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Picture taken by Kim Clark, 2009

Hazardous Waste & Toxics Reduction

Governor's Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Practices

2007 Winners

All winners are shown with Governor's Advisor on State Sustainability Kathleen Drew (in red jacket).


Ben Franklin Transit
Ben Franklin Transit in the Tri-Cities, a public transit agency serving Benton and Franklin counties, pioneered testing of bioenergy based fuel blends. They were the first in the country to blend the renewable fuels ethanol and biodiesel with Ultra Low Sulfur Diesel. This combination creates a cleaner burning composite fuel that reduces the environmental impacts of diesel exhaust with reduced emissions and smoke. Blending of these clean renewable fuels which reduces fossil fuel use by 28 percent will have a positive impact on the environment and human health, our state’s economy, agriculture and the United States balance of trade. Ben Franklin Transit sponsored a Smart Growth/Livable Communities Forum to explain the principles of Livable Communities, Smart Growth, and Sustainable Development. They work with state, local agencies, and developers on park and ride lots and access to transit so it is a more viable option for the community. Staff was instrumental in drafting the "Three Rivers Compact" to promote using Livable Community principles of planned development, environmental responsibility, sustainability, and regional collaboration. www.bft.org/

ben franklin transit

The numbers: New fuel reduces diesel smoke by 60% and particulates by 31%. In 2006, reused 1 million gallons water, and recycled 11,000 gallons oil and antifreeze, 1,200 tires, 200 batteries and 1,000 pounds oil filters.

Bi-O-Kleen in Vancouver manufactures non-toxic cleaners and detergents from soy and citrus extracts. They consider the environment in all their operations. They make their products from renewable resources and sell them in concentrated form to limit packaging. They helped develop a national "green" standard for cleaners that use third party systems for verification. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognized them as a company that formulates cleaners and detergents with a positive environmental profile. Bio-O-Kleen has an Official Formulatory Partnership through the EPA's Design for the Environment. By selling the products in concentrated form, the company uses less material and gives the same amount of cleaning as other products. They save in transport and in their use of material for packaging. biokleenhome.com


The numbers: Each year the concentrated formulas conserve 5.39 million gallons water, 8.27 million pounds salts and fillers, and 3.72 million containers.

Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant
Chambers Creek Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant, a Pierce County utility in University Place, receives and treats 17.1 million gallons of wastewater daily. The Plant includes a fertilizer manufacturing plant that produces SoundGRO™. The fertilizer meets or exceeds U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards for biosolids-based fertilizer classified as Exceptional Quality (EQ) Class A product. In the past, the Plant flared off the biogas from the treatment process; now they use it to fire the dryers for fertilizer production. Treated wastewater replaces 500,000 gallons of drinkable water daily in producing fertilizer production and irrigating the landscaping. A low-pressure, high-intensity ultraviolet light disinfection system for the wastewater has replaced 90 tons of chlorine and sulfur dioxide gasses used annually. This system automatically adjusts the amount of UV light needed in the disinfection process. The manufacturer recycles the spent UV lamps. http://www.piercecountywa.org/index.aspx?NID=1643

Chambers Creek

The numbers: Reuse 500,000 gallons water/daily. In 2006, reduced diesel by 8,660 gallons/year and reduced biogas emissions by 160,000 cubic feet.

Lummi Island Wild
Lummi Island Wild, of Lummi Island, uses the ancient art of reefnet wild salmon fishing to help shape the future of the Pacific Northwest salmon fishery. They use selective and sustainable methods, catching only targeted species while returning protected or unwanted species to Puget Sound unharmed. The company's innovative live well system also helps protect vulnerable species while supplying fresh, sustainably caught salmon to market. In 2007, the company mixed modern and traditional technology and became the world’s first solar-powered fishery. They collaborated with Alpha Energy to install solar panels on the boats that charge the batteries for the net winches. The salmon fishers are now "off the grid," and no longer have risk a spill from carrying auto batteries across Puget Sound waters. They started a reef net festival as a fundraiser for the Lummi and Lopez island communities. The Coop’s Chef’s in Raingear program draws hundreds of chefs and restauranteurs from across the country to “get involved with your ingredients” and experience the benefits of sustainable fishing. More information, including where to find Lummi Island Wild-Reefnet Salmon, can be found at www.lummiislandwild.com/

Lummmi Island Wild

The numbers: Gain 1,200 watts from solar power. Avoid using eight lead acid batteries/season.

