Regional WorkgroupsIn March 2009, the Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) followed up the effort of EPA's regional Initiative (see Background) and held a statewide kickoff meeting of the WA Commingled Recycling Improvements Project. The purpose of this meeting was to gather local government stakeholders, share information on the contamination issues associated with commingled recycling, discuss the process and outcomes of the EPA Region 10 facilitated Initiative project, and determine if local governments had an interest in working on this issue in Washington. Ecology focused its attention on local government for two reasons: they were largely absent during EPA's Region 10 Initiative project and they are critical decision-makers for residential recycling programs in Washington State.
The result of the kickoff meeting was that local government participants agreed to collaborate regionally to address reducing contamination in commingled recycling systems in Washington. Three workgroups formed based on Ecology's regional divisions of the state - Northwest, Southwest, and a combined Central/Eastern/Idaho border group. Each agreed to involve all stakeholders including local governments, MRFs, haulers, and end-users. Each group would decide their approach and objectives, and each regional group lead was to report progress to the statewide WA Commingled Recycling Improvements Project coordinator.
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