Zero Waste Vashon Newsletter
Fall 2019 Edition

Zero Waste Vashon (ZWV) is a non-profit organization and is 100% volunteer driven. Our goal is to inspire the Vashon and Maury Island communities to "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Rethink."

The following is a list of upcoming Island events for Fall 2019. We hope to see you there! 

"Symphony of the Soil" Movie screening and discussion  at the Vashon Theater, Tuesday, November 26th, 6-8:00 pm, sponsored by Greentech

Why should we care about soil? As climate change and the increase in carbon emissions in the atmosphere cause more frequent natural disasters and weather events, carbon sequestration becomes increasingly important. Healthy, living soil enhances the earth's natural ability to hold carbon in the soil, thus reducing the emission of "greenhouse gasses" into the atmosphere and thereby alleviating climate change. Understanding and respecting the power and potential that soil has to help solve environmental problems is essential. Once people have that understanding and appreciation, they will move towards appropriate action. Dr. Fred Kirschenmann, farmer and philosopher, argues in this documentary - that restoring the fertility of our soil is the single most important challenge we face today. 

"Drawing from ancient knowledge and cutting edge science, Symphony of the Soil is an artistic exploration of the miraculous substance soil. By understanding the elaborate relationships and mutuality between soil, water, the atmosphere, plants and animals, we come to appreciate the complex and dynamic nature of this precious resource. The film also examines our human relationship with soil, the use and misuse of soil in agriculture, deforestation and development, and the latest scientific research on soil's key role in ameliorating the most challenging environmental issues of our time. Filmed on four continents, featuring esteemed scientists and working farmers and ranchers, Symphony of the Soil is an intriguing presentation that highlights possibilities of healthy soil creating healthy plants creating healthy humans living on a healthy planet." (Courtesy of IMDb)

America Recycles Day, Friday November 15th

America Recycles Day is a nationally-recognized day that celebrates and promotes recycling in the U.S. On this day, people are encouraged to spread the word about the benefits of recycling and to practice recycling themselves. 

Styrofoam Recycling, Sunday January 5th

12 noon to 4 pm (or until the truck is full!), former Kimmco Building, 17816 Vashon Hwy SW. 

Note: No Styrofoam Recycling Event scheduled for December.

Compost Facility Committee - Feasibility Study
ZWV has been supporting the Request for Proposal (RFP) released by King County Solid Waste Division (KCSWD) to study the feasibility of building and operating a compost facility on Vashon Island. KCSW has selected a consultant for the project and the contract is currently being finalized. In the interim, ZWV has been assisting KCSWD with siting options for a potential future Compost Facility as well as collecting information about potential feedstocks and volumes. 

Reduce Single Use Plastic Committee
After the successful Bring Your Own Mug (BYOM) campaign earlier this year, the committee has been evaluating opportunities to educate the Island community about current Single Use Plastic issues.
Now it's more important than ever to reduce the amount of plastics we use.   The entire global recycling system is still adjusting to the China Sword policies which severely restricted the import of waste materials for recycling into China. To further complicate plastic recycling, it is currently cheaper to manufacture some plastics in the USA from virgin resin instead of using recycled materials due to low natural gas prices. Combined with a lack of  "plastic producer ownership" by manufacturers' for their plastic waste and resistance to many plastic recycling efforts, such as "bottle bills", the US seems to be in a quandary regarding the future of recycling of these materials. Stay tuned for further updates as we delve into the plastic recycling issues and provide a road map for your personal waste reduction efforts.
Anaerobic Digestion (AD) Committee
Impact Bio-energy's Anaerobic Digester at the Vashon Bioenergy Farm, co-located at Island Springs Organics (Tofu factory) is now fully operational. The Nautilus Anaerobic Digester is designed to break down the Okara waste from the Tofu factory into carbon dioxide, methane, water and a nutrient rich liquid digestate (fertilizer). Ongoing trials at Matsuda farm with the digestate are underway on cover crops at the site. In addition, refinement of the methane produced in the digester into Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) will be accomplished in the near future. Plans to use the RNG to power Island vehicles are also being developed.


The Whole Vashon Project (WVP)

ZWV has submitted our 2020 Green Goals to the WVP for inclusion in the catalog which addresses Climate Change.

ZWV plans to continue to educate the community about self-reliance , sustainability, and resilience with a variety of events each aimed at reducing our collective carbon footprint. Specifically, we will continue to focus on determining the feasibility of an on-island compost facility, and reducing single-use plastic usage. We will also continue to fund and support recycling efforts to reduce Styrofoam, electronics and food waste.

Fix It Cafe
Through our collaborative efforts at the October 19th Fix-It Cafe, 896 pounds of stuff was diverted from the landfill! In total,  82 items were repaired, advice was provided to owners of 24 items, and 5 items were declared beyond repair. 

Among the things the Fix-It Cafe handled were 14 lamps, 9 pieces of furniture, 7 sewing machines, 5 toasters, 5 vacuums, 3 turntables and 17 items requiring the attention of menders and sewers. Some of the more interesting items were a robotic vacuum, an electric fireplace and an electric rat-trap. Many thanks to Vashon Eagles Aerie #1433 for hosting this wonderful community event.

