City receives state recycling award

May 3, 2012

By Christina Lords

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Recycling increased more than 22 percent last year

The city of Newcastle and Waste Management received a Washington State Recycling Association Recyclers of the Year award May 1 for their competitive project to increase neighborhood recycling last year.

Recipients are selected by a panel of association members representing several aspects of the recycling industry, including collectors and processors, government agencies, businesses and nonprofit organizations.

“Through innovative programs like the recycling challenge, cities and other organizations can assist in reducing environmental impacts,” Newcastle City Manager Rob Wyman said in a statement. “Newcastle is proud of the award and of its citizens who rose to the challenge.”

During Newcastle’s Waste Less, Recycle More, Win Big event, residents were encouraged to recycle more, reduce what they sent to the landfill and lower the community’s carbon footprint. Two neighborhoods competed for a $5,000 neighborhood improvement grant. The campaign resulted in a citywide 22.8 percent increase.

The neighborhoods were split into two down Coal Creek Parkway. The Recycling Renegades took the title from the Waste Less Warriors in Waste Management’s Newcastle Neighborhood Recycling Rewards competition.

On average, Renegade households recycled about a half-pound more each month than Warrior homes, Waste Management communications representative Robin Freedman said.

During the five-month competition, the city recycled nearly 550 tons of materials — an increase of more than 100 tons of materials compared to the same five-month period in 2010. Residents also increased food composting and yard waste participation by 50 tons.

The $5,000 grant was used to erect a new flagpole outside of City Hall at the Newcastle Professional Building.

Other association awardees include the city of Tacoma, city of Bellevue, Bellevue School District, Fairmont Olympic Hotel, Gonzaga University, Harborview Medical Center, Microsoft, Stevens Pass Mountain Resort and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

The awards banquet will be held in at the Davenport Hotel in Spokane.

The association advocates and educates for the expansion and economic vitality of recycling as a part of sustainable resource management. Formed in 1976, it boasts 280 member organizations and more than 700 individual members including private, community and governmental agencies.

Go to www.wsra.net or call 206-244-0311 to learn more about the award. Award applications are available each November on the website.

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