Zoom Chat - Combating Climate Change by Reducing Waste featuring Heather Trim, August 8, 2021

Zero Waste Washington Website

Zoom Recording of Heather's Conversation

Slides on Combating Climate Change by Reducing Waste

Zoom Recordings and Resources from All Conversations 

Join the Basecamp Climate Solutions Conversations for ongoing discussion



Key Washington State Legislation Related to Waste and Climate:

  • Zero Waste Washington Legislative Efforts.  Zero Waste Washington works to help pass laws at the city, county and state level to ensure that permanent programs are in place to prevent and reduce waste. This page has some of the recent laws we have helped pass.
  • 2021 Legislative Scorecard.  Here are all the bills that passed (and did not pass) related to the latest legislative session that ran from January through April 2021.   Check out this page for all of the waste related legislation and how to get in touch with your local representative.  Check out the list, it's impressive!  Two important bills that did not pass but we should keep an eye on are next...
  • "Right to Repair" (HB 1212). This bill was not passed in the 2021 legislative session but should be supported as we move forward.  Bill description: "Promoting the fair servicing and repair of digital electronic products to increase access to appropriate and affordable digital products, support small businesses and jobs, and enhance digital connectivity in Washington state."
  • "Establishing a statewide organic waste management goal" (SB 5286). Another important climate impacting bill that did not pass in the 2021 legislative session but should be supported as we move forward.  From the original bill: "Proper management of organic waste provides many environmental and economic benefits to the state, local governments, residents, and businesses. Composting, anaerobic digestion, and other forms of organic waste management can mitigate climate change by reducing our carbon footprint through increased carbon sequestration, when compost or recycled organic materials are applied to soil systems, and through the useful diversion of organic waste from landfills, where the waste would otherwise produce carbon intensive methane emissions. This diversion of organic waste creates a savings in space for landfills that are already overstressed by the current demand for waste disposal."
Resources from our Discussion (also see slides as there are many references there as well):
  • New State Law! Recycling and Waste and Litter Reduction (SB 5022, HB 1118).  From the Ecology web site: "We are implementing a new state law aimed at reducing the use of single-use plastics and increasing recycled content in bottles and trash bags. The law supports many of the recommendations in Washington’s plastics study and waste reduction and recycling goals."
  • 2015-2016 Washington Statewide Waste Characterization Study. From the WA Department of Ecology, this study characterizes the disposed municipal solid waste stream in Washington state in support of the state Solid and Hazardous Waste Plan. The study incorporates a packaging versus product analysis, detailed composition results for six waste generation areas, and a supplementary analysis which combines the statewide results with existing county waste composition studies.
  • Single-use plastic bag ban begins Oct. 1 in Washington. Washingtonians will begin to see fewer plastic bags littering the state’s roadsides, parks, and streams beginning Oct. 1 when the statewide plastic bag ban goes into effect. The bag ban prohibits the distribution of single-use plastic carry-out bags by restaurants, retail, small vendor, and grocery stores.
  • Improving Organic Materials Management in Washington State (from Zero Waste Washington). This project and report examins the current status of organic waste management in Washington, assessing barriers and needs for expanding and improving the system through data assessment, literature review, and interviews with 61 industry leaders and experts from the composting, anaerobic digestion, consulting, and government sectors. The report includes a set of recommendations for consideration by state and local policy and decisionmakers in further reducing the amount of landfilled organic waste in Washington.
  • The Naked Grocer bringing ‘packaging free’ grocery shopping to Pike/Pine.  Article in Capitol Hill Blog about package free grocer planning to come to the Seattle neighborhood soon.

