UPDATE: Ecology's new website will be live on Monday morning! Our official web address will be https://ecology.wa.gov

Picture taken by Kim Clark, 2009

Hazardous Waste & Toxics Reduction

Governor's Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices

2004 Winners

Betterbricks Daylighting Lab, managed by the University of Washington’s School of Architecture in Seattle, promotes using natural light through windows or skylights as the primary source of interior lighting. The work of the Daylighting Lab helps reduce the energy needed for lighting and cooling work, saving more than $1 million in electricity costs each year in the Northwest. The Daylighting Lab also advises clients on meeting the U.S. Green Building Council’s requirements for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) certification. The BetterBricks Daylighting Lab provides its services for free, courtesy of the Northwest Energy Efficiency Alliance, a non-profit organization funded by the regional utilities across the Northwest.

L to R: Joel Loveland, Clara Simon, Ecology Director Tom Fitzsimmons, Bob Stolarski, Chris Meek .

Columbia Plateau Producers of Reardan, grows and markets wheat under the Shepherd’s Grain™ label, the first dry-land eco-friendly trademark in the marketplace. The co-owners and member farmers grow their crops using direct-seeding systems, which avoid traditional tilling of the soil. This preserves the soil’s natural biosystems, saves fuel, prevents soil erosion and limits water runoff. One owner’s farm is located in an extreme wind erosion area where particles blown into the air are a size that can contribute to respiratory disease. The direct seeding has nearly eliminated wind erosion on his farm. The farmers in Columbia Plateau Producers are committed to providing fair and safe working conditions according to the requirements of the Food Alliance, a non-profit organization promoting sustainable agriculture.

L to R: Fred Fleming, Ecology Director Tom Fitzsimmons, Karl Kupers.

Corry's Fine Dry Cleaning on Mercer Island, is the first dry cleaner in Washington to provide carbon dioxide cleaning. Before the switch, Corry’s bought, used and paid to dispose of hazardous chemicals, such as perchloroethylene (perc). Perc is a known carcinogen in laboratory animals and has contributed to groundwater contamination in many areas of the state. Corry’s switched to energy efficient fluorescent bulbs and conserves natural gas by using the leftover steam from the pressing machine to heat the water used for laundry. In response to customer requests, the company cut down on customer travel by providing convenient pickup/drop-off kiosks, which also allows the recycling of about 24,000 wire hangers each year. Also, the company has switched from disposable shirt boxes to re-usable shopping bags.

L to R: Suk Bong Lee, Mija Lee, Ecology Director Tom Fitzsimmons, Seung Lee.

Fairchild Air Force Base near Spokane, is one of the largest refueling wings in the Air Force. The base has reduced its use of hazardous materials by more than 93 percent and its energy consumption by more than 33 percent, while still fulfilling its mission as the tanker hub of the northwest. Much of the energy savings has occurred in the last two years. The base recently replaced the original 1940 light fixtures in four hangars with innovative light pipe technology and installed radiant heat systems in the hangers and drive-thru areas. This achieved a 42-percent energy savings for these areas. Also, a base-wide energy conservation program reduced natural gas consumption and saved $1 million. And the base’s worksite commute-trip-reduction program has eliminated more than 2 million miles of single-occupancy driving and 114,400 pounds of air emissions annually.

L to R: Diane Wulf, Col. Douglas Jackson, Ecology Director Tom Fitzsimmons, Bill Turner, Lt. Col. Sal Nodjomian.

Granum Inc. in Seattle, manufactures Choice Organic Teas, a line founded on the principles of sustainable-agricultural practices and organic farming. Many of the teas are Fair Trade Certified™, a program that ensures a reasonable return to the farmers and their communities. Granum was an early entrant into the organic product field and the first US tea crafter to introduce Fair Trade Certified™ teas. The company offsets all of its facility’s energy use by buying green certificates for wind power. This amounts to 240,000 kilowatt hours and offsets 160,920 pounds of (greenhouse gas) carbon dioxide. Granum uses recycled and recyclable material in its packaging and office supplies, has replaced facility lighting fixtures with low mercury, high efficiency units, and rewards employees who use alternative transportation to commute. Granum donates ten cents to a fund to save local farmland for every box of Choice Organic Teas sold at PCC stores.

L to R: Raymond Lacorte, Autumn White, Tom Fitzsimmons, Blake Rankin.

Seattle University is an urban campus with 28 buildings on 48 acres, in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood. It has an average enrollment of 6,000 students and more than 1,000 faculty and staff members. The campus has been maintained organically for nearly 20 years, using no herbicides or pesticides. The university achieved a 62 percent recycling rate in 2002, has built an on-site compost facility that handles more than a ton of food waste each week, and is upgrading the irrigation system to conserve water. The new Student Center and the renovation of the old Student Union were built following Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) standards. In addition, all systems furniture is made with recycled material. The Campus Support Services Office has created an environment that promotes “green” product purchasing, for example encouraging the purchase of 100 percent post-consumer recycled paper. A decade of energy conservation efforts has saved almost $350,000 each year.

L to R: Tyler Dierks, Jennifer Kaufman,Tom Fitzsimmons, Bob Fenn, Chip Romain, Craig Chatburn.

University of Washington Motor Pool buys, rents and maintains the University’s fleet of 700 vehicles, 175 of which are alternative-fuel vehicles. The facility’s sustainable practice efforts apply to all aspects of fleet management, from a nearly paperless reservations system to using soap and hot water instead of chemical solvent for parts cleaning. Much of the fleet runs on re-refined motor oil, about 9,000 gallons each year. Recycling spent antifreeze has reduced new antifreeze purchases by 300 – 600 gallons per year, and the soap and water parts washer means 400 less gallons of solvent purchased each year. The motor pool switched to more fuel efficient buses for the Health Science Express. The engines produce 60 to 80 percent fewer exhaust emissions, 20 percent less nitrogen dioxide (a greenhouse gas) and 30 percent fewer particulates. In addition, there is a “no idling” policy for UW buses and diesel trucks operating on campus.

L to R: Holly Campbell, Ralph Castellino,Tom Fitzsimmons, Diana Perey, David Carr.




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