Materials and Resources Management, Business and Finance, WSU
The Materials and Resources Management office helps Washington State University in Pullman reduce its "environmental footprint." The office works in a closed-loop organizational structure that integrates supply, use, reuse, recycling and disposal into an efficient process. The Materials and Resources Management office answers the question of disposal before material even reaches the campus. Buildings are deconstructed to salvage usable materials. Dining services will soon test a new formula for biodegradable utensils that will end up in the composting program, which in turn supplies bedding material for the livestock programs. The goal of these and other efforts is to wring out the most value from the resources before disposal. The University has a significant presence in the community and surrounding area. The Materials and Resources Management office staff serve on boards and advisory councils at the local, state and national levels in support of sustainability. www.surplus.wsu.edu/

Materials and Resources

The numbers: In 2006 recycled 1,962 tons, composted 10,500 tons, surplused 4,625 items, salvaged 98.7 tons construction waste

Mountain Gear, Inc.
Mountain Gear, Inc. sells and ships outdoor equipment and clothing from a newly renovated building in an industrial area of the Spokane Valley. The company followed green building standards in converting a 30-year old, long-time vacant, former office complex into a functional, energy efficient and healthy office and warehouse complex. The company includes environmental stewardship in their outdoor recreation classes. It supports healthy living programs that encourage walking, hiking, water and snow recreation and other activity in the community and in the Native Project of the regional health district. Mountain Gear was the first commercial company, and is still the largest private company, to remodel their building in Eastern Washinton following the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. The owner promotes the principles of green building to other businesses in the community and models the real costs and benefits. www.mountaingear.com/

Mountain Gear

The numbers: Conserve 248,000 gallons water/year. Remodel reduced energy use by 60%, and salvaged or recycled 50% construction debris.

SEH America, Inc.
SEH America, Inc. in Vancouver produces silicon wafers for computer chips. They succeeded in maintaining high quality while reducing and eliminating the use of toxic chemicals in the processing operations. They worked with their colleagues in Japan to eliminate chromium in one wafer-making process. They replaced another process with one that doesn't need isopropyl alcohol. In less than four years, they went from discharging 270,000 pounds of chromium-contaminated wastewater to zero. They went from using 251,000 pounds of isopropyl alcohol to 47,021 pounds. Each year SEH America joins Clark County to hold a hazardous waste collection day for the community. They reuse water in the facility and make sure that they don't send any contaminated water to the Bridge Creek watershed. Their recycling rate is more than 90 percent. www.sehamerica.com/

SEH America

The numbers: Recycle rate of 93% by weight.

The Evergreen State College
The Evergreen State College, an interdisciplinary public liberal arts college in Olympia, teaches and practices sustainability. The college provides exceptional environmental study programs and emphasizes sustainability in building and operations. Evergreen built Washington’s first publicly funded educational facility certified to the Gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards. The Seminar II building uses natural ventilation, daylighting, recycled and sustainable materials, and green roofs. Evergreen completed its first carbon inventory in 2007. At 5.1 metric tons of greenhouse gas per fulltime student, the college’s carbon footprint is less than half the national average for colleges and universities. The college conserves energy and water, promotes commute options and purchases green tags for all electricity. Almost one-fourth of the campus population does not use a car to get there. When repaving the entrance drive, the college reduced the car lanes and increased the biking and walking lanes to reduce the asphalt needed and connect the drive with a major walking trail. Evergreen uses worms to compost food scraps, yard waste and material from the school's Organic Farm. The Farm then uses the compost to grow produce that the food service buys, to "close the loop." www.evergreen.edu/

Evergreen State College

The numbers: 16.4 million kWh/year from alternative energy. Recycling/composting increased to 655,739 pounds in 2006 from 259,060 pounds in 2000. Reduced dangerous waste by 76%.