Questions Asked During our Discussion:
  • Amy Theobald: I'm curious about the statistic showing the cost (saved) for recycling plastic vs using virgin material at 88%. My understanding is that it can only be recycled a finite number of times versus glass which is infinitely recyclable.
  • Paul Litwin: Heather: thank you so much for this presentation. Not sure if you will be talking about micro plastics again, but I would love to hear more about synthetic clothing and microplastics. As an athlete, I own lots of synth clothing. What can I/we do? Is anyone trying to develop high performance fabrics that are not plastic-based?
  • Suzanna Litwin: Can you recommend resources for consumers who want to make better choices? I think it’s hard to always know which is better; aluminum or glass? Paper bags or re-usable synthetic bags?
  • Scott Henson: If we have apples that have been infiltrated by maggots, how do we do the best thing for the environment if it creates a problem for compost?
  • Scott Henson: Will there be a reporting mechanism for restaurants who do not adhere to the new “ask first” legislation?
  • Amy Theobald: In addition to addressing plastics recycling; are there viable  efforts focused on plant-based packaging?
  • Paul Litwin: Heather: your presentation was awesome. So much great work and great information. How do we help Zero Waste WA do it’s amazing work?
  • Paul Litwin: Many of us here subscribe to Ridwell. What do you think of Ridwell? Is what they are doing helpful? Should municipalities work with Ridwell to make it available to all?
  • Barbara Young: I’m under the impression that businesses are not offered compost bins.  Is this true and if so are you working on this?  I have to leave early to attend a memorial service so may not be here when you address this.
  • Daniel Muldrew: Nice talk! Where will the recording be posted?
  • Laura Zeffer: Are we able to buy the filter type washers in Seattle currently?

Full Chat Log:
00:21:12 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): Please feel free to put any questions in the chat window and we will do our best to answer
00:37:30 Amy Theobald: I'm curious about the statistic showing the cost (saved) for recycling plastic vs using virgin material at 88%. My understanding is that it can only be recycled a finite number of times versus glass which is infinitely recyclable.
00:38:00 Paul Litwin: Heather: thank you so much for this presentation. Not sure if you will be talking about micro plastics again, but I would love to hear more about synthetic clothing and microplastics. As an athlete, I own lots of synth clothing. What can I/we do? Is anyone trying to develop high performance fabrics that are not plastic-based?
00:41:41 Paul Litwin: Also, I have a dog and have to put dog waste in the garbage. Any thoughts on what animal waste do to our garbage and climate change?
00:41:59 Suzanna Litwin: Can you recommend resources for consumers who want to make better choices? I think it’s hard to always know which is better; aluminum or glass? Paper bags or re-usable synthetic bags?
00:45:50 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): IF we have apples that have been infiltrated by maggots, how do we do the best thing for the environment if it creates a problem for compost?
00:48:03 Scott Henson (Drawdown Seattle): Will there be a reporting mechanism for restaurants who do not adhere to the new “ask first” legislation?
00:53:49 Amy Theobald: In addition to addressing plastics recycling; are there viable  efforts focused on plant-based packaging?
00:58:22 Paul Litwin: Heather: your presentation was awesome. So much great work and great information. How do we help Zero Waste WA do it’s amazing work?
01:04:35 Paul Litwin: Many of us here subscribe to Ridwell. What do you think of Ridwell? Is what they are doing helpful? Should municipalities work with Ridwell to make it available to all?
01:07:33 Barbara Young: I’m under the impression that businesses are not offered compost bins.  Is this true and if so are you working on this?  I have to leave early to attend a memorial service so may not be here when you address this.
01:09:17 Daniel Muldrew: Nice talk! Where will the recording be posted?
01:09:54 laurazeffer: Are we able to buy the filter type washers in Seattle currently?
01:12:49 Don Parda: When my granddaughter had me take a survey for her school project, my major loss of climate-friendly-rating was that I was washing clothes that were essentially already clean. I learned - now I seldom wash clothes.
01:14:09 Amy Theobald: For anyone who lives in Capitol Hill, this grocery store coming later this year sounds interesting (and probably expensive) - https://www.capitolhillseattle.com/2021/07/the-naked-grocer-bringing-packaging-free-grocery-shopping-to-pike-pine/
01:17:23 James Little: Your thoughts on Ridwell?