Solid waste generation was responsible for approximately 4% of 2018 community GHG emissions. Materials that go into a landfill are wasted resources. Solid waste (garbage) often needs to be shipped long distances, creating air pollution and contributing to GHG emissions from transportation. Waste in landfills also releases pollution from methane gases and can pollute our water.
The most effective way to reduce waste is to not create it in the first place. Making a new product requires a lot of materials and energy for both manufacturing and transport. Remember to follow the three R’s, listed in order of effectiveness: Reduce the amount of waste you create, Reuse items whenever possible, and Recycle (or compost!) properly.
- Learn more about local efforts and programs to reduce waste with Bainbridge Island Zero Waste.
- Explore recycling resources from Sustainable Bainbridge, including on-island spots for recycling latex paint.
- Learn what you can recycle and compost with Bainbridge Disposal.
- Explore Kitsap County’s recycling and disposal guide.
- Reduce waste when you go out to eat. Learn more about single-use plastic and food service ware regulations in Bainbridge Island.
Americans waste about 25 percent of the food they purchase. When we throw away food, we're also wasting all the water, energy and other resources used to produce, package and transport food to our plates. Wasting food also wastes money: a family of four spends an average of $1,600 a year on wasted food. Taking steps to plan meals, store food correctly and embrace leftovers can go a long way towards reducing food waste and saving money.
Make sure you dispose of any food waste correctly! Composting food scraps creates a rich soil additive and keeps these materials out of landfills where they take up space and release methane, a potent greenhouse gas. Not ready to compost at home? Bainbridge Disposal provides yard waste service for composting both yard waste and food scraps. Keep a kitchen bin in a convenient location for easy food collection. Scrape your plate and toss in all food scraps. Empty your kitchen bin into your yard waste service cart – along with any yard waste – and place out on collection day.
- Make small changes in the way you shop for, prepare, and store your food with the Food: Too Good to Waste program.
- Learn what can be placed in your Bainbridge Disposal yard waste cart for composting.
- Learn how to compost at home with this “how to guide” from the US Environmental Protection Agency.
- Explore the Kitsap Master Gardener Program for information on composting and gardening at home.
- Check out Kitsap County’s Adopt-a-Worm Classroom Composting Program.
Junk mail wastes natural resources and contributes to climate change. It's good to recycle your junk mail. It's even better to stop getting it!
The average American receives 40 pounds of catalogs and other junk mail every year. Mixed paper, like junk mail, doesn’t have a strong market for reuse. Reducing junk mail gets clutter out of your mailbox, frees up your time, and helps protect the environment.
Three Steps to Reduce Junk Mail
1. Unsubscribe from Catalogs
- Use Catalog Choice to unsubscribe from major catalogs and mailers.
- Use DMAChoice to opt out of catalogs, credit offers, magazine offers, and other junk mail. There is a $2 processing fee when you register for the service.
- Some catalogs may not be listed on either service, in which case you will need to contact them directly. Catalog Choice can help you do this, or you can use the contact information listed on individual catalogs.
2. Opt Out of Coupon Packs and Other Junk Mail
- Opt out of Valpak coupons
- Opt out of Valassis/RetailMeNot coupons every five years or when you move
- Register on the industry-run National Do Not Mail List
3. Opt Out of Pre-Screened Credit Card Offers
- Opt out of pre-screened credit card offers, or call 1-888-567-8688 to remove your name from lists that the consumer credit reporting companies sell to companies for prescreened and preapproved credit card and insurance policy offers. You will have the opportunity to choose either a five-year removal or a permanent removal.
Additional Waste Reduction Tips
- Go paperless on bills. Many of the bills and statements you get in the mail have digital options. Opt-in to paperless options directly on their websites or by calling them.
- Stop junk mail before it begins. Write "Please do not rent or sell my name" next to your name every time you enter a contest, make a purchase or donation, join a retailer’s preferred shopper club, or return a warranty card to prevent your name and address from being sold on a mailing list.
- Contact companies and organizations directly to stop unwanted mail. Use their customer service telephone number or make your request via e-mail or from the company’s website.
- Choose not to receive a phone book. If you are still receiving printed telephone directories at your house, you can opt-out of having them delivered with the National Yellow Pages Consumer Choice & Opt-Out Site.
- Refuse and return to sender. Some junk mail is marked "address correction requested" or "return postage guaranteed." If your mail has this wording, return it unopened to the sender by writing "Refused - return to sender" on the envelope.
- Make sure you recycle any junk mail you don’t want! That includes paper envelopes with plastic windows, which should be placed in the recycle bin.
A Few Important Notes
- While you can greatly reduce the amount of junk mail you receive by using opt-out services, you will not be able to stop all junk mail. Some mail is sent to all households — such as political mail and advertisements from local stores, grocers, and restaurants. These offers may not have opt-out options.
- You’ll also continue to receive mail from companies that you currently do business with. To stop these types of offers, directly write, email or visit each company’s website and unsubscribe from their catalog manually through customer service.
- Be patient — it may take a few months for changes to go into effect.
- Make sure to update your preferences and opt-out of unwanted mail whenever you move.
- If you do not have a computer at home, you can get on the Internet at the library.
Listed businesses and organizations are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement by the City of Bainbridge Island.