Reduce waste

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. 

New organic waste collection bins in downtown Winslow

In support of the City’s 2023 waste regulations requiring home compostable food service ware for to-go orders, the City recently installed bins to collect organic waste at various locations in downtown Winslow. The new “Compost Only” containers can accept food waste, napkins, wooden utensils, pizza boxes and other natural fiber-based home compostable food containers. All dog poop and plastic items marked as “compostable” should go in the trash. The new containers include images and text in five languages – English, Spanish, Chinese, Japanese, and Vietnamese – to help quickly communicate what goes where with visitors from around the world. Nearby containers collecting materials for recycling and disposal to the landfill were also updated with new signage. 

City staff are monitoring contamination in the new compost containers and working with Bainbridge Island Zero Waste to perform 1-2 audits of materials collected in the containers as part of this pilot project to assess container style and messaging for the collection of organic waste in a public setting. Learn more by watching the short video below. Thank you to our Public Work’s staff for getting these new containers installed and helping with this pilot program! 

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.