Picture taken by Kim Clark, 2009

Hazardous Waste & Toxics Reduction

Governor's Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices

2003 Winners

All of the winners in front of the Executive Mansion, with Governor Gary Locke. Front row: Chris Webb (2020), Brian Parker (Aaron's), Ashley Quimby (MB Schools), Gov. Locke, Garrett Whitmyer (MB Schools), Anita Largen (Clark Cty), Capt. Douglass Biesel (Navy). Middle row: Mark Venn (MB Schools), Becky Phillips (MB Schools), Robert Campagna (Navy), Linda Hoffman (Dept of Ecology). Back row: Mark Buehre (2020), Otis Hartle (MB Schools), Charley Masco (Clark Cty), Greg Levcun (Navy), Bonnier Peterson (MB Schools), Carol Mackenzie (Navy), Mark Patterson (Navy)  

Aaron's Bicyle Repair in West Seattle sells and repairs bicycles. The company shows what a business can do when the owners and employees are fully committed to the principles of sustainable practices over short-term profits. Aaron’s Bicycle Repair leads in their field in their use of non-toxic cleaners and lubricants and in conserving natural resources whenever possible. Employees encourage customers to repair bicycles and parts instead of automatically buying new ones. They recycle everything they can, from bicycle parts to food waste composting, and achieved an 80 percent recycling rate. All the employees commute by bike. The company’s owner developed a Web site encouraging bicycling (rideyourbike.com) and started a related business, Bikestation, where commuters can park their bikes. He also helped to establish Bike Works, a group that helps children get bicycles in an Earn-a-Bike program.

Clark County's commitment to sustainability shows in its efforts to educate new generations to be aware of their impact upon the environment. Last year the county reached 11,000 students with its environmental education programs. The county piloted a program to collect hazardous waste door-to-door for elderly and disabled residents. It began a permanent program for reusing and recycling old computers and electronic goods, diverting 3,200 pounds of computer equipment in the first year. Clark County has reduced air emissions by switching its fleet to bio-diesel, petroleum blended with fats and vegetable oils, and by investing in electric/gasoline hybrid cars. The new Clark County Public Service Center models what can be done in designing a building to conserve resources – using sustainably harvested wood and recycled building materials, operating with renewable power, and furnished with recycled fabric and low-emitting material. It will be the first public building in the area to be certified by the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) rating system, which assesses the environmental sustainability of building design.

Mount Baker School District's 300 employees and 2,400 students in Deming learn and uphold the principles of sustainability and pollution prevention every day. Whenever possible, the maintenance department reuses parts, groundskeepers hand-weed and mulch to avoid using pesticides, custodians use environmentally-safe cleaners, staff use electronic forms, and classrooms use overhead projectors and whiteboards avoid using paper. Chemistry labs use “micro-scale” chemistry, using minimal amounts of chemicals while still demonstrating the desired result. The district’s reuse program collects items and instructional materials for redistribution to other educators. The Junior-Senior High School has cut the cafeteria waste in half through food waste composting. The horticultural program and biology classes then “close the loop” by using the compost. The “new” composting unit is an old cement truck converted into a giant tumbler by the clever use of available materials and donated labor. During the last school year, the district’s recycle program collected and sold 91,321 pounds of material, making $3,078 in revenue and reducing garbage fees by $5,479, for a total saved/earned of $8,557.

Continuing Excellence Award: Naval Submarine Base - Bangor on the Kitsap Peninsula houses and maintains eight TRIDENT submarines. Marine maintenance can be heavily polluting, but the Base’s commitment to pollution prevention has now earned it four Governor’s Awards! The base invested in equipment for four of its shops that will prevent an estimated 44,287 pounds of waste, reduce supplies needed by 54,672 pounds and save $472,680 per year. Several paints containing heavy metals have been eliminated from use so the blast grit waste is no longer hazardous. One paint shop switched to a longer lasting coating for ballast tanks, which means less frequent grit-blasting and repainting. The base has reduced its hazardous waste by about 26 percent each year since 1988. These efforts saved $157,108 in hazardous disposal costs last year. Its Re-Utilization Store re-issued or recycled over 32 tons of excess hazardous materials, generating $161,640 in revenue and avoiding another $137,077 in disposal costs. The base is retrofitting and upgrading its lighting, heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems, which should save 6,749,000 kWh of electricity and 26,429 MBTU of natural gas each year. It also reduces damage to trees and soil on its 5,200 acres of coniferous forest by using horse logging.

2020 Engineering, Inc., of Bellingham, excels in innovation, seeking out new solutions in low-impact development, sustainable stormwater management, water conservation and “green” building. The company designed a greenhouse-based system to treat and re-use wastewater for the IslandWood outdoor learning center on Bainbridge Island This was the first such small, on-site system in the state. It required extra time and effort working with the state health and ecology departments to get the experimental system permitted and evaluated. The company researches and develops low-impact development techniques to reduce the non-point pollution from urban run-off. They have designed permeable driving and parking areas, including a “first-in-Washington” porous concrete driving surface in a public right-of-way. They design stormwater systems that avoid the hard run-off from impervious materials and curbs and gutters, using a softer approach of sheet flow and pervious pavements, rainwater catchments and swales. The environment benefits from less stormwater run-off and their clients benefit from reduced water and sewer utility fees.



The Governor's Award for Sustainable Practices is now the Safer Chemistry Champion Awards.