news-iconLocal News: Waste

Below are sustainability-related news items throughout the Western Washington University and Bellingham-area. These items correspond to Waste.

How the sun is going to change up the way Western recycles

Nov. 14, 2015 |
The Western Front
By the end of November, solar-powered compacting bins for recycling and compost will be added to Red Square. The bins, made by Bigbelly Solar Inc., use energy from solar panels to sense how full they are, then slowly and quietly compact the waste inside. This allows them to hold up to five times more than traditional bins of the same size, said outdoor maintenance supervisor Gary Hodge in an email.

In addition, the bins can communicate on the cloud, allowing maintenance to see when they were last emptied and when they need to be tended to again. The four sets of bins are part of a pilot project, said the Sustainable Action Fund’s outreach coordinator Kyle Wunderlin in an email. If they perform well in Red Square over the next year, the university will consider building more of the stations.

Move-Out Madness event aims to reduce furniture abandoned in neighborhoods

May 22, 2015 |
Western Today
| waste |
Western Washington University and the City of Bellingham will once again partner on a year-end event to help students sort their unwanted materials generated from moving out. Bins for reusable household items, clothing, non-perishable food, recyclable materials, and landfill waste will be available at three sorting stations in neighborhoods near the university from noon to 5 p.m. Friday, June 12, as part of this Move-Out Madness event.

Previous years' events have reduced the number of abandoned items left in neighborhoods and diverted many pounds of recyclable and reusable items from the landfill. "Moving out can be stressful and wasteful given the large amount of stuff accumulated throughout the year," said Jacob de Guzman, previous Zero-Waste Coordinator for the Office of Sustainability. "Move-Out Madness provides all the necessary resources so students can sort their unwanted goods properly and begin their summer on the right foot."

Western's bottled water ban explained

February 23, 2015 |
The Western Front
Western implemented the Bottled Water Ban in April 2014 to support local water sources and push back against the privatization of water. A year later, students and sustainability groups on campus hope to extend the ban to include other plastic bottles. “Maybe [Western] is just trying to save the environment,” sophomore Alexy Vetkov said. He didn’t know that Western had stopped selling bottled water, Vetkov said. After learning about the ban, the reasoning behind it confused him, since campus still sells other beverages packaged in plastic bottles. “From what I understand, the point of not selling bottled water is to promote students using reusable bottles rather than buying more plastic,” freshman Michaela Vue said. Vue and Vetkov are not far off in their thinking that the purpose for the ban is to improve the environment, but that is not the whole story. Students for Sustainable Water (SSW) released a statement last year when the ban was implemented. The statement claimed the initiative was to support Lake Whatcom and encouraged people to take a stand against water privatization.

SSW is considering pushing Western to add Gatorade, Powerade and flavored waters under the policy. Soft drinks will not be affected. While the plastic consumption was a factor, the overlying issue was that buying bottled water supports big corporations taking away clean water sources, SSW president Cassidy Eklof said. “Water is a basic human right, not a commodity to be bought and sold,” Eklof said. Water privatization is a growing issue, not just in developing countries, but also in the U.S., she said. Corporations are taking clean water sources and turning a profit on the sale of that water, Eklof said. Before the ban was implemented, bottled water accounted for about 10 percent of beverage sales on campus, according to the SSW statement. Other colleges and universities in the U.S. have promised to banning bottled water, and that losing the sale of bottled water did not make an overall financial impact, according to research done by the SSW.

Recycling program in dorms helps keep Peterson green

April 22, 2014 |
Peterson Air Force Base
Have you ever held an item in your hand just before tossing it into the trash bin and thought, should I recycle this? The new dorm recycling program was created to help make this choice easy. Recycling is good for the environment and helps reduce pollution and waste in landfills and oceans, but for it to be effective, it needs to be accessible and convenient. This is one of the factors behind the success of Peterson AFB's recycling effort.

Why this is relevant: Alex Smalldon is a 2011 graduate of Western Washington University.

Nonprofits host sustainability workshops, galleries

April 8, 2014 |
The Western Front
The weekend of April 4 marked the second year for the Allied Arts of Whatcom County annual Recycled Arts and Resource Expo (RARE) which featured galleries, workshops and performances, all with the common theme of recycling and repurposing materials.

An open gallery featuring art from nearly two dozen local artists was among several of the events hosted by Allied Arts, a nonprofit seeking to engage the public in the arts. The art ranged from acrylic paintings and jewelry to toaster-vacuum hybrids. Other pieces included furniture made from repurposed and recycled materials.

New fabric store opens, reuses old material to avoid waste

April 8, 2014 |
The Western Front
Ragfinery, a textile recycling center, opened its doors to the public Thursday, April 3 as a place for the community to donate, buy and learn to reuse old fabric.

The 4,000-square-foot facility located at 1421 N. Forest St. includes table space, a washing machine, equipment for working and dozens of bins of prepared materials.

Turning waste into jobs the goal of new Bellingham business

April 6, 2014 |
The Bellingham Herald
Duane Jager admits he didn't know much about textiles when the Ragfinery concept was born, but he did see a great opportunity for reusing products and creating jobs.

The Bellingham job training business organized by ReUse Works celebrated its grand opening last week at 1421 N. Forest St. and is already showing off a variety of fabric supplies and repurposed products created by local artists and people receiving work training.

Bottled water ban officially hits campus

April 4, 2014 |
The Western Front
Students and staff involved with The Bottled Water Free Initiative are working to make sustainable water more accessible on campus after the sale of bottled water was banned Tuesday, April 1.

Western will install a ‘hydration station’ outside of Zoe’s Bagels by the end of April, Students for Sustainable Water member Carolyn Bowie said.

Bottled water sales to continue until April despite student efforts

February 14, 2014 |
The Western Front
Despite a hard-fought, student-led campaign against disposable water bottle sales on campus, the proposal to end sales will not go into effect until April 1, 2014, Associated Students Vice President for Student Life Robby Eckroth said.

On the student ballot during spring 2012, the student body voted 73 percent in favor of the proposal. Western Administration planned to begin phasing out disposable water bottles in fall 2013, according to a previous Western Front article.

Alumnus recognized for sustainable deconstruction

February 7, 2014 |
The Western Front
Western alumnus and graduate from Huxley College of the Environment Dave Bennink’s company, Re-Use Consulting, placed third at the Sustainability Leadership Award at Sustainable Seattle, on Friday, Jan. 31.

Re-Use Consulting was recognized at the award ceremony for its efforts to find sustainable ways to take apart buildings and use the resources that would typically go to landfills, Bennink said.

Week of events educates campus on green living

January 26, 2014 |
The Western Front
Draped between lamp posts, a string of empty plastic bottles and paper coffee cups sways lightly from side to side, propelled by the wind. In the midst of Western Washington University's Red Square, the discarded containers hover above the heads of hoards of Western students as they walk from building to building.

Kendra Krantz, a Western senior and environmental education major, is Western’s Residents’ Resource Awareness Program coordinator. She strung these materials through the air as part of Western’s first-ever “Waste Week,” a week-long series of events aimed at making students more aware of their generation of waste and the promotion of sustainability.

WWU students create toys from discarded materials

November 1, 2013 |
The Bellingham Herald
Downtown store Ideal is diplaying and selling a collection of children's toys that local students created from reclaimed and recycled materials.

Students from Western Washington University's industrial design program produced the toys as part of the 12th annual ReMade project.

Students look twice at litter

November 1, 2013 |
The Western Front
This quarter, Western Washington University seniors are spreading litter awareness to the community in a new campaign called Double Take.

The campaign started when Western seniors majoring in environmental studies were asked to come up with ideas for their Environmental Stewardship class. The mission of the field-oriented capstone course is to encourage students to work in teams and apply their knowledge and skills in their projects to solve real-world problems over the course of a quarter.

WWU Industrial Design Students to Present ReMade Projects at Bellingham Store

October 28, 2013 |
Western Today
Students from Western Washington University's Industrial Design program have completed their annual ReMade projects, and this year's designs feature toys made from discarded industrial materials.

