The global to local search for solutions


Global Framework & Resources

Regional Cascadia/Pacific NW (US-Canada) Resources

  • Sustainable Northwest (SNW) is a non-profit based in Portland, Oregon with a >$2MM budget & staff of 12 (founded in 1994). They work to forge solutions for people and natural systems places SNW at the radical middle of community, economy, and ecology. Mission: SNW brings people, ideas, and innovation together so nature, local economies, and rural communities can thrive.
  • Recylemania is a friendly waste diversion competition between colleges across the US and Canada.
  • Cascadia College’s bachelor degree students hosted this 2017 poster contest modeled after the national RecyleMania program aimed at promoting sensible recycling practices. Students enrolled in K-12 schools in the Northshore, Lake Washington or Cedar View school districts or attending Cascadia or UW Bothell were encouraged to participate.
  • Sightline Institute (Seattle, WA, staff of ~20, founded 1993) mission: make the Northwest a global model of sustainability, with strong communities, a green economy, and a healthy environment. They work to promote smart policy ideas and monitor the region’s progress towards sustainability. Their purpose as an organization is to provide Cascadia’s community problem solvers with practical vision and innovative thinking, inspiring and empowering them to bring about a healthy, lasting prosperity. They like to think of themselves as sowers of seeds—planting ideas and stewarding their growth so sustainable solutions can flourish.

US National Resources

Note: each governmental branch has been concerned with ZW & sustainability issues to varying degrees and the EPA seems to be the focal point for resources.

  • EPA Sustainable Materials Management: Non-Hazardous Materials and Waste Management Hierarchy ranks 4 classes of strategies from most to least environmentally preferred, emphasizing reducing, reusing, and recycling/composting, over energy recovery (incineration) and treatment/disposal.
  • Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) is the US public law that creates the framework for the proper management of hazardous and non- hazardous solid waste.
  • US Dept. Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) Backyard Conservation Composting Tip Sheet.
  • USDA NRCS Conservation Innovation Grant Program awarded $22.6million for 33 projects nationwide in 2017. Up to $10 million is available for the national component of CIG in 2018. The deadline for applications is Feb. 26, 2018 at 5 p.m. E Std Time. The full application package, including all necessary forms and instructions and submission information, is on Applicants may also visit the CIG applicants page for additional help in preparing applications. A webinar for potential applicants is scheduled for Jan. 11, 2018 at 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time and can be accessed by clicking here.
  • National Academies of Sciences Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability meets twice a year with very ambitious goals and aspirations, now focusing on how best to use renewable energy for rebuilding after natural disasters strike such as in 2017. (Privately funded-non government).
  • US Composting Council provides support for generators of organic residues, compost producers, policy-makers, regulators, professionals and product users for the purposes of advancing the industry. Vision StatementWe believe compost manufacturing and compost utilization are central to creating healthy soils, clean air and water, a stable climate, and a sustainable society. Mission StatementThe US Composting Council advances compost manufacturing, compost utilization, and organics recycling to benefit our members, society, and the environment.
  • (founded 2016) Our mission is to accelerate composting access and infrastructure to improve soil health and divert compostables from landfill.  The Composting Collaborative unites composters, consumer-facing businesses, and policymakers to share best practices and resources, as well as generate innovative solutions to shared challenges.
  • transforming waste to resources for the circular economy.
  • GrassRoots Recycling Network (GRRN) has a vision of the world where waste is not waste – it is a resource. They are the voice of all those who recycle and want to waste less and do more. GRRN is a national network of waste reduction activists and recycling professionals. They set ambitious standards for Zero Waste goals and policies, provide opportunities for on-going meaningful participation in campaigns and build coalitions to achieve zero waste policies, businesses and communities. They have a website and an active email listserve (called GreenYes) of many hundreds of knowledgeable experts in both downstream recovery and upstream clean production issues.
  • Zero Waste Alliance (ZWA) has a clear and simple vision: a prosperous and inclusive future without waste.  A future without waste and toxics is not just a dream; it’s a necessity.  Waste reduces the effectiveness of our businesses, increases pressures on the natural environment and harms the vitality of our communities.  It does not have to be this way; waste is the result of a broken process. Fortunately, this is a process that can be fixed.
  • Zero Waste America (ZWA) is an Internet-based environmental research organization specializing in the field of Zero Waste. They provide information on legislative, legal, technical, environmental, health, and consumer issues, specialize in information on U.S. waste disposal issues, particularly the lack a federal ‘waste management’ plan, the use of ‘disposal bans’ to legally stop waste disposal and imports, the long-proposed federal Interstate Waste legislation, waste data collection methodology, and applicable federal case law. ZWA is an authority on the regulatory enforcement of the State Plan (waste management) provisions of The Solid Waste Disposal Act (otherwise known as The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act – RCRA). 
ZWA is unconventional in that they accept no money or advertising, have no membership, regular meetings, or conventional office holding, and are not associated with any business or government. 
Lynn Landes (based in Philadelphia, PA) is their leader and she gets help from people from all over the world who work on Zero Waste and related matters.
  • Institute for Local Self Reliance (Offices in Portland, Minneapolis, & Washington DC) provides innovative strategies, working models and timely information to support environmentally sound and equitable community development. To this end, ILSR works with citizens, activists, policymakers and entrepreneurs to design systems, policies and enterprises that meet local or regional needs; to maximize human, material, natural and financial resources; and to ensure that the benefits of these systems and resources accrue to all local citizens.
  • Eco-Cycle is one of the largest non-profit recyclers in the USA and has an international reputation as a pioneer and innovator in resource conservation, established in 1976 by everyday residents who had a passionate belief in conserving our natural resources. These Eco-Cycle volunteers brought recycling to town in 1976, making Boulder, CO one of the first 20 communities in the U.S. to offer curbside recycling. We continue to be driven by these same passions and innovative actions. Excellent resources, such as a dropdown menu with link to what to do with just about everything, Zero Waste lifestyle basics & guidelines, and some amazing Eco-Facts.
  • Urban Ore (Berkeley CA, founded 1990’s) Mission: To End the Age of Waste, includes Building Materials Exchange, General Store.
  • The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment & Rating System™ (STARS) is a transparent, self-reporting framework for colleges and universities to measure their sustainability performance.

WA State Resources

King County & Seattle Resources

Private companies

  • offers free recycling for a long list of electronic & other materials, drop off east of Frys and Lowes and west of I-405, 851 Houser Way North
, Suite B
, Renton, WA  98057.
  • has  a mattress disposal guide with a link to find local mattress recyclers.

Need ideas for family involvement? Here are some resources:

Trying to declutter? Here are some tips: 

Use local resources to donate, sell or give away good, unwanted items. Online there are the Yahoo Group – VashonMauryMarketplace and the Facebook Group – Vashon Salon & Trading Post (VSTP). In town there’s Granny’s Attic and Luna Bella’s.

Some online sources for tips are: