Ecology is an environmental service and regulatory agency. The only significant “products” produced that use direct materials are paper publications. Ecology’s tracking of material use currently is limited to “office paper” and “janitorial paper” products used at Ecology’s Headquarters/ Southwest Regional Office (SWRO) building.
Many programs and managers within Ecology are moving to place all publications online and encourage staff to eliminate the use of printed materials. See our chart on the Product & Service Impacts page to view our year-to-year progress so far.
The total weight of recycled input materials is 47,007 pounds based on recycled content percentages provided by our vendors. The percentage of recycled input materials used equals 95.49% (47,007 divided by 49,228.8).
Composting at the Department of Ecology
Since 1996, Ecology has had a robust composting program at its Headquarters/SWRO building. Employee volunteers perform annual waste audits to monitor the program. In 2011, 22,834 pounds of organic materials were diverted from the landfill.
In 2013 we composted 19,578 pounds of food waste and paper towels, with at least 90% of the waste being food. Since 2005 we have composted over 100 tons of waste.
The finished compost is used in the Food Bank Garden, a garden grown, maintained, and harvested on Ecology property by staff volunteers.
Starting with preparations and planting in the spring all the way to the fall harvest, Ecology employees volunteer their time on lunch breaks, evenings, and weekends. Vegetables harvested from the garden are donated to the Thurston County Food Bank.
2014’s garden reached a stunning total of over 2,000 pounds, the largest yield in the garden’s three-year existence. 2011 brought in 1,690 pounds and 2012 brought in close to 1,000 pounds of food.
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