Photo above: closeup of paper dress at the Bainbridge Island Zero Waste Trashion Show
There is an impressive array of zero waste organizations in Washington State. We hope to support these groups and to help nurture other efforts as the zero waste movement builds in the state.
Below is a quick summary of each organization and links to find out more. If you know of other efforts, please let us know so we can add them to the list.
Bainbridge Island Zero Waste
Bainbridge Island Zero Waste, a part of nonprofit Sustainable Bainbridge, is committed to raising awareness of zero waste culture and opportunity on the island. An all-volunteer organization hosting regular educational events and running waste management programs, Bainbridge Island Zero Waste has grown consistently since it began in 2010. Their website is kept up to date with the most current information about the whats, hows and whys of recycling on the island. The website also serves as a valuable educational resource for zero waste organizations elsewhere seeking a model for an informative communication platform. They are present and active at public gatherings, including managing discard stations at special events and tabling at farmers markets. Their Trashion Show, usually taking place around Earth Day, has become a popular event to showcase the intersection of creativity and zero waste. Bainbridge Island Zero Wast has grown consistently since it began and aims to expand its presence, partnerships, and impact, including through organizational development and building a more diverse membership base.
Contact: Diane Landry (email@example.com)
Zero Waste Bellingham
Zero Waste Bellingham began as an outgrowth of Western Washington University’s student-led sustainability movement. It currently is working independently to conduct outreach in the community and build the zero waste movement. In addition to funning the facebook, Zero Waste Bellingham leadership are expanding their partnerships with other organizations and building relationships with local food service businesses to promote use of reusable and low impact materials and packaging.
Contact: Ryan Rickerts, Lindsey Tucker
Maple Valley Zero Waste
Maple Valley Zero Waste became active in 2017 with a group of volunteers mobilizing out of local Buy Nothing and homeowner association groups to put time, energy and resources into building the zero waste movement in Maple Valley and nearby municipalities, including Hobart, Covington, Ravensdale, Black Diamond, Renton and Enumclaw. Their activities cover a range of topic areas at the intersection of zero waste living, working and learning, including: managing an active facebook page for sharing and learning about zero waste opportunities, hosting educational booths at seasonal events, conversations with the city council, donation and swap programs, promoting repair cafes, profiling best practices of local businesses, and advocating for minimizing the use of wasteful and single-use materials at special events. The organization is seeking to strengthen its membership base of motivated and energetic volunteers committed to the mission.
Contact: Georgina Garretson
Methow Recycles began in 2001 as a program to provide recycling services in the county and has become a highly-regarded organization and service provider in the county. Through support from the county, grants, a land trust, and fiscal sponsorship to allow fundraising, it has become an established non-profit coordinating staff and volunteers supporting diversified and co-mingled recycling services as well as an expanded mission for promoting conversations and opportunities around sustainability. Since 2011, Methow Recycles has expanded to include educational and practical programming around the other two R’s (ReDuce, ReUse) and no conducts and is planning a variety of activities, including repair cafes, take it or leave it programs, a tool library, partnerships with schools and farmers markets, master trainings, engagement with local officials, and expanded outreach through social media and other communications.
Contact: Betsy Cushman
Green Okanogan began in 2008 to promote recycling in North Okanogan, and has since become an established non-profit supporting nearly 7,000 county customers with recycling services and dedicated volunteer corps. In addition to supporting household recycling, Green Okanogan works with schools. They also run a thrift shop, partner with local food recovery programs, is working to improve management of waste from forest first damage, and is looking to expand into composting.
Contact: Carol Lannigan
Orcas Island Exchange
Orcas Island Recycling Services and Exchange began as Orcas Island Exchange in 1981 with a site that served island residents as a re-use store and site for exchange, and in 2013 it entered into the waste management arena after winning a contract to manage the island’s recycling transfer station with a dedicated staff and volunteer support. In addition to the exchange and the station, Orcas Island Exchange engages with the local high school on environmental education, supports crafting activities sourcing secondhand materials, and educates islanders on recycling practices. They are seeking to expand their processing capacity (e.g. baling, glass crushing for on-island manufacturing use) to lower transport costs, and are also looking into opportunities to develop composting capacity to reduce the island’s carbon footprint – as well as repair events, tool education and a greater focus on climate change.
Contact: Pete Moe
Poulsbo Rotary Trash Talk Task Force
The Trash Talk Task Force began in fall 2018 out of the Poulsbo Rotary Club and remains a Rotary committee dedicated to promoting education and opportunities for sustainable living in the Poulsbo area. The group runs styrofoam round ups and other waste collection activities, recycling education including a youth leadership program, and advocating for minimizing the use of wasteful materials at special events.
Contact: Lori Cloutier (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Zero Waste Redmond
Zero Waste Redmond is a grassroots organization that began in summer 2019 by bringing together zero waste enthusiasts to meet regularly and mobilize around reducing the amount of waste going to landfill and supporting greater composting opportunities, particularly in multi-family housing and public spaces. The active facebook page provides a forum for residents to share information about zero waste living. The all-volunteer organization is seeking to promote zero waste conversations and culture and is looking particularly at influencing Redmond’s planned urban development initiatives.
Contact: Tanya Knudsen
Seattle Zero Waste
Seattle Zero Waste provides a forum for Seattle-area residents to build relationships, collaborate and share ideas for zero waste living in the area. Seattle Zero Waste boasts thousands of members to its facebook page which is a lively forum for zero waste enthusiasts, new and old, to discuss challenges and opportunities for sustainable living, promote relevant programs, profile best practices, share educational resources, and provide information about zero waste culture in and around Seattle. The all-volunteer group has been active since summer 2017 when the co-founders organized to begin hosting monthly social events and meetups around zero waste themes. They are rapidly growing and aim to focus in 2020 on events that build on the 5 Rs as well as a sixth – Relationships and how they can support a zero waste lifestyle. Seattle Zero Waste is a fiscal sponsoree of Zero Waste Washington,
Contact: Stacy Strickland
Snohomish County Zero Waste
More details to come.
Contact: Yolimar Vazquez, Cori Rodgers
Spokane Zero Waste
More details to come.
Contact: Becky Mace, Elizabeth Merriam
Zero Waste Vashon
Zero Waste Vashon is a non profit organization dedicated to building the zero waste movement by supporting zero waste lifestyles and improving waste management systems on Vashon and Maury Islands. Zero Waste Vashon hosts educational events and runs special collection programs to raise awareness of technological and cultural innovations for sustainable living and reducing the amount of waste going to landfill. They are working with King County towards completing a feasibility study for an island-based compost facility.
Contact: Gib Dammann
Upcycle White Salmon
Early in 2019, Upcycle White Salmon was initiated out of the Columbia Gorge Women’s Action Network Plastic to advocate for policies to reduce plastic waste. Their successful mobilization and campaign led to the passage of a plastic bag ordinance. They are taking on additional action campaigns, including advocacy around bring-your-own-vessel policies for food service establishments and exploring how hemp and other potential plastic alternatives may be better understood and used in the product cycle. Other organizational activities include speaker events, film screenings, sew-a-thons and selling reusable bags (made from old sails), and tabling at farmers markets. In addition to planning and implementing a growing range of zero waste interventions, Upcycle White Salmon is building its internal capacity and working with others around the Gorge area, including partners in Oregon, to develop and implement a variety of programming to promote sustainable resource management.