Kitsap is EPA’s ‘WasteWise’ Partner of Year

The Kitsap County government was honored by the federal Environmental Protection Agency as “WasteWise Partner of the Year,” earning this distinction above 182 governments countrywide.

“Kitsap beat out all the other members to get this,” said Domenic Calabro of the EPA. “We’re very proud of this recognition. It represents a sustained commitment to waste reduction and conserving natural resources.”

Calabra said the county saved a quarter-million dollars with the program, processing 3,300 tons of recyclable material and saving 55,000 pieces of paper.

Public Works spokesperson Vicki Bushnell said the county succeeds for its ability to use employee skills.

“Our employees are our most valuable resource,” Bushnell said. “Their expertise helps us to increase our environmental intelligence. They know what their workplace generates and how to manage it.”

Bushnell said the overall attitude toward waste management has changed in recent years.

“We’ve seen a cultural shift, where the employees take a lot of responsibility and develop recycling solutions on their own,” she said.

One example of this is an equipment and supplies recycling program in which departments can send e-mail to a central location if they have extra items they are not using.

Another county office that needs these items can acquire them from this central location rather than purchase them out of their departmental budget.

Kitsap County entered the Waste Wise program in 1999, and has been honored every year since then.

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