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OLYMPIA – A proposal to make power from the West Plains garbage incinerator worth more money, one of the city of Spokane’s top legislative priorities, died a quiet death Wednesday in a Washington House committee. The plan to reclassify power from the city’s Waste-to-Energy facility as renewable energy, which would make it more valuable to the region’s utilities, failed to come up for a vote in the House Technology and Economic Development Committee before a key deadline. Members of both parties said it is dead for the year.
OLYMPIA – A vote in the Senate last week brought a result about as rare as a sunny day in the state capital, and much harder to explain. A bill to require statewide student tests as part of teacher evaluations – a requirement designed to keep the state kosher with federal No Child Left Behind rules and the money that comes with them – went down in defeat on a floor vote of 19 yes and 28 no.
OLYMPIA – Electricity from the West Plains garbage incinerator would be classified as a renewable energy and be more valuable to an electric utility if a bill proposed by state Sen. Mike Baumgartner is approved. Spokane’s Waste-to-Energy Plant should be designated as a renewable resource, Baumgartner, R-Spokane, told the Senate Energy Committee Thursday: “As long as people make garbage, it’s renewable.”
Spokane’s trash, water and sewage bills will rise 2.9 percent next year. The Spokane City Council adopted rate increases Monday that were proposed by Mayor David Condon. The votes were 5-1.
A huge pile of burning trash presented an unusual predicament to Spokane Valley Fire Department crews Tuesday morning. A Waste Management truck was emptying the dumpster at the Red Robin near the Spokane Valley Mall when the driver noticed black smoke coming from the back of his truck, said Assistant Fire Marshal Bill Clifford.
As Dave Randolph approaches the pedestrian suspension bridge from Canada Island, it’s unmistakable: bright, freshly painted graffiti covering a retaining wall just above the river. He has just started his daily vandalism check of Riverfront Park, a walk that begins at 4:30 a.m. or earlier with a goal that’s sometimes hard to achieve: remove graffiti before it’s noticed. This find, along the steep riverbank, will make that goal nearly impossible to reach today. He or one of his employees must strap up in a harness to cover it safely – as was done a couple weeks ago when the wall was hit last.
Tuesday afternoon was all about trash as Spokane Valley City Council members spent more than two hours of their annual daylong winter retreat talking about the future of solid waste disposal. Trash pickup service is provided by Waste Management and Sunshine Disposal under franchise agreements that expire in 2015. There is a transfer station near the Spokane Valley Industrial Park where residents can drop off trash, yard waste and hazardous materials.
To a textile recycler, a sweat-stained rag of a T-shirt looks like teddy-bear innards. A distance runner’s used-up sneakers? Those are reliable transportation for someone without shoes.
Members of the Mt. Spokane High School wrestling team stepped off the mat and took to the highway – Highway 206 specifically – and picked up trash along a two-mile stretch of Mount Spokane Park Drive. The students participated in the event as part of the school’s highway clean-up effort.
It wasn’t a shocking revelation, but Spokane Mayor David Condon’s unveiling of the city’s new blue recycling carts on Thursday signaled that Spokane County’s recycling system has finally caught up with many other larger cities. In October, most trash customers with Spokane County will move to a new single-stream recycling system. Curbside recycling customers will dump all recyclables in a single container that will be sorted at Waste Management’s Spokane Material and Recycling Technology Center on the West Plains.
Spokane’s Bloomsday 2012 has set a new personal best in terms of recycling, composting and waste reduction. While official figures have not yet been released, event coordinators report recycling exceeded that of past years.
Once a year, another continent’s trash turns into the Spokane Waste-to-Energy Plant’s treasure. Food waste generated by American scientists researching in Antarctica was incinerated in Spokane over a 10-day period last month. The trash made its way from McMurdo Station to the West Plains via Port Hueneme, Calif.
Who really wants to contribute to our growing landfills? There are things we toss away everyday that make up the bulk of our trash and they don’t even belong in our garbage bins. Here are my Top 7 ways to be less trashy so you can get started today. • Recycle that paperboard: Paperboard is the thin cardboard packaging that holds so many of the items we buy – think cereal boxes, packaging for toys, and even tissue boxes. In the city of Spokane, you must pay for a separate mixed paper bin to recycle paperboard at the curb.
Do you ever feel guilty when you put something in the trash because you don’t feel like walking to the recycling bin? Do you toss food scraps in with the other garbage? If you said yes, you’re not alone. Only a third of the trash that could be recycled or composted actually is. No wonder the average household trashcan is always overflowing! That means we can all do a bit better. I want to share some simple techniques to Do Your Part and put your recycling routine on steroids.
Waste Management is on its normal trash pickup service in North Idaho this week and next week, as is North Idaho's other garbage service, Coeur d'Alene Garbage/Post Falls Sanitation.
That classic line from the Grinch about Christmas always tugs at my heart this time of year. It’s when he realizes the true meaning of the season, “How could it be so? It came without ribbons! It came without tags! It came without packages, boxes, or bags!” But here’s the thing – the holidays DO come with all those things and more. In fact, Americans create 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day than any other time of year. What kind of gift is that to our planet? It’s not a gift I want to give. From parties to presents, there are easy and economical ways to be less trashy this time of year.