Sustainable Bainbridge home page
visit us on facebook visit us on twitter
Supporting a resilient and thriving community — environmentally + economically + socially

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.

* : * : * : * : * : * : * : * : * : * : * : *: * : * : * : * : * : *
Want to be on the BI Zero Waste listserv and receive 2-3 informative e-newsletters a month?
Issues may contain feature articles, news about ZW activities, special recycling opportunities, pertinent legislative updates, regional zw news, meeting dates and minutes, and chances to volunteer for zero waste events.

Contact us for this or any other reason at .


  If you're looking for outdoor solo activities to pass the time, how about picking up roadside litter? Bainbridge Disposal and BI Zero Waste will make it even easier for you.

Bainbridge Disposal has received a limited supply of Kitsap County trash bags, available during the weekday hours of 8am-3pm on the patio of their Sportsman Club office, 9423 NE Business Park Ln. Take only what you need, and once full of litter, set beside any curbside trash can (get permission if it's not your can) for free pick-up on trash day. 

BI Zero Waste is offering to lend its grabbers for the duration of the home-stay period. Contact   to request to borrow them.

Plant Pot Reuse

Donate the following everyday items to our local farmers.

Persephone Farms (at Bainbridge Farmers’ Market, Saturdays, 10am-1pm)
> Plant pots – 4″ square type

> Paper grocery bags – The large size, broken handles okay. Rebecca folds down the top to make a secure carrier for starts purchases.
> Green paper molded or plastic berry baskets – For her berries
> Certain plastic bags – Specifically a) returning the bags she sells produce in, b) produce bags from the store or c) bread bags IF all crumbs have been shaken out thoroughly. Rebecca puts the bouquets she sells in them.
> Rubber bands – She wraps around the bouquet stems.
> Quart-sized #5 plastic (PP) containers – Clean! Clear or white. NO LIDS. Rebecca puts edible flowers in them that she sells to restaurants.
Butler Green Farms (at Bainbridge Farmers’ Market, 10am-1pm, or their CSA stand east off Hwy 305 at Lovgreen Rd, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-6 pm and Saturdays 9am-1pm)
> Plant pots – 4″ square, 1 & 2 gallon
> Paper egg cartons
Farmer Andi (831 Eagle Cliff Road NE; put pots in the large bin in the driveway) 
> Plant pots of all kinds
> Rubber bands


Cut down on single-use disposables.

These establishments give you a discount on coffee
when using your own mug: 

(Check with each establishment to see if they are allowing outside mugs at this time.)

Washington State Ferries - Save $1.21
Rolling Bay Cafe - Save $.25
Marketplace - Save $.20
Blackbird - Save $.15
Coquette, Starbucks, Town&Country Cafe - Save $.10

Let us know who else incentivizes you and what the savings are at .



This counter represents the number of beverage cans and bottles that have been landfilled, littered and incinerated in the US so far this year.

        ALUMINUM CANS are arguably the best material to recycle:

  • It takes only 5% of the energy to make a new can from recycled aluminum as it does to make the can from virgin aluminum (other materials take 40-70% as much energy).
  • It is made back into the same item that was recycled (not "downcycled" into a different, one-and-done product).
  • It is endlessly recyclable (like steel and glass; unlike paper and plastic).
    FUN FACT -  75 percent of all aluminum produced (not just from cans) is still in circulation.
  • It takes only two months to go from your recycling bin back onto the store shelf!                            

PLASTIC - The bane and boon of our existence.
Want to encourage more responsible plastic use? Come to Washington State's Environmental Lobby Day on January 30.  Follow the legislative progress on Zero Waste Washington's website.

In May 2019, Governor Jay Inslee signed into law SB 5397, which initiates a study for the management of plastic packaging in Washington State through product stewardship, industry-led initiatives and other options. Watch this short video that briefly delves into the reasons for having extended producer responsibility (EPR) on plastics.

Washington state currently has EPR programs for the following products:

  • TVs and computers (E-cycle -- WA was first in the nation!)
  • Prescription medicines
  • Solar panels
  • Mercury lights
  • Paint (starting in late 2020)

Why product stewardship by the companies producing barely recycled plastic? Because individuals' actions are a drop-in-the-bucket compared to what an ever-growing plastics industry (which creates the material/problems) can accomplish. Listen to this story for a more comprehensive look. 


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.

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.

This page has ideas for cooking parts of veggies that we normally compost.

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! 


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.

" " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " " "
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.
x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x x 
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.