June News – Compost meeting coming and new video

Save the date!

King County Solid Waste will host an online community event to share both the community survey and compost facility study results. They will also share some possible next steps for organics management on Vashon and host a question & answer session. The online meeting will be on June 7th from 6-8 pm. Instructions for joining the meeting should be posted soon.
In other news, ZWV was proud to host Susan Thoman for a lecture on compostable serveware at the Land Trust Building. Afterward, the group toured the composting setup at the Fruit Club orchard with an introduction by Glenn Grey.  Peter Ray videotaped the presentation and has posted it for us here:
Is it compostable?

Compost and Climate Change — the Vashon Connection


We are all concerned about the grave problem of climate change, and looking for ways that we can make a difference. Did you know that creating compost from yard and food waste is a very effective tool for combating climate change?

When organics are sent to rot in a landfill, they produce methane and their valuable soil-enhancing nutrients are lost forever. A properly managed compost pile produces no methane. In addition, it works the way Mother Nature does by breaking down waste material and creating a soil amendment that nurtures new life. Compost actually increases soil’s ability to act as a carbon sink, pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and using it to create plant material that pulls even more carbon out of the atmosphere.

Although composting at home is the gold standard, it is not practical or even possible for everyone. Many communities have put infrastructure in place to make it easier for residents to be sure the organic waste they create is being properly composted.

Zero Waste Vashon has been working diligently with King County Solid Waste Division for more than six years to bring this capability to Vashon.

One of our first steps was to encourage the county to accept yard and food waste at the Vashon Recycling and Transfer Station. This program has been in place since 2015, with the majority of what is collected being yard waste. The material is currently trucked 32 miles to Cedar Grove in Maple Valley at a significant cost, where it is made into compost. Some of this is trucked 32 miles back to the Island and sold locally.

Our next step has been to work with the county to determine the feasibility of a community-scale compost facility on Vashon. This would eliminate the Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG) and costs created by the trucking, and allow Vashon to use our organic waste locally to improve Island soils.

We are pleased to announce that the Vashon Organics Processing Feasibility Study is now complete. There were two phases of the study, and the reports for both phases are now available for public review. You can access them through the county webpage at tinyurl.com/yey2nkek, or by googling “Vashon organics study,” or at zerowastevashon.org.

The study confirmed that it makes sense both from a cost and GHG perspective to establish a community compost facility on Vashon. When food waste collection is increased, the benefits are even greater.

The next step is to let the county know that Vashon will support community compost. The county is now working with a research firm and Zero Waste Vashon to create a survey that will be sent to all island residents at the beginning of the year. They will use it to gauge residents’ interest in both a local facility and the option of curbside pickup of yard and food waste — 99% of County residents already have this option.

Please be on the lookout for the survey postcard coming in early January, and take a few minutes to let the county know that Vashon supports compost! It could be one of the most important steps you take to fight climate change in the new year.

Nancy O’Connor, board president of Zero Waste Vashon.

Shop Talk – Un-shopping the Holidays

Strawberry Festival ZWV

Winter 2021 Newsletter

2021 has been a busy year for ZWV. Read all about the beach cleanup tally, the compost feasibility study, new events, and more as we wrap up the year.

Zero Waste Vashon – Winter 2021 Newsletter

First Sunday Styro has an early start in June

We have NEW HOURS, 10:00-4:00, for our upcoming First Sunday Styrofoam Recycling Event, Sunday, June 6th, at the Sheffield Building, 18850 103rd Ave SW. We are so grateful for your continued participation. Please consider making a donation to support this worthwhile operation. Questions? Our downloadable list of “What We Accept” can be found at www.ZeroWasteVashon.com and Vashon Styrofoam Recycling Facebook Page. You can also contact Nadine at nadine@nadineedelstein.com. See you Sunday!

Note that there will be no Styrofoam Recycling event in July due to the first Sunday being July 4th. 

April 2021 Earth Month Newsletter

Spring is here and so is the 51st anniversary of Earth Day. There is a lot happening this month. Read all about it.

April 2021 ZWV newsletter

Hack Your Trash Challenge!

Zero Waste Vashon Hack Your Trash Challenge

Calling all students grades 5-10!  Are you getting tired of staring at a screen all day?

Are you ready to do something creative, something inventive, something earth-changing?  

The ZWV Hack Your Trash Challenge is your chance.

Here’s how it works – think of all the stuff we normally throw away (or recycle). Now reimagine it as the building blocks for something new.

You could make art, a useful product, a crazy new invention.  You could save the world!  And there will be AWARDS.

There will be three categories based on grade level.

Grades 4-5

Grades 6-8

Grades 9-10

Your project can be a piece of art, a useful object or a totally new invention.

The main components of your project should be items that are normally considered “trash” or “waste”. This includes things from

  the trash.

  the recycle bin.

  • things that don’t fit in the bin but are headed to the dump.
  • any of those weird bits and pieces you’ve got stashed away because you can’t quite bring yourself to throw them out (that one earring, the wheels from a toy car).

It is ok to use “non-waste” materials to complete your project like glue, staples, nails, paint or other items. But remember, the goal is to use as much “waste” material as you can.

If your idea is something that would use waste products, but that you can’t actually make yourself, you can create a design. This means a detailed description of the product, along with drawings and diagrams to show the “waste” materials that would be used and what the end product would look like.

There are lots of good ideas on the Web. It’s ok if you use an idea that’s already out there. Just be sure to make it your own.

Here are lots of good examples

More advanced examples

Sign up here:


We’ll be in touch with ideas, reminders and details on how to submit your final project.

Have fun!

The contest ends May 9, 2021.

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