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Auburn Safeway Beverage Plant and Distribution Center Named One of King County’s Best Work Places for Waste Prevention and Recycling

King County Executive Dow Constantine today applauded 92 local companies for reducing waste and increasing recycling, naming them as the county’s “Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling for 2012.”

“From recycling Styrofoam and cell phones to creating new programs for composting, the innovation these organizations have shown proves that sound environmental practices can go hand-in-hand with a successful business,” said Executive Constantine.

For the third year, the Auburn Safeway Beverage Plant and Distribution Center has been named to the list. The sixth-annual list spans a wide array of businesses in King County, including hospitality, medical services, professional services, retail, finance, government, arts and entertainment and others.

At the Safeway Beverage Plant they were able to eliminate their need for a large waste compactor and move to a smaller garbage container that gets picked up once a week. They also started recycling more lunchroom items, such as metal and glass.

This year, they held a recycling training session to increase food scrap recycling awareness and to further drive innovative recycling ideas to their employees. They’ve also donated more than 16,000 pounds of product to local nonprofit organizations. They are consistently looking for ways to improve—zero waste is their goal.

“We keep looking for new items to incorporate into our recycling program,” says Plant Supervisor Jodee Shelbourn. “There are so many products that are manufactured out of recycled materials. We just purchased office chairs that are made out of PET plastic, which we recycle at our location. Employee involvement is the key to the success of your recycling program.”

The Distribution Center has implemented new programs to reduce waste since last year, by adding a Styrofoam recycling program. They ask that all the floral departments in the retail stores send their Styrofoam back to the Distribution Center to be recycled. In addition, they recently began to collect the CO2 cartridges from the Starbucks that are located in the Safeway retail stores.

Last year, businesses in King County sent more than 180,000 tons of recyclable materials to the landfill. King County’s Solid Waste Division compiles the “Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling” list annually to recognize the top recyclers and waste reducers, and help motivate others in the local business community.

All businesses operating in King County outside the City of Seattle are eligible for the list. To secure their spot, businesses are required to meet the same five basic criteria, as well as 10 additional waste reduction and recycling criteria, such as using reusable or compostable dishware in kitchens, collecting batteries for recycling or sending electronic invoices.

To see the complete list of 2012 Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling and to learn more about what these businesses are doing to improve recycling programs, visit www.kingcounty.gov/recyclemore.

To learn more about the program, contact Karen May at 206-296-4353, or karen.may@kingcounty.gov.

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