Grants help Federal Way reduce waste, boost recycling

The Washington State Department of Ecology (DOE) awarded over $18.8 million in grants to cities and counties throughout the state, including $97,743 to Federal Way.

The total grant to Federal Way is $130,324, with the city matching 25 percent of the state funding. The Coordinated Prevention Grants, according to DOE, are meant to "support waste reduction and recycling and solid waste enforcement" in the state, and are awarded every two years.

The grants more specifically help communities "manage solid and household hazardous wastes, prevent illegal dumping, and promote recycling and composting programs." The continuation of these grants help support 393 jobs, according to DOE. The program was initially funded by a 1988 vote, which taxed wholesale distributors of petroleum and other hazardous materials.

"These grants give local governments resources to provide their residents the services they want and expect," said Laure Davies, the program manager for DOE's Waste 2 Resource program. "These are also effective approaches from an economic standpoint. Preventing toxics exposure, reducing wastes, and proper management disposal are smarter, cheaper and healthier than doing costly cleanups later."

Among some of the projects the grant program has funded are collection events for hazardous waste, the building of regional composting facilities, and offering yard-waste disposal options.

In Federal Way, this year's round of funding will go toward backyard composting and residential recycling programs. The funding will aid the continuation of events designed for residents to recycle or dispose of difficult items, and efforts to assist businesses with recycling, among others. The DOE anticipates Federal Way will divert 900 tons of organic, recyclable and hazardous material.


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