Backyard Composting Workshops

Fall is a great time to start composting. Ideally, our tree leaves, grass clippings, and even food waste can all be turned into beneficial compost for our yards and gardens. Sounds easy, right? – but what are the various methods and how do you start?

Zero Waste Vashon has created a video series featuring Island residents and the compost systems that they use. We’ll premiere these videos at three virtual workshops that will show you how they compost from the ground up.

The series will include an introductory session followed by two sessions on specific backyard composting methods. All sessions will be held on Zoom and our local composters will be available to answer your questions at each session.

Come join us for an insider’s view into how composting works on Vashon! Share your ideas on composting at home!

1) Composting Overview and Three Bin Method, 10:00 – 11:30am, Saturday, October 24

2) Static Pile Methods, 10:00 – 11:30am, Saturday, November 7

3) Compost Tumbler and Worm Bins, 10:00 – 11:30am, Saturday, November 21

To access the Zoom workshops, follow this link:

ZWV Summer 2020 Newsletter

It’s here! Read all about:

– Island Calendar & Upcoming Events

– The July 4th Pop-Up Parade

– First Sunday Styrofoam Recycling Event Update

– Advisory Committee Updates

– Community Composting on Vashon

– Thanks to all the ZWV Volunteers

Zero Waste Vashon — Summer 2020 Newsletter

Earth Day’s 50th Anniversary

Earthweek April 19-25, 2020
This week marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. So much has changed since that starting day in 1970. The global population has doubled from 3.7 billion to 7.8 billion. Global energy consumption has gone from 53,000 terawatt hours to 133,000 terawatt hours, releasing tremendous emissions in its wake. (A terawatt is one billion kilowatts.) In 1970 single-use plastics were a rare commodity. The beverage industry would introduce bottled water and sodas in plastic bottles in the early 80s and the earth would go from zero of these single-use plastics to 60 million-per-day, in the United States alone. The world is consuming one million plastic bottles every minute. In 50 years we have accomplished a lot, but the earth is more threatened now than ever due to the reckless exploitation and wasting of resources. This has to stop or life, as we know it, will end. Is this possible? While the recycling rate for single-use plastics in the US is around 9%, in Norway they recycle 97% of plastic bottles used. How do they do this? – with government, industry and public cooperation.
• In Norway, they have a system that makes recycled plastic more valuable than new plastic made from fossil fuel
• They separate out the valuable plastics at recycling centers
• They make it easy to recycle in many places
• They reward recycling
The earth needs to heal and has given us a time to pause and reflect. If humanity wants a future home then it must change course and mimic nature, not fight it. There is almost zero waste in nature. We need to emulate nature and strive toward this goal. It can be done. Our lives depend on it.
Humanity: There’s no way we can shut everything down in order to lower emissions, slow climate change and protect the environment.
Nature: Here’s a virus. Practice.
“As we continue to recklessly degrade the global environment, and our society starts to feel the sobering consequences, we all need to step back and quickly learn—and live by—the lessons that our living world can teach us.”
Opinion by Jonathan Foley

Plastic China Followup

Events Recycling News

ZWV Electronics Recycling Event 2019

Zero Waste Vashon is excited to announce that they will be holding another Electronics Recycling event in celebration of Earth Day. This event will be held at Vashon High School’s east lot. Please use the far east entrance by the pool.

Have the items organized and easily accessible for our volunteers to offload. All materials will be collected by and delivered to SBK Recycling in Tacoma.

Date: April 20, 2019

Time: 10 AM to Noon (or until the truck is full)

Location: Vashon High School – east lot (enter by the pool)

Accepted items: Computers, laptops, monitors, ink cartridges, printers, fax machines, keyboards & mice, servers, routers, televisions, DVD&CD players, VCRs, audio components, radios, cellphones, telephones, cameras, electronic games and small electronics. Items should be clean, dry and free of dirt.

Not accepted: No big rear screen projection tvs, no appliances except microwave ovens. No large commercial copiers, miscellaneous metal boxes, cabinets or devices. (Metals can be dropped off at the transfer station for free. Put them in the large metals dumpster.)

There is no charge but donations are gratefully accepted. Checks can be made out to Zero Waste Vashon.

April Events

For the month of April ZWV will be sponsoring a Bring Your Own Mug campaign at Vashon Coffee stands. Nadine will be back at Kimco’s to collect styrofoam on April 7th. On April 12-14, King County will have the Hazardous Wastemobile on site at the Tjomsland Gravel Pit. Hazardous Waste Disposal  And on April 20th ZWV will be hosting another Electronics Recycling Event from 10am to 12 noon.


King County Recycling Event

King County will be holding a recycling event at the Tjomsland Gravel Pit on Saturday, August 18th from 9am to 3pm. The link below is to the mailer sent out to all Vashon residents.

King County Residential Recycling Event

Strawberry Festival ZWV

Strawberry Festival To Go Greener

Each year approximately 35,000 people attend the Strawberry Festival. This fun annual event creates a lot of garbage, totaling about 140,000 pounds of combined materials that is usually trucked off island to the landfill. That’s not very “green”; we can do better.

A large portion of festival waste is recyclable. This year, Zero Waste Vashon will be managing 17 recycle and food waste stations to keep recyclables like food, aluminum, glass, and paper out of the landfill and used as a resource. ZWV needs volunteers to help monitor the stations, bring the recyclables and food waste to the central collection point, measure progress, and help Festival-goers get everything in the right place. Please consider volunteering with Zero Waste Vashon to help make our Greener Strawberry Fest a success! The shifts are just 2-3 hrs.

This link will take you to the volunteer sign-up page where you can learn more about the jobs and available time slots: If you prefer to sign up over the phone, please contact Marian Whited, Volunteer Coordinator at 206-909-3534.

 If you are unable to volunteer, you can still help by sorting your waste into the correct  bins: Mixed RecyclingFood Waste and Trash. Keep an eye out for the “Waste Not Want Not” flags above the waste stations, and please stop by the ZWV booth in front of Hinge Gallery for some Green ideas and freebies .

 Thanks to our partners Waste Connections, BioBags, King County Solid Waste, and the Vashon Chamber of Commerce for supporting this project to make Vashon even Greener!

E-Recycling Events

In April and May 2018 ZWV hosted two electronics recycling events in order to relieve the backlog of electronics accumulating on island. These items are not allowed for disposal at the transfer station. All told we collect 7.5 tons of electronics at these two events!

What happens to my electronics?

This depends on the electronics item. After the event, everything is taken to SBK Recycle in Tacoma. There the computers are stripped of their components. The hard drives are crushed, parts are removed sent to the appropriate processor. For example, mother boards are sent to Japan for processing. There are only 2 plants in the world that can process these components for rare metals safely. One is in Japan and one is in Belgium. An interesting fact is that it is less expensive and environmentally more friendly to recycle these rare metals than it is to mine them. Printers are mostly plastic. They get sent to Auburn to a plastics recycler. Major metal components get sent to metal recycling. LCD screens get sent to California.