ReMade is an annual project combining sustainability and entrepreneurship by students in Western's Industrial Design program. The goal is to transform items of industrial waste into viable commercial products that are then sold; each participant must first come up with a design prototype followed by a small production run of at least 20 products, which are then sold in a retail venue.

Student pilot program reduces on-campus waste

October 11, 2013 |
The Western Front
Each time a student enjoys a latte, tea or other hot beverage on campus, they are confronted with a choice: to use a single-use disposable cup or a reusable mug.

A student–designed pilot program, Project MUG, aims to prevent waste generated by single-use cups by offering reusable mugs to students who purchase coffee and other hot beverages on campus.

Students ask brewers to reduce, reuse

October 11, 2013 |
The Western Front
A Western Washington University student-led project will ask Bellingham breweries in the coming week to pledge to be more sustainable.

The project's goal is to encourage all microbreweries in Bellingham to use practices that reduce energy consumption and waste, said Mandy Safstrom, the project leader. If a brewery agrees to the standards set by the project, it will receive a special certification.

College Quest students perform waste audit

July 12, 2013 |
Western Today
Students taking part in Western Washington University's Youth Programs summer class in environmental science and sustainability conducted a waste audit in front of Carver Gymnasium on campus Thursday.

The students, who have been learning this week about climate science with a special focus on the Nooksack River watershed, sorted trash from campus sources to determine how much recyclable material is being thrown away on campus.

Trash collection sites set up for students moving out of areas around WWU

June 8, 2013 |
The Bellingham Herald
Western Washington University and the City of BELLINGHAM - Western Washington University and the city are setting up collection stations in several neighborhoods around campus starting Monday, June 10, in preparation for the exodus of students after spring quarter ends.

Five collection stations will be set up in neighborhoods with high student populations from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday to gather the household clutter than can take over sidewalks as students move out for the summer.

WWU, city plan neighborhood recycling effort June 10 to 14

June 5, 2013 |
Western Today
Western Washington University and the City of Bellingham are partnering to sponsor the sixth annual "WWU Moveout Madness" event in several neighborhoods near the university on June 10 through 14.

This program will target neighborhoods with high student populations, including Happy Valley, Sehome, York, South Hill and Samish. One collection point will be set up in each neighborhood and students will be encouraged to bring their reusable household items, recyclable materials, and landfill items to that point for collection and disposal at no charge.

Students push for bottled water ban: Pepsi Co. sales on campus decline

April 30, 2013 |
The Western Front
A student push toward bottled water alternatives may be the reason Pepsi Co., Western's provider of cold beverages, failed to meet its beverage sales quota.

Money from cold beverage sales goes into the Cold Beverage Contract, which funds lectures, scholarships and student facilities.

The loss of income, coming amid student-led rallies to end bottled water sales on campus, has made the contract's committee dip into savings, said John Feodorov, a Fairhaven associate professor and member of the 2011-12 committee.

WWU stages Trash Fashion Show

March 15, 2013 |
The Bellingham Herald
The annual trash fashion show, Thursday March 14, 2013, put on by students in Western Washington University's sophmore industrial design class.

One person's trash, another's responsibility: A behind-the-scenes look at the Associated Students Recycle Center

March 12, 2013 |
The Western Front
During a typical day at the Associated Student Recycle Center, supervisor Richard Neyer oversaw the student employees sifting through bins of plastic bottles and milk cartons. He watched a student staff member stick her head down into a blue recycle bin to sort its final contents into their correct places. After fishing at the bottom of the plastic bin, she accidently opened a week-old plastic shrimp salad container. The smell quickly filled her nostrils with the fowl stench of rotten seafood.

Western Washington University wins national recycler award

March 1, 2013 |
The Western Front
Western Washington University's efforts to recycle have been recognized among statewide recycling leaders. Western received a Recycler of the Year award on Feb. 26, which is the fifth time the university has been recognized for sustainabilty performance.

