Eight Renton businesses were among 112 King County Companies named to the 10th Annual “Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling” list this week.
“King County businesses are doing a lot to lessen the impacts of climate change by reducing waste,” King County Solid Waste Division Program Manager Karen May said in a press release. “We want to ensure businesses get the recognition they deserve for their efforts and inspire others to take action too.”
The eight local honorees are:
Allpak Container LLC
Allpak has an environmental management system designed to minimize waste and prevent pollution. They capture and bale all corrugated cardboard, their primary leftover material, and other paper waste from plant activities. Designated recycling clerks monitor plastic recycling receptacles to ensure that all plastics are sorted correctly and picked up by the recycling service. Allpak also recycles wood waste from pallet refurbishing activities, metal waste from facility maintenance activities, and all electronic waste.
Kenworth Truck Company – Renton Plant
Joining the Honor Roll list (five years in a row on list) for its fourth year is Kenworth Truck Company – Renton Plant. This truck plant has mature recycling programs in place for paper, cardboard, wood, plastic films, scrap metal, cooking and engine oils, light bulbs, electronics, antifreeze, and toner cartridges. Their cafeteria has a composting program for food waste and food service items such as cups, plates, and napkins. They work with suppliers to reuse some packaging supplies and reduce packaging waste. Kenworth Truck Company also recycles wood pallets, and continues to invest in returnable and reusable shipping racks to reduce wood use.
Rainier Crest Apartments
This year, Rainier Crest Apartments, a 74-unit apartment complex, joins Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling for the first time. They began recycling in November and it has been a success, allowing them to decrease their weekly garbage dumpster pick-ups. In addition to their recycling program, they employ practices to reduce waste, including focusing on paperless communication methods and reusing products rather than disposing of them.
American Classic Homes Real Estate
American Classic Homes is a real estate firm that has been on the Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling for 10 years running. Understanding that their industry is generally paper heavy, the employees at American Classic Homes have switched to scanning, sharing, and storing their paperwork through their online server. They switched to a multi-use, central office copier/printer that keeps track of usage and efficiency. Paper that is printed by error is recycled or used in other ways around the office. Many of the brokers use a laminated flyer in the flyer boxes for homes that are for sale and do not print excess flyers.
IKEA Seattle makes the Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling list in King County for its second year. The Renton location of this multinational household goods retailer is an enthusiastic contributor to the company’s sustainability goals. In 2015, all home furnishing materials sold at IKEA (including packaging) will be made from renewable, recyclable, or recycled materials. The company plans to produce as much renewable energy as they consume by 2020. At IKEA Seattle, they compact, bale, and recycle all cardboard, plastic, and paper waste, and 90 percent of the total waste generated at the store is diverted from landfills through recycling and reuse. Between September 2015 and February 2016, they recycled more than 325 tons of waste.
City of Renton
With a comprehensive waste reduction and recycling program in place, the City of Renton makes the best Workplaces for Recycling and Waste Prevention for its third time. The City continually strives to improve its standard recycling and organics and food waste compost collection. City staff events have full recycling and food waste compost collection available, and use compostable plates and service ware. The City continues to look for new materials to collect and recycle throughout its facilities, a list that already includes batteries and toner cartridges. A city policy revised last year requires all surplus items to be transferred internally between city departments before being traded in, donated, or sold.
Renton Technical College
Joining the Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling list for the second time is Renton Technical College. There is broad support for recycling on this campus, from students, faculty, and staff, to the individualized departments which, in many cases, seek methods to recycle materials unique to their programs. They recycle spent batteries on campus, and have a program to re-use old binders, office supplies, and other office materials. The Culinary Arts program fosters awareness of sustainability issues impacting the culinary industry, including energy and water conservation, purchasing local products, recycling plastic, cardboard, and aluminum, and eliminating waste in the kitchens.
Trojan Lithograph joins the Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling list this year. Trojan Lithograph provides packaging solutions that include single-face litho-laminate, folding carton, retail-ready options, and special effects.They are ISO 14001 certified, have a robust sustainability program, and continually strive to prevent pollution and reduce our environmental impact. They source much of our roll stock from SFI & FSC forests, encouraging sustainable forestry practices. In 2015, Trojan Lithography recycled 5,584 tons of paperboard and paper scrap from their processes and 88 tons of metal. Additionally, they recycle plastic strapping, shrink wrap, used aluminum printing and die cutting plates, and electronics. Wood pallets are returned to pallet suppliers to get rebuilt and reused as long as possible. They recently partnered with a waste disposal company to re-purpose the majority of their industrial and hazardous waste into fuel, reducing incinerated waste to one barrel in the first six months of 2016.
Last year, businesses and institutions in King County sent more than 276,000 tons of recyclable materials to the landfill.
All businesses operating in King County outside of the City of Seattle are eligible for the list. To qualify, businesses must meet five basic criteria, as well as 10 additional waste reduction and recycling criteria. To learn more, visit www.kingcounty.gov/recyclemore.