Recently, Stacey Auer, the recycling program administrator at the City of Redmond shared some of the resources the city provides to residents, organizations and businesses. These include items picked up in curbside carts, to other recycling options for computers, electronics, monitors, televisions, styrofoam packing peanuts, printer cartridges and more. City staff members are also working with residents and businesses to engage in sustainability beyond recycling.
The latest program now available to residents—in part from a Washington State Deptartment of Ecology grant—is the distribution of EcoKits. The city's recycling oprogram has collaborated with the already existing Impact Redmond Pledge Program. Residents can fill out the online pledge and receive an EcoKit in the mail for free.
The Ecokit contains a reusuable stainless steel water bottle, reusable shopping bag, water conservation faucet aerator, R-trip recycled post-it notepad, Think Redmond brochure, discount card and yes/no recycling brochure, and much more.
I asked a few Redmond residents from different Redmond organizations (Sixty-01 Condo Association, Redmond Wild and ) to take the pledge and give us their feedback. One user said she likes that Redmond is going greener, although there seems to be some grey areas in the pledge and some (areas of being green) that seemed missed. As a busy mother, her "me time" is her longer showers, but only when she can get them. And while she does hang her laundry in the warmer months, this would not be practical year-round as the wetter months would not dry the clothes in time. The missed areas were: use of cloth diapers, less frequent garbage pick-ups, eating vegetarian more than one night a week and driving a hybrid car.
Others agreed it is great that City of Redmond is taking on these iniatives. As one respondent put it: "I found the pledging process to be easy and quick. Sometimes the simple act of participating online, as part of a community, can be a galvanizing force to encourage people to follow through on their intentions. This program serves as a good reminder that all of our small changes really do add up. Some of the items on the list are easy to do, but the impact can be profound when measured across our community and region."
Is the pledge enough to motivate residents on the Eastside? We would love to know! Perhaps for those less time-consuming habit changes or even just adding a level of awareness without having to give up the flights to Hawaii altogether! Either way, it is a fun and easy-to-use tool, a way to be part of the Redmond community and in the end something will be coming in the mail for you.
For general curb-side, food scrap and other recycling information, the city has a great information source through their website here.
"All residents can place food scraps in their yard debris carts to be composted," Auer said. "All food, including cheese and bones can go in the cart." In fact, nearly 30 percent of household garbage is food and compostable paper, which can easily recycled into compost. This material is sent to Cedar Grove Composting and turned back into dirt/compost.
Food Scrap Recycling Tips:
- To keep your yard waste cart clean, line the bottom with newspaper and layer the food scraps with yard waste.
- In the kitchen, a tight-fitted collection container works great. To keep it clean, line the bottom with a layer of shredded paper or paper towel, add a small amount of baking soda if needed and finish with an approved compostable bag liner. Redmond residents can receive a free food scraps kitchen bin by calling Waste Management at 1-800-592-9995, according to Auer.
- Visit gogreenscene.com for a list of approved compostable products. For example the cups from some of the leading coffee shops around town are not compostable because they have a lining of plastic on the inside. However, if you do find the compostable cups, they work as great collection containers in the kitchen and can be thrown in the yard waste bin too! One resident uses this cup method to collect the scraps that cannot be composted in the garden, i.e. bones and meat, but can go in the yard waste bin.
For businesses and organizations who are ready to expand their recycling programs, the City of Redmond distributes a brochure from Waste Management that has these tips:
- Form a Green Team
- Determine materials you will recycle
- Contact your business or property manager
- Contact the City of Redmond Recycling Program for free recycling assistance.
- Coordinate collections with janitorial crew and/or staff
- Educate and motivate staff
- Maintain and expand your recycling efforts
The flip side of recycling is using the post-consumer material from these markets. Look for products that have post-consumer on their label and the higher to percent the better. A list of local office suppliers includes but is not limited to: Costco, Ducky's (Office), , , PC Recycle, Rebinder, and . Cedar Grove Compost can be found bagged at .
After taking the pledge at: www.impactredmond.com, share your thoughts in the comment section about Going Green in Redmond! Offer tips to other residents to making the green way the easy way, such as placing the reusable bags on the door handle as a visual reminder to take them back to the car on the next trip. Thanks to Suzanne for that one—she says they can't be missed that way!
Technical Note: If after submitting your pledge registration and not finding the email confirmation in your inbox, check your junk mail folder.