Introducing One of the Best Ideas Under the Sun by eatit762


									Seattle District • November 2009

                                                Howard Hanson Dam Response
                                                Planning in Full Swing
                                                As residents and businesses in the Green River Valley prepare to
                                                minimize the damage of possible flooding associated with the
                                                Howard Hanson Dam, Waste Management is preparing for poten-
                                                tial flood cleanup efforts. Our planning efforts include identify-
                                                ing additional resources needed for cleanup, including: staffing,
                                                collection vehicles and containers. Waste Management is also
                                                developing alternate collection/disposal routes, identifying de-
                                                bris drop-off sites and external communication protocols. Should
                                                flooding occur, affected community members will be able to receive up-to-the-minute informa-
It has been a busy, beautiful summer sea-       tion and instructions for debris disposal on our website We are also in
son here at Waste Management of Seattle,        the process of creating a 24-hour 1-800 number that customers can call for information should
and as the summer season winds down,            their web access be limited. If you would like to learn more about our response planning
we are looking ahead toward the transition      efforts, please contact Susan Robinson at or by calling 206-264-3073.
to fall. As always, the change in seasons
brings new challenges and tips to remember.
Waste Management of Seattle remains com-
                                                Introducing One of the Best
mitted to safety in these weeks and months      Ideas Under the Sun
ahead and reminds you to do the same.
As always, I hope you enjoy this edition        We are pleased to inform our customers that Waste Management and BigBelly Solar have
of Sustainable Solutions; there are many        entered an agreement under which Waste Management will provide WM Solar Powered Trash
exciting stories centered right here in Puget   Compactors to its customers, including municipalities and high-traffic facilities.
Sound. Please feel free to contact Susan        WM Solar Powered Trash Compactors are completely self-powered, using built-in solar panels
Robinson ( or me with          to compact trash. About the same size as a standard 35-gallon trash barrel, each compactor
any questions you may have.                     provides five times the capacity of a traditional trash receptacle. When the unit reaches
                                                capacity, sensors trigger an internal compactor that flattens the contents, converting 180
                                                gallons of waste into easy-to-collect bags. A wireless system then signals the unit is ready to
Greg Hale, District Manager
                                                be picked up. This cuts the need for trash pickup by up to 80 percent, which reduces collection
                                                costs, fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions. The compactors also include receptacles for                             collecting plastic bottles, newspapers, glass and other recyclables.

                                                “We know busy intersections, public parks, city streets, sporting events and other public
                                                spaces can be magnets for trash,” said Susan Robinson, Director of Public Sector Services for
                                                Waste Management in the Pacific Northwest. “Ordinary trash barrels can easily overflow, attract
                                                birds and rodents, and become eyesores. The Waste Management solar powered trash compac-
                                                tors are a great solution in these cases, by eliminating overflow, reducing the number of col-
                                                lections needed per week, and reducing emissions associated with collection frequency.”

                                                To learn more about WM Solar Powered Trash Compactors, please call or email
                                                your local Waste Management contact or visit our website at:
Inclement Weather Procedures 101
At Waste Management, safety is our top priority and at times of            outlets, our website,
severe weather, we remain committed to ensuring the safety of our,
employees and communities. The decision to delay garbage collec-           and customers who have
tion services is never an easy one, but customers can rest assured         opted to be part of our
these types of decisions are carefully considered and implemented          out-dial program receive
with a scrupulous recovery plan. Here is a glimpse at what goes on         telephone notification of
behind the scenes during a typical severe weather day:                     service delays.

3 a.m.: Route managers begin to survey road conditions in each of          During the remainder of
the communities we serve. Our management team then determines              a typical snow day, route
which roads are safe for our 30-ton collection vehicles to access.         managers continue to
Conditions such as compact ice, large amounts of accumulated snow          monitor road conditions.
or severe flooding on residential and arterial streets compromise          When main roads are safe
our ability to safely perform collection and may result in a delay         we resume collection to
of services.                                                               essential service customers such as hospitals, nursing facilities
                                                                           and schools.
5 a.m.: Communications, customer service and operations teams
begin customer and media notification.                                     If you have any questions about inclement weather policies or
                                                                           procedures specific to services in your municipality, please do not
8 a.m.: Customers are notified of service delays and instructions via      hesitate to contact Susan Robinson at
press releases distributed to local radio, television and print media

MIT Researchers Unveil First Trash Track Results
A team of researchers from the MIT SENSEable City Lab recently             These items were then marked with small “smart” tags about the
embarked on a major project called Trash Track, which aims to              size of a cell phone and sent on their journey. Each tag is assigned
encourage people to think about what they throw away and how it            a tracking number, and then monitored via cell phone technology
affects the environment. The project uses custom-designed electronic       in real time. All data is then transmitted back to MIT researchers for
tags to track different types of waste on their final journey through      analysis. Trash volunteers have the ability to see where each item
the disposal systems of New York, London and Seattle. Waste                began its journey, from the initial drop in the garbage or recycling
Management funded the study.                                               container, to the final end stage location. In some cases, this was
                                                                           only a matter of days.
In August, researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of
Technology’s (MIT) SENSEable City Lab tagged hundreds of pieces of         Seattle was chosen as one of two locations because of its strong
trash in the Seattle area. Volunteers were encouraged to bring items       reputation as a solid, engaged recycling community and its advanced
down to the library, while others allowed researchers in to their          waste disposal systems. In fact, last year, residents in the City of
homes to attach small, electronic tracking devices to randomly             Seattle alone recycled over 50 percent of their residential and
selected items. Residents were encouraged to be creative in the            commercial waste. Waste Management is looking forward to the end
items tracked during this program. Items up for disposal ranged from       results and analysis of the program as a way to better streamline our
common every day items, such as cans, bottles and light bulbs to           processes here in the Pacific Northwest.
larger, more difficult to dispose items such televisions and old dryers.
                                                                           The exhibit highlights the sophisticated and complex trips our
                                                                           garbage and recyclables take after being set out at the curb for
                                                                           collection. Further, this program aims to highlight the environmental
                                                                           impacts of disposal decisions.

                                                                           “We funded this study to see if there is a technology to help our
                                                                           entire industry become more efficient,” said Carl Rush, vice president
                                                                           of organic growth for Waste Management. “We hope when the results
                                                                           are analyzed, we will see ways to improve the logistics of waste—
                                                                           from our trucks, to our recycling, to our disposal systems.”

                                                                           To learn more about this project please visit
    Volunteers display household                                 
    waste items monitored through
    Trash Track.

Waste Management of Washington • Katie Salinas, Communications Manager • (206) 264-3060 •

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