The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place. Reducing the amount and toxicity of products that you purchase will reduce your individual environmental impact as a consumer. Island County's municipal solid waste (a.k.a. garbage) is transported by road and by rail to the Roosevelt Regional Landfill in Klickitat County. In 2015 Island County sent 194,920 cubic yards of garbage weighing 88,350,000 pounds to the landfill in 1,772 semi-trailers. That's an average of three pounds of garbage per person per day. Reducing waste lessens the environmental impact of transporting and burying garbage in the ground.
The EPA estimates that 75% of the American waste stream is recyclable but only 30% is getting recycled. Making new products requires raw material extraction from the earth and the consumption of energy to fabricate new products. Recycling uses materials already extracted and requires less energy to remanufacture. The benefits to recycling include:
Tired of having your mailbox crammed with unsolicited mail, including preapproved credit card applications? The good news is that you can cut down on the number of unsolicited mailings for more information visit the Federal Trade Commission website.
For more information and tips on waste reduction, visit the Washington State University, Island County Extension Waste Wise website.