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County establishes Waste Wi$e goals

t Program saved more than $450,000 last year, Solid Waste officials say.

For the 10th consecutive year Kitsap County departments have identified goals and activities to help them reduce waste in county operations.

“This is an ongoing effort to reduce costs, preserve resources and prevent waste,” said Waste Wi$e Kitsap Coordinator Vicki Bushnell, adding, “In 2007 we saved $458,428 by recycling and reusing items, and there are further opportunities in 2008 and beyond.”

Goals to reduce paper usage and increase employee education top the list.

The county was creative in ways to reduce paper usage in 2007.

Among the achievements were managing documents electronically to reduce copying, which saved over 100,000 sheets of paper in just the auditor, assessor, and coroner departments.

The paperless Wa$te Exchange program was especially successful, saving $7,900 is purchasing costs by swapping office surplus among the departments.

At the annual Earth Day Awards, the county’s Roads Division of Public Works garnered the internal Waste Wi$e Kitsap award for their reuse of asphalt and sand in road construction and maintenance, which saved over $500,000 on disposal, transportation and purchasing.

“Roads employees are scattered across the county at different facilities, but the determination to prevent waste was stronger than the geographic challenges,” said Bushnell. “It is a real team effort and we wanted to acknowledge that.”

Kitsap County is a partner in the Environmental Protection Agency’s Waste Wise program, a free and voluntary technical assistance and recognition program in which there are over 1900 members.

The EPA has recognized Kitsap County with a waste reduction award for seven consecutive years for their outstanding efforts and willingness to assist other jurisdictions and agencies, locally and across the nation.

The EPA Waste Wise program addresses solid waste issues, and is just one element of current environmental initiatives being explored by the county, which has formed an Energy Conservation Committee to evaluate energy and water usage, and provide a framework for long-term planning and action.

Community members are invited to apply for membership on the Citizens Energy Conservation Task Force by completing the on-line application listed below.

For more information visit www.kitsapgov.com/volunteer/boards/energy_conservation_taskforce.htm or www.kitsapgov.com/sw/pdf/2008_goals.pdf.

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