Vashon Event & Town Center Recycling Support

ZWV has continued working with local organizations to help them increase recycling and reduce garbage at Island events as part of their waste reduction initiative. Recent events have included the Heritage Museum's Virginia V circumnavigation of Vashon tour, the Rowing Club's Passport to Pain (P2P) Barbecue at Jensen Point, and Voice of Vashon's Chili Cook-off at the VCA.
We are working with several organizations and making progress on the "Vashon Green Protocol"- advice and guidelines for Island organizations for variety of event sizes, such as using compostable or reusable beverage containers, plates and utensils. These are all steps to make our events as waste free as possible, ultimately increasing Vashon's sustainability.
For 2020 ZWV is partnering with Vashon Makerspace, Vashon Forest Stewards and the Chamber of Commerce on a design and construction project for a new artisan recycling station enclosure in the town center using local wood. A King County CSA grant proposal has been submitted by Vashon Makerspace to fund the project. Please let us know if you would like to participate in any of these projects.


Annie Crawley, VISD & VCA Presentations

Award winning producer, underwater photographer, author, and motivational speaker, Annie Crawley visited Vashon Island recently for a lecture at Chautauqua Elementary School and also the Vashon Center for the Arts. Her lectures focused on her research and work as an underwater photographer and the impact of single use plastic pollution on the health of the ocean. Her lectures at the elementary school were well received and attended and the students left will considerable enthusiasm and new knowledge about single use plastics. The lecture at VAC was also well attended (140 people) and while the audience was from an older demographic, her message was well received and resonated with the community.  The VAC big screen and Annie's use of images and stories made for a very compelling presentation and the audience was genuinely moved by her passion and incredible experiences.

Plastic China Movie

The Plastic China movie showing was well attended and sparked some serious discussions about our waste export policies and the affects on the Chinese family portrayed. Up until 2018, the U.S. was exporting millions of tons of plastic waste to China for recycling.  This multi-award winning documentary is a touching story about a family that works in the plastics recycling industry. It provided insight into our "plastic habit" and how it affects people and the environment in developing nations around the world. 

Bike Drive

In cooperation with Bike Works, the Presbyterian Church on Vashon Island coordinated a bike drive to collect unused bikes. The event was a tremendous success and over 130 bikes were collected which will be repaired and returned to use by Bike Works in Seattle. Good Job! 


Plastic Bag Recycling

Seattle and King County have recently announced that they will no longer accept plastic bags for recycling starting in 2020. While plastic bags are only about 1% of the recycling stream, they are difficult to separate and collect and often will clog the recycling equipment.
Clean, dry plastic bags are still recyclable and there is a market for them. The city and county are encouraging people to drop bags and plastic film at local grocery stores and other participating retailers. Locations to drop off these materials are listed at 
Please note that on Vashon Island you can still drop off your clean and dry plastic bags for recycling at the local IGA store. 
Information courtesy of Zero Waste Washington (

APPROVED - Plastic Package Stewardship (HB 1204/E2SSB 5397)

A study bill that would create data report that could lead to legislation (in 2021) that would dramatically improve our recycling system in Washington by creating a stewardship program paid for by the plastic packaging manufacturers. 


APPROVED - Sustainable Recycling (2SHB 1543/SSB 5545)

Creates a recycling development center to research, incentivize, and develop new markets and expand existing markets for recycled commodities and recycling facilities. Requires Ecology to create and implement a statewide recycling contamination reduction and outreach plan based on best management practices for recycling and provide assistance to local jurisdictions to develop contamination reduction and outreach plans.

  •   Plastic food service products (SHB 1632 - Reducing pollution from single-use plastic food service ware): Requiring utensils, straws and condiment packages be offered on demand. 
  • Reusable Bag Bill (2SHB 1205/ESSB 5323 - Relating to reducing pollution from plastic bags by establishing minimum state standards for the use of carryout bags at retail establishments): Stores could provide paper or thicker plastic bags (3 mil thick) for a 10 cents pass-through charge.  
  • Plastic straw ban (ESSB 5077 - Prohibiting single-use plastic straws): Requiring that straws only be offered on demand.
  • Composting/recycling in schools (SB 5187 - Concerning school composting and recycling):  Allows public schools to offer students the opportunity to compost their food waste and to recycle and permits the state to provide free pickup of compost and provide supplies such as bins and compost bags. 
  • Assessing recyclables (HB 1665 - Encouraging economic development by identifying ways to grow Washington's manufacturing sector through evaluating the opportunities and barriers of repurposing domestic waste stream materials):  Requires completion of an economic analysis of recyclable material and solid waste processing, export, and disposal activities in Washington.  

Gib Dammann, President
Nancy O'Connor, Vice President
Steve Bergman, Secretary
Mary Singer, Treasurer
Will Lockwood
Jeremy Hale
Mike Riggs
Marian Whited


Thank you to all of our Board Members, Volunteers and Donors who contribute to the ongoing success of Zero Waste Vashon!

If you are interested in volunteering, getting involved, donating to ZWV, or simply have a question, let us know - we are here to help! 


Zero Waste Vashon is a registered 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Corporation