With employees at City Hall and other city buildings recycling 77 percent of waste materials, the city earned a spot on King County’s "Best Workplace for Recycling" list for the second year in a row.
Bellevue was recognized by the county's Solid Waste Division for its strong internal recycling programs and for making recycling a priority.
"We're pleased to again have this honor as Bellevue continues its commitment to environmental stewardship," City Manager Steve Sarkozy said. "Our employees are showing they care about the environment and will go the extra mile to be green."
To qualify as a Best Workplace for Recycling, organizations had to meet at least 10 criteria out of a list of 33 good recycling practices -- choices that range from placing recycling bins by every desk, to collecting food scraps for composting.
Bellevue made the 2008 best recycling workplace list, but with departments participating in a competition and food scraps composting introduced in City Hall, the city raised its internal recycling rate from 48 to 77 percent, according to a waste audit in November.
While a waste sort in May showed a dip in the recycling rate to 66 percent, increased outreach is expected to push the rate back up by the next waste sort in November. This year the city has expanded food waste composting to satellite buildings and has added recycling for compact fluorescent lamps and lids and caps.
In addition to recycling paper, plastic and other common materials, the city also recycles wood pallets, plastic film and wrap, toner cartridges, scrap metal and electronics. The city purchases and uses recycled-content office products and practices waste reduction by using fewer resources wherever possible, such as saving paper by requiring double-sided printing of documents and encouraging employees to set smaller margins as a default.
"Since applying for the 2009 Best Workplaces for Recycling we have implemented even more improvements to our program," said Jennifer Kaufman, the city's in-house recycling coordinator. "I am confident we are on track to be honored for three years in a row."
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