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Bainbridge Island Zero Waste

Bainbridge Island Zero Waste strives to reduce the amount of waste produced by our community, from the purchase of material to disposal. We encourage changes in behavior that lead to the sustainable use of our resources.

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Want to be on the BI Zero Waste listserv
and receive 2-4 emails a month?
You'll hear about ZW activities, field trips, special recycling events,
regional ZW news and monthly meeting dates, as well as be part of
the collective wisdom when we pose questions to the group.

Contact us for any reason at

ZERO WASTE MONTHLY MEETINGS - Held the second Wednesday of the month
except on quarterly Saturdays.
NEXT MEETING - Wednesday, February 20, 7-8:30pm, at Marge Williams Center, 221 Winlsow Way West
                GUEST SPEAKER: Eirik O'Neal, Kitsap County Solid Waste outreach educator, will speak about Bainbridge's recycling, compost and landfill destinations and how global markets affect our recycling opportunities.
Styro photos are by Tami Meader.
Now in our ninth year of Styrofoam collection, we continue growing in all respects. Here's a quick stat check, comparing this past weekend's results to July 2018's numbers (in parentheses). 
Cars – 310 (201)
Bags – 90 (71)
Volunteers – 45 (35)
Volunteer hours - 106 (80)  THANK YOU!!!
Donations – $741 ($364)
Cubic feet collected - 6400 cu ft (3500)

Sponsors: Bay Hay and Feed                 UCB                 T&C Markets 

(host site, used bags, bag transport)          (monetary donation)       (new bags at cost)

Here's the man we have to thank for the existence of the Styrofoam recycling collection. In all regards, Howard Block tries to reuse and repurpose before considering recycling or composting. His absolute last resort is sending anything to the landfill.
For the many ways in which he and Bay Hay's sustainability director, Els Heyne, accomplish these goals, read BI Zero Waste's nomination of Bay Hay and Feed for the Washington State Recycling Association's 2019 Business of the Year here.
RECYCLING PLASTIC BAGS and OTHER PLASTIC FILM - Plastic bags are the #1 contaminant in recycling.  They do NOT belong in the curbside bin or at the transfer station.  They DO belong in the designated container at the grocery store. Sakai students win a plastic lumber bench by dropping off your plastic film at their school.  Read how you can help them win the Trex Recycling Challenge here.

Besides plastic bags, any #2 or #4 film (you can stretch it by pushing your thumb into it) can be put in this designated store container, such as the following (source -
>> Retail, carryout, produce, newspaper, bread, and dry cleaning bags (clean, dry and free of receipts and clothes hangers)
>> Zip-top food storage bags (clean and dry)
>> Plastic shipping envelopes (remove labels), bubble wrap and air pillows (deflate)
>> Product wrap on cases of water/soda bottles, paper towels, napkins, disposable cups, bathroom tissue, diapers, and female sanitary products
>> Furniture and electronic wrap
>> Plastic cereal box liners (but if it tears like paper, do not include)
NONRECYCLABLE PLASTIC COLLECTION - V Calvez is making insulated "brick" blocks from some types of nonrecyclable plastic to create an exterior for the Earth Cube composting vessel.  Please read all the details here.
ZERO WASTE WASHINGTON is supporting over ten bills in the Washington state legislature this session (January 14- April 28, 2019).  Come to a legislative tea to talk more about them.  See details here.
And now, a message on quitting single-use plastic...

MEDICATION TAKE-BACK YEAR-ROUND - In late 2017, the Kitsap Public Health Board approved an ordinance establishing secure medicine return regulations throughout the county, including on Bainbridge.  On the island, the police station is where our dropbox is located (no needles!). It is free for all county residents.  Those who are homebound may dispose of unused medicine by mail at no cost.  Go here for all the details.

'Cause breaking up (with single-use plastics) is GOOD to do! ...


STOP FOOD WASTE - How to store 100 fruit and vegetables to prevent spoilage. See pages 4-11 of this guide by Seattle Public Utilities. Wasted food = wasted resources (water and energy used to produce, package and transport) and money down the drain.
Except for infant formula, the following dates on food/drink packaging do NOT mean, "throw away". (Source: Food and Drug Administration):
"Best if Used By/Before" indicates when a product will be of best flavor or quality. It is not a purchase or safety date.
"Sell-By" date tells the store how long to display the product for sale for inventory management. It is not a safety date.
"Use-By" date is the last date recommended for the use of the product while at peak quality. It is not a safety date except for when used on infant formula as described below.

INSPIRATION for students and adults alike...
Check out this 4-minute video of 4 years of trash, then choose some of Lauren Singer's "Trash is for Tossers" brief FAQ youtube clips to see how to make one change at a time toward a zero waste lifestyle:

PLASTIC PLEDGE - Single-use plastic: We use for minutes, yet it lives on for hundreds of years.  Plastic is fast becoming the fatal food of marine animals, as plastic bits are on pace to outnumber fish in the ocean by 2050. (And behavioral evidence says they seek out plastic because the biological matter covering it, like algae, mimics the smell of food).

Take our plastic pledge.  For one month, switch from using a single-use plastic item to a durable one (or none at all).  We're hoping it becomes a lifelong habit!

Start with this: Stop sucking! 


FOOD DISPOSAL - Clean your plate!  But if you have leftovers, ANY scraps-- including meat and bones! -- can go in the Bainbridge Disposal yard waste container.  Go here to receive service.  Bainbridge Disposal trucks the island's yard waste to North Mason Fiber in Belfair.

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RECYCLE ANYTHING WITH A CORD (that is, if you can't pass it on or fix it) - Take to Bainbridge Disposal Transfer Station.  Put in designated box in the e-waste section.
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PARTY TIME! - Throwing a big bash?  Keep disposal costs down by borrowing tableware from Zero Waste.  ZW has a tableware lending library of reusable dishes, cups, glasses, utensils, napkins and tablecloths.  Contact for your next function.
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WHERE DOES OUR RECYCLING GO? - It is trucked to the Port of Tacoma to a materials recovery facility (MRF, pronounced "murf") run by Waste Management.  There the mixed recyclables are sorted by type, baled, then sold off to be processed into new materials.  Here is a short video explaining the general process. For a bit longer video about the actual Kitsap County recycling process, go here.