Every year, the Washington State Recycling Association gives out awards to the top recyclers in cat egor ies such as higher education institutions, cities and companies. A committee is formed each time to evaluate nominees based on measurable changes and contributions to recycling and waste management, said Emily Phillips, executive director of the Washington State Recycling Association.

Western named Recycler of the Year

February 27, 2013 |
Western Today
The Washington State Recycling Association has selected Western Washington University to receive the 2013 Institution/Higher Education Recycler of the Year award.

The Washington State Recycler of the Year awards spotlight individuals, businesses, government organizations and community organizations that are making contributions to strengthening and expanding recycling and waste prevention practices across the state.

Senate debates statewide non-compostable bag ban: Students say ban is no burden

February 26, 2013 |
The Western Front
Washington state could be one step closer to banning non-compostable carryout bags if legislators pass Senate Bill 5253.

The bill would prohibit retail store owners from providing carryout bags to consumers unless the bag is a compostable plastic carryout bag, a recyclable paper carryout bag or a reusable carryout bag.

Senate considers cleaning Washington state's toxic waste sites

February 22, 2013 |
The Western Front
Toxic waste sites in Washington state may soon be facing a cleanup. The Senate is considering the Model Toxics Control Act, which would generate jobs through toxic waste disposal and management.

The bill was recently the subject of a public hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee, which met Feb. 20 to debate how the bill would be implemented.

AS board fights to banish bottles: Western continues selling single-use bottles nearly a year after initiative passes

January 25, 2013 |
The Western Front
The Associated Students Board of Directors and the Students for Sustainable Water club are working to ban single-use water bottles on campus. The Water Bottle Initiative was passed last spring after 73 percent of student voters approved it.

The initiative said Western students find the selling of bottled water to be an unsuitable practice and urged the University to discontinue the sale of bottled water on campus.

Western gets 24 new beverage recycling containers

January 17, 2013 |
Western Today
This January, 24 new exterior beverage recycling bins are being installed throughout the central corridor of Western Washington University's campus in an effort to provide easier access to recycling for beverage containers. This project has been brought to WWU as a cooperative effort from the AS Recycle Center, Walton Beverage and Facilities Maintenance to aid in the reduction of recyclable items appearing in Western's waste stream.

Bellingham, Wash. and Western Washington University among first to adopt Starbucks reusable cup movement

January 14, 2013 |
The Western Front
Starbucks coffee company's website announced the launch of a $1 reusable plastic cup nationwide on Jan. 3, to continue their journey of waste reduction.

The coffee company began testing the reusable cups in 600 stores in the Pacific Northwest starting in October 2012, said Jim Hanna, Starbucks director of environmental affairs, in USA Today.

WWU works to ban sales of bottled water on campus

September 23, 2012 |
The Bellingham Herald
BELLINGHAM - Students moving into to their dorms at Western Washington University this weekend will have to unpack their sheets, their clothes and their reusable water bottles, as the school is working toward banning bottled water.

Students passed the initiative recommending that university administration ban sales of bottled water on campus with 73 percent approval last April, but there's still no timeline for if and when the ban might go into effect.

College Quest students perform WWU waste audit

July 20, 2012 |
Western Today
A group of high school students dove into garbage cans at Western Washington University Thursday morning. With gloves on, College Quest participants sorted through, and discussed, what exactly is being thrown away.

About 10 students performed the garbage audit, digging through barrels of waste picked up around campus. The audit was being done to see what kind of things are being thrown away, and if more can be diverted from waste.

What can you do to reduce waste at Western?

July 9, 2012 |
Western Today
What can you do to reduce waste and consumption on the Western Washington University campus?

The Office of Sustainability, quick on the heels of the successful 10x12 pilot program, has created a Top 10 list of actions for students, faculty and staff in support of the university's effort to reduce utilities consumption and cost by 10 percent by year's end. The office also has created a certification program to recognize the efforts of campus offices and departments to conserve energy and reduce waste.

WWU, contractor donate 128 dressers to recently homeless in Bellingham

June 19, 