The Holland, Inc. - Burgerville
The Holland, Inc. in Vancouver owns the Burgerville restaurant chain in Washington and Oregon. In their industry, they lead the way towards sustainability by conserving energy and resources, supporting local, organically raised food, and educating their customers and employees on the benefits of sustainable practices. The Holland, Inc. buys renewable wind power credits for all of the electricity in the 39 Burgerville restaurants. Their example has led many others in the community to adopt wind power. All restaurants recycle their used cooking oil into biodiesel fuel. They are piloting a paper and food waste composting program at the Salmon Creek restaurant. The restaurants focus on serving food that is “local, fresh and sustainable.” They buy their beef, turkey, bread, cheese, eggs, and produce from ranchers and farmers who support more sustainable practices. They won the Food Network national award for the Best Better Burger. They support their employees with a good health insurance program and have cut their turnover in half. www.thehollandinc.com/


The numbers: Recycle 7,500 gallons/month cooking oil into biofuel. Wind power reduced carbon dioxide production by 17.4 million pounds/year.

Whitman Mission National Historic Site
Whitman Mission National Historic Site near Walla Walla, a unit of National Park Service, is the site of an 1836 mission. A combination of need and vision has propelled the remote facility’s workforce to take a holistic approach to resource stewardship. They use alternative energy, non-toxic or less toxic materials, conserve water, and recycle and compost more than 90 percent of their waste. They replaced or retrofitted inefficient water-using systems and save 648,000 gallons of water each year. When they couldn’t find biodiesel locally to meet their needs, they bought pure soybean oil and mixed their own blend. They now use biodiesel throughout the park for heating and fuel. The solar energy panels on the maintenance building supplies some of the park's electricity. They have replaced all petroleum-based products in the maintenance shop with bio-based products and use “green” cleaning products in the buildings. They diverted more than 46 tons of yard waste from the landfill in 2006 by composting it, and then used the compost on the landscaping. They buy recycled materials, including entrance signs, restroom partitions and paper products. www.nps.gov/whmi

Whitman Historical Site

The numbers: Reduced water use by 648,000 gallons/year. Solar power provides 17,975 kWh/year. Reduced carbon emissions by 46% and sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide b7 20%.

Yelm Earth, Worm & Castings Farm
Yelm Earth, Worm & Castings Farm near Yelm produces organic-certified soil amendments and seed, and crops in addition to earthworms for worm composting (vermiculture). They offer home kits for worm composting and brewing aerobic compost tea. The company supports organic agriculture and composting through demonstrations, the media, and consulting. In 25 months, the present owners have turned a faltering business into a success. They (and the worms) turn manure, straw, hay and other materials into valuable products. They till their fields by horse and use manual labor for most of the work. They reuse many materials, such as 5-gallon good buckets for the brew kits, and buy products with recycled content like the recycled plastic for the earthworm-powered kitchen garbage disposal unit. Yelm Earth’s environmental leadership shows in their products – chemical-free agriculture producing superior quality crops and worms and worm composting available to the public. They offer tours of the farm and demonstrate vermicomposting at garden shows, schools and other venues. They participate in scientific research on the use of worms for composting and the results of the compost. They have reached out to educate many levels of the plant-growing industry – organic farmers, landscapers, even military bases and the Washington Dept. of Transportation. www.yelmworms.com/

Yelm Worm Castings

The numbers: Reduced gasoline use by 150 gallons/year.




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