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Zero Waste Archived News

Zero Waste is a very active initiative of Sustainable Bainbridge. You are likely to see our volunteers working at community events, helping educate people about which discards are recyclable and compostable and which must be lost forever in a landfill.

Making less landfill waste on Bainbridge... 

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND BEACH CLEANUP, September 9, 2017 - Over 150 islanders participated in the second annual cleanup, part of the Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup.  This year the focus was on public beaches and road ends.  Steering committee members came from Sustainable Bainbridge, IslandWood, Marine Access Committee, Parks Foundation, Parks Dept., Zero Waste and Watershed Council.  Assistance came from the City, Bainbridge Disposal and Kitsap County Solid Waste.

STYROFOAM RECYCLING COLLECTION, JULY 22 & 23, 2017 - Thanks to 25 snap-happy volunteers and around 140 donors, we managed to fill over 40 huge bags with Styrofoam block packaging and small coolers this past weekend. Howard Block, Bay Hay and Feed co-owner, will drop off the bags for recycling over the course of 6 or more trips to Styro Recycle in Kent while he's on other business in the area.  If you want to see a densifier machine chopping and melting down this 95% air-filled material, start watching this short video at 1:20.  The next Styro recycling collection will be in January.

JULY 4, 2017 - It was an all-volunteer hands on deck effort, as every year thousands of visitors flock to downtown Winslow for a good old-fashioned Fourth of July celebration.  BI Zero Waste takes part by staffing all the discard stations.  This requires FIFTY two-hour shifts to be filled by our fantastic volunteers, who helpfully show passersby in which bin to toss their discards: recycling, compost and landfill. We are rewarded with grateful smiles and comments, and only 10 cubic yards of trash bags are produced.  (Before composting and recycling, the 40-yd Dumpster used to overflow!)

TRASHION SHOW, April 22, 2017 - We SOLD OUT! All donations will go to benefit the Zero Waste project of better face plate signage on the downtown recycling Big Bellies. (Currently, the recycling is trashed because it is so contaminated.)                             Our GENEROUS SPONSORS were Bainbridge Disposal, Windermere realtors Patti Shannon and Diane Sugden, IslandWood, Port Madison Enterprises, Sash Mercantile and Bainbridge Arts & Crafts.

STYROFOAM RECYCLING REPORT - Microplastics, including tiny Styrofoam flecks, are now being found in the tissues of grocery store fish.  These small plastic pieces adsorb persistent organic pollutants, which cause adverse effects on humans and the ecosystem. On one past January 2017 weekend, 20 Zero Waste and community volunteers devoted more than 60 hours to snapping and bagging this insidious packaging material at a recycling collection event sponsored by Bay Hay and Feed.  With record drop-offs, it is heartening to know that more and more of our neighbors are keeping this stuff out of the landfill.  Let’s go further and do away with this material as packaging altogether.  The next time you receive a product encased in #6 EPS, aka Styrofoam, contact the offending company and tell them to switch to a more benign and recyclable/compostable material, such as paper, cardboard or mushroom molding.  The food chain of Puget Sound (that includes us!) and of water bodies worldwide will be much better off. 

BEACH CLEANUP - The first-ever Bainbridge Island Beach Cleanup was September 17, 2016, which coincided with Ocean Conservancy's International Coastal Cleanup Day.  Our goal was to scour all 53 miles of Bainbridge shoreline for trash, and we did it.  More than 200 islanders participated and hauled in more than 8 TONS of trash! 


HARVEST FAIR - A Zero Waste team of 16 volunteers collaborated with Friends of the Farms organizers and booth vendors and Bainbridge Disposal on September 25, 2017, to pull off a stunning 88% waste diversion rate at the annual Harvest Fair.  Only 12% of the discards went off to our landfill 300 miles south in Arlington, Oregon.  The majority of the discards (leftover food and compostable dishware) were trucked out to North Mason Fiber in Belfair to undergo composting conversion to a nutrient-rich soil amendment. Bottles, cardboard and other recyclables were hauled off to a materials recovery facility in Tacoma for sorting and baling before being sold off to be made into new products.

BI PARKS SUMMERFEST - On August 13, 2016, Zero Waste supplied the discard management expertise and diverted over 80% from landfill into recycling and composting.

STYROFOAM RECYCLING COLLECTION - 125 households dropped off enough Styrofoam block packaging to fill 20 giant plastic bags.  Fifteen volunteers brushed off and snapped the foam over the two-day collection period at Bay Hay and Feed on July 23&24, 2016.  Thanks to owner Howard Block for hosting and eventually driving all those bags down to the recycling prep facility in Kent.  Thanks also to T&C for selling Zero Waste the bags at cost.  Citizen donations cover the cost of the bags.  The next collection event will be January 2017.  In the meantime, keep that Styro clean and dry. (And tell those companies to use more easily recyclable packing material!)

On July 4th, 2016, Zero Waste volunteers filled 46 time slots to staff our resource recovery stations in 2-hour shifts. Whereas long ago the festival discards would overflow from a 40-yard Dumpster, this year, through vendors purchasing compostable and recyclable tableware and volunteers guiding the public on proper disposal, only 15 cubic yards headed to the landfill.  The other discards became new products (recycling) or soil amendment (composting).