. This combination of experts gave attendees disposal options for a wide range of materials.

The best part of the session was the great turnout from local businesses. 23 owners, managers and staff members attended the event, and several people stayed afterward to chat with each other and with the guest experts. Many said they enjoyed the casual, relaxed format of the session and a few made arrangements to follow up for future business or assistance opportunities.

Stay tuned for the next ECOSSolutions event, which is slated for some time this summer, topic TBA. Thanks to the Seattle Office of Economic Development, ECOSS staff and all the attendees who made this first session a success.

-Aldan

Is Brita greenwashing?

cartridgeI’ve seen the “30 minutes on a treadmill, forever in a landfill” commercial plenty of times and haven’t given it much thought. I haven’t been a bottled-water drinker for a while, and feel that for the most part, the message makes sense. However, in the last week we’ve changed filters in the pitchers at home and at work, and I checked the PUR water website to see if they’ve started a recycling program for their filters yet for my home pitcher (they haven’t). So the issue was still pretty fresh in my mind when I saw another one of the Brita commercials last night; this time it was “45 minutes in traffic, forever in a landfill.” I hopped online and checked Brita’s website, and they recently (as in this month) have started a recycling program for their cartridges in the US after some pushing last year. (Apparently in Germany, France, Ireland, Great Britain and Switzerland, this has been going on for a while). Clorox, the owner of Brita in North America, partnered with Whole Foods Markets and Preserve to roll out their recycling program. The reality for Seattle residents that there are NO Whole Foods locations in WA that support the Preserve Gimme 5 plastics recycling campaign as of now, and so the only option for recycling these cartridges is to send them to Preserve’s headquarters in Cortland, NY. According to Google Maps, that means the package has to travel 2772 miles from my house to Preserve, on a truck (and likely in and airplane) to be recycled, which just seems to me like trading one environmental impact for another. (Arguably, it would still have to be shipped if I dropped it off at a Whole Foods location, but at least there would be some additional cartridges to keep my little guy company, lessening the overall impact.) Luckily Preserve’s directions for how to mail the filter to them includes a plan for recycling the boxes and the packing, but it is still a far cry from the product stewardship the company has already demonstrated is possible in Germany. I think that it is safe to assume that a large number of people, when faced with what to do at the end of their filter’s 3-month life, will likely continue to throw the filter away, especially if they’re not aware that Brita recently made this change. Even in Germany, where the long-standing recycling process has fewer hoops to jump through and more locations for recapture, Brita only receives one out of four cartridges for recycling. While the first step should be for every concerned person to ask their Whole Foods manager to participate in Preserve’s Gimme 5 recycling program, there has to be a better option for recycling the cartridges. It makes me question whether the intent of their “Forever in a landfill” campaign is anything more than competitive strategy to beat all the bottled-water pushers, since they seem more concerned about eliminating bottled water waste than truly avoiding waste. Perhaps instead of focusing on the negative aspects of their competitors’ products, they should be think about how to be better stewards of their own.

-Audrey Chestnutt