Picture taken by Kim Clark, 2009

Hazardous Waste & Toxics Reduction

Governor's Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices

2005 Winners

Ball Metal Beverage Container Corporation in Kent uses an Environmental Management System to find the best ways to make aluminum cans while protecting worker health and safety, and the health of the environment. Management and employees focused on waste reduction and cut the spoilage rate by 40 percent, or 510,000 pounds of aluminum per year. They reduced coating, lubricant and hydraulic oil use by 66,000 gallons per year, and saved more than 5 million gallons of fresh water each year. They now use water-based cleaners for equipment and parts instead of methyl ethyl ketone.

L to R: Scott Kriesel, Bob McIntire, Ecology Director Tom Fitzsimmons, Rich Davies, and Pat Sullivan.

Columbia Lighting, of Spokane, makes commercial, industrial and decorative fluorescent lighting. The facility converted to powder coating from solvent paint and moved to high volume/low pressure spray guns. This cut paint use by 200,000 pounds per year and air emissions by 275,000 pounds per year. They save 300,000 gallons of fresh water each month and have reduced their use of natural gas by 31 percent. They cut wastewater from 18.3 million gallons in 2001 to 5.4 million gallons in 2003. The wastewater system constantly monitors the flow and automatically stops discharging to the sewer if the pH goes out of acceptable range.

L to R: R. H. Ingram, Ecology Director Tom Fitzsimmons, Marv Pederson.

Meridian Collision Center of Puyallup is an auto-body repair and fire-apparatus-service center with a strong commitment to good environmental management. The company reduced paint use by 35 percent with a new paint system that mixes just enough paint for the job. Hazardous waste was cut to just 24 ounces of solvent each week. Meridian buys products from local suppliers recognized as good environmental performers. Power use dropped by 25 percent after the shop switched to a new, more efficient compressor and replaced old fluorescent lights with energy-efficient, low-mercury bulbs. It is important to Meridian’s management that all employees adopt a positive environmental ethic, and that recycling and environmental-stewardship concepts are shared with customers.

L to R: Wendy Steever, Bill Jorgensen, Ecology Director Tom Fitzsimmons, Larry Steever.


Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE) runs a regular transport service between Tacoma and Anchorage, Alaska. TOTE has invested in U.S.-built ships with more efficient diesel-electric motors that use 5,000 less barrels of fuel per week. The ships have redundant rudder steering systems, redundant monitors and alarms on the fuel tanks, and extra spill-equipment lockers. The ships’ fresh water ballast system prevents introducing invasive species to local waters. Desalinization plants provide all the fresh water needed on board. On their return trips, TOTE ships provide free transport for recyclables, electronic waste, and used clothing.

L to R: Bonnie Sellen, Bill Deaver, Ecology Director Tom Fitzsimmons, Denise Timm, Phil Morrell.


University of Washington Medical Center is a 450-bed healthcare facility in Seattle that also serves as a regional specialized-medicine center for Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming. The Medical Center has virtually eliminated its use of mercury and switched to a less toxic chemical for cold-chemical disinfection. It has cut water use by 28 million gallons per year and electricity use by 3 million kilowatt hours per year. Regulated medical waste fell from 950,000 pounds in 2002 to 664,570 pounds in 2004. Operating room waste dropped by 27 percent. In addition, in 2004, the Medical Center provided more than $23 million in charity care for the regional community.

L to R: Preston Simmons, Gary Butrymowicz, Ecology Director Tom Fitzsimmons, Don Larson, Tung (Tim) Nguyen, Sheila Lockwood.




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