Media Photo Opportunity
There is a reception immediately following the presentation in the
Administration Building's main lobby. The press is invited to meet this
year's winners there.
Kitsap County announces Earth Day Award winners
(Port Orchard, WA) The annual Earth Day
Awards presentation will take place at 5:30 pm on April 13th, at the Board
of County Commissioners regular televised meeting at the Kitsap County
Administration Building in Port Orchard.
The 2015 Solid Waste Division Earth Day Awards are presented to individual
citizens, organizations, schools, and businesses for their innovative
environmental programs or projects. Nominations were sought for exemplary
environmental leadership qualities in programs or projects emphasizing
sustainability, waste reduction, recycling, and hazardous waste management.
These outstanding achievers make a difference with their choices, and lead
the way as they make others aware of environmental issues.
Waste Wise @ Work Business of the Year – Watson
The Waste Wise @ Work program is a voluntary technical assistance
and recognition program for businesses with outstanding waste reduction and
recycling practices. Watson components are manufactured using recycled and
recyclable materials, building adjustable furniture that lasts, which
prolongs its life cycle, facilitates re-use, and conserves the resources,
required to replace it.
Watson has an aggressive resource conservation program for their almost 300
employees, recycling 93% of all their materials. These include wood, steel,
saw dust, bottles, fabric, cardboard, cans, paper and specialty items such
as printer cartridges and batteries. “Recycling stations” are color coded,
well labeled, and placed in convenient locations.
They have instituted a number of innovative, sustainable practices
throughout their factory in Poulsbo. All wood procured is grown within 500
miles of the factory. Packaging options are researched and evaluated by a
packaging expert and reused where possible. Any extra supplies are donated
to local organizations or offered free to employees who are encouraged to
submit ideas for reducing waste.
Clif McKenzie, Watson CEO said, “We are Builders. We create jobs and careers
by building products that excite us – and that others are pleased to buy. We
do this in a manner in which our parents and our children would be proud.”
Best Hazardous Waste Management Program: Rebecca
Asencio, Central Kitsap School District
As Environmental Specialist for Central Kitsap School District,
Rebecaa Asencio has been instrumental in managing the District’s hazardous
waste materials, and getting the most toxic items out of harm’s way.
Most school districts throughout the country have an inventory of very old
and dangerous lab chemicals, often from the early 1960’s or before. Kitsap
County’s moderate risk waste program works with all of the area school
districts to manage such chemicals.
Since 2006, with periodic assistance from county technicians Nate Matthews
and Lisa Monroe, the district has removed over 13,000 pounds of hazardous
waste from school properties: including mercury; corrosives; water reactives;
and highly flammable materials. This success is due in no small part to
Becky’s efforts, which provide a great example to other districts in our
One of the leading national experts in school lab chemical management, Dave
Waddell, had this to say, “My experience working with Becky Asencio was as a
contractor with the school district, to help reduce their chemical hazards
and ensure hazardous waste was properly disposed. All environmental health
and safety issues we identified were addressed quickly and properly. That’s
above average, but she did it with grace, good humor and patience; which is
a rare combination.”
Partner in Environmental Education: Mike Derzon,
The Island School
The Island School has successfully completed Washington Green Schools
certification in five categories: Waste and Recycling, Energy, Water,
Transportation, and Healthy School Buildings. In 2014, the Island School
became the first certified Level 5 school in Washington State.
Washington Green Schools requires that schools complete a six-step
certification process in the Waste and Recycling category. This includes
building a Green Team of students, teachers, and parent volunteers, then
completing an assessment, using this as the baseline for the school's
progress. Next, schools must implement a Lasting Change that will address an
environmental issue on campus. Finally, they have to share their story with
the rest of the community.
This effort was led and coordinated by fifth grade teacher Mike Derzon. The
Green Team was formed and began with Lasting Changes in the home;
encouraging parents to change their purchasing practices and buy durable
products. They also launched a poster campaign to showcase their new
sustainable composting and recycling practices; inspiring the community at
large to dispose of waste more responsibly.
Leigh Michaels, Outreach Coordinator with Washington Green Schools said,
“Today, the Island School continues to recycle and compost carefully,
educate the school community on how to properly manage waste, and implement
anti-disposable initiatives. As a result, their campus is sustainable and
Adopt-A-Road Volunteer: Paul Savage
The Adopt-A-Road Program offers individuals, service groups, and
other community groups – including local businesses – an opportunity to
volunteer their time to help keep Kitsap County clean. Volunteers receive
safety training, safety equipment, litter bags, and free disposal for
roadside cleanup activities.
Paul Savage joined the Adopt-A-Road program in 2014. He has taken it upon
himself to pick up litter on over 6 miles of various roads in the Burley
area of Port Orchard as well as the Burley Community Park. Last year he
logged in 70 hours, removed 623 pounds of litter, and cleaned up 67 miles of
In 2014, Kitsap County added a new recognition component to the program, “Be
Green and Be Seen”! Volunteers who meet the program’s annual cleanup
commitment, and wish for us to show off their adopted road, are recognized
with an Adopt-A-Road sign.
Being the humble man that he is, Paul wanted his sign to state, “A Caring
Neighbor”. Upon finding out that he was going to be recognized, Paul said,
“Thank you for the attention. It’s my pleasure to care for my area. I'm
really grateful that the Adopt-A-Road program exists.”
Excellence in Waste Reduction and Recycling:
Olympic Organics, Jeff West
Composting has significant economic and environmental benefits, such as
improving soil health and structure, increasing drought resistance, and
reducing the need for supplemental water, fertilizers and pesticides.
Olympic Organics is a composting and topsoil company providing high quality
organics to the community. Jeff West, co-founder and president of New Day
Recycling and the newly opened Olympic Organics, re-introduced composting
service in to Kitsap County as the only composting facility in the county.
During the last year they turned this non-operational facility located in
Kingston, into a viable and valuable piece of the Solid Waste system.
In 2014 they processed 14,000 yards of organic waste ranging from yard
debris from the general public, to food wastes collected from local school
programs. They cleaned up approximately 6,000 cubic yards of biosolids and
7,000 yards of stumps that were left on site.
The addition of Olympic Organics will better enable New Day Recycling as
well as others to provide services for the collection of organics, offering
both residential and commercial composting services.
"We can't force people to compost," said Jeff West, "but we can provide a
place for people to do so if they choose."
Waste Wi$e Kitsap: Public Works, Sewer Utility,
Central Kitsap Treatment Plant
As Hall of Fame members of the EPA’s WasteWise program, Kitsap County has
established itself as leader of sustainability in local government. This
year, we honor the Central Kitsap Treatment Plant with the Waste Wi$e Kitsap
Award for their exemplary efforts in waste reduction and cost-saving
The Central Kitsap Treatment Plant’s Resource Recovery & Process Improvement
Project includes multiple upgrades to improve energy efficiency and water
quality. A major improvement is the lean burn generator, capable of using
methane gas byproducts to generate an estimated $120,000 a year in
electricity for use inside the plant, and an estimated $135,000 in diesel
fuel savings by generating heat for water. The installation of an enclosed
waste gas burner allows more than 99% destruction of methane, to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions and improve air quality standards. Construction is
currently underway on a tertiary sand filtration system to produce reclaimed
water for irrigation purposes.
In addition, bio solids resulting from the treatment process are repurposed
as a soil enhancement for land application in eastern Washington. Staff has
also increased their recycling diversion rates by participation in recycling
training and adding a large cardboard recycling container.
We echo the words of Matt Pickering, Waste Water Lab Analyst, in honoring
the plant today, “It’s great to hear how well Kitsap County is doing in the
world of waste reduction. I’m glad to be a part of an organization that is
leading the way.”
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