When people see you recycling, they’ll want to recycle too. Recycling is important because we are using our exhaustible resources fast. The best thing about recycling is it is so easy and it’s good for the Earth.
You have that on good authority: The children who will inherit the world we leave them. They illustrated their vision of a waste-responsible world in the first Kitsap Recycles Day poster contest, in celebration of Kitsap Recycles Day, Feb. 15.
The 10 winners of the contest were honored Feb. 11 by the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners:
— Daizy Abigania, Fairview Junior High School, Bremerton.
— Mia Allen, Green Mountain Elementary School, Bremerton.
— Jessica Baugh, Emerald Heights Elementary School, Silverdale.
— Elliot Campbell, Gateway Christian School, Poulsbo.
— Maya Desai, Emerald Heights Elementary School, Silverdale.
— Isabel Iral, Crosspoint Academy, Bremerton.
— Tyja Johnson, Pinecrest Elementary School, Bremerton.
— Brody Oliver, Manchester Elementary School, Port Orchard.
— Natalie Oathout, Peace Lutheran School, Bremerton.
— Trinity Ramirez, Esquire Hills Elementary School, Bremerton.
Each environmentally conscious artist received an award of excellence at the meeting, which was televised on BKAT. Their posters will be featured, two each week for five weeks, in Kitsap Week. (See page 8 in Kitsap Week for this week’s first two featured posters.)
Jo Meintz, who’s responsible for communication and outreach for the Solid Waste division of Public Works, said the poster contest generated more than 300 entries from 22 schools in five school districts.
“I sent out an informational flier to every teacher in our schools, and to organizations like 4-H and Scouts,” Meintz said. In addition, she talked about the poster contest whenever she did a classroom presentation on recycling.
“For 13 years, we participated in the America Recycles program, but decided to bring it local,” she said of the Kitsap Recycles program. “The program emphasizes buying products made from recycled items. Hopefully, down the road, we will expand the program to include businesses.”
Kitsap Recycles Day is a day to remember the importance of buying and using recycled products in order to close the recycling loop.
“Closing the loop” is the process in which post-consumer waste is collected, recycled and used to make new products, which are then purchased and used by consumers. For example, recycled paper can be made into cereal boxes or egg cartons, and plastic bottles can be made into new bottles or polyester fleece for clothing.
“We are very pleased that these young people are realizing the importance of conserving our earth’s limited resources not only by recycling, but also by closing the loop through purchasing recycled products,” said Pat Campbell, Kitsap County Solid Waste Division’s senior program manager.
“We thank them for their efforts in helping us to spread the word as we observe our first Kitsap Recycles Day.”
Campbell said 111,000 tons of disposed items from Kitsap County were recycled in 2011 — that’s 38 percent of all the stuff we got rid of by throwing in the trash or putting it in the recycle bin.
In addition, 68,000 tons of asphalt, construction debris, food processing waste and tires were diverted from landfills.
“The main focus of Kitsap Recycles Day is to encourage people to buy recycled products,” Campbell said. “All the recycling in the world is great but it’s nothing if there isn’t a market for products made from recycled materials.”
You can help close the loop by checking tags and making sure you buy products made from recycled items, she said.
Campbell and Meintz said the young artists and their peers will likely be more environmentally conscious than preceding generations because recycling and reusing are so prevalent today.
Some schools even have gardens which are fed by organic waste.
“When I go to classroom presentations, I tell them, ‘When I was in your grade level, we didn’t have these opportunities,” Meintz said. “They are familiar with recycling, they live with it, it’s part of their lives.”
Kitsap County provides many ways to find new uses for most disposable item.
To find recycling opportunities near you, go to https://fortress.wa.gov/ecy/recycle/UISearch/ServiceSearch.aspx. Or call 1-800-RECYCLE during business hours, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday (except holidays).
Go to www.kitsapgov.com/sw/recycle.asp for information about where you can donate or recycle recyclable items and materials.
If you have something that is too good to toss, you can list it on the Reusable Materials Exchange at www.2good2toss.com/kitsap. Items listed on the exchange Feb. 12 included a wood towel hanger for $5, a recliner for $10, a hubcap clock for $30, a West Bend Theater Popper for $45, and a sofa bed for $75.