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Wastebusters

Six Clark County households are going up against each other in a good-natured contest to see who can divert the most waste from the landfill!

Over the course of about six weeks, beginning on March 10, weekly challenges will encourage thoughtful reflection on different ways to reduce consumption and generate less waste. Weekly weigh-ins will tally 100% of garbage weight and 15% of recycling weight. The household with the biggest average reduction in waste volume will be awarded a prize and the title of "Top Wastebuster!" All households will be honored for their participation and will receive prizes and workshop opportunities throughout the competition to help them on the path to no trash.

The schedule for Wastebusters 2013 is:

Week of March 10: Base weigh-in and Waste Audit Challenge
Week of March 17: Weigh-in #1 and Planned Obsolesence Challenge
Week of March 24: Weigh-in #2 and Declutter Challenge
Week of March 31: Weigh-in #3 and Food Scraps Challenge
Week of April 7: Weigh-in #4 and The Extra Mile Challenge
Week of April 14: Final weigh-in
April 20: Clark Public Utilities StreamTeam Eco Fair - Wastebusters Recognition Ceremony

In the Spring of 2012, six Clark County families took part in the first Wastebusters competition. They participated in weekly challenges and won prizes, like glass tupperware and worm bins.

SPRING 2012 COMPETITION
Household Base
Weight
(lbs.)
Weigh-In
#1
Weigh-In
#2
Weigh-In
#3
Final
Weigh-In
Avg.
weight
change
(lbs.)
Avg %
change
Crawford 36.6 10.9 11.0 8.5 10.6 -26.4 -72.1
Davis 35.5 15.2 4.4 8.3 16.0 -24.5 -69.0
Zike 42.0 26.6 25.7 26.5 33.8 -13.8 -32.9
Hulse 21.0 20.2 23.6 3.7 16.1 -5.1 -24.3
Wood 28.6 42.1 10.7 48.8 28.5 -0.2 -0.7
Kurth 14.1 16.9 13.8 26.2 14.8 +3.8 +27.1

Note: Waste weights are 100% of trash weight plus 10% of recycling weight. As beneficial as recycling is, reducing and reusing are still more viable options when reducing your waste load. As such, recycling is added to the trash weight at a fraction of its actual weight.


What we learned

  • Plastic bags do not belong in the recycling.
  • Worms like egg shells and coffee grounds.
  • Cat poop - There's not a good way to dispose of it.
  • Diapers - There's not a good way to dispose of them. Even cloth diapers have their drawbacks due to the amount of energy and water it takes to get them clean.
  • Glass - Don't throw it in the garbage.
  • Too busy - Being busy can cut down on your waste at home, but may not cut down your waste elsewhere.
  • Trash and recyclables - We throw away 2.99 lbs. of trash and 3.29 lbs. of recyclables daily.
  • Compost pile - Start one!
  • Reusable bags - Buy some!
  • Party waste - Use reusable plates and glasses and server foods that can be leftovers or composted.
  • Food waste - Plan a weekly menu and do not recycle items that have been in contact with food.

Resources

Several Clark County Environmental Services programs help recover materials that would otherwise end up in the landfill. As a result of these recovery programs, Clark County keeps 57% of its waste out of the landfill which is one of the highest rates in the state of Washington.
 
Wastebusters logo
 
The Crawfords, the winning family
Congratulations to our 2012 top Wastebusters, the Crawfords!
     

 

 

 

 

Clark County Environmental Services - Recycling and Solid Waste
Peter DuBois, Acting Program Manager

Street Address: 1300 Franklin Street, 1st Floor, Vancouver, WA 98660
Mailing Address: P.O. Box 9810, Vancouver, WA 98666-9810
Main phone: (360) 397-2121 | Fax: (360) 397-2062
Relay 711 or (800) 833-6384
E-mail: solidwaste@clark.wa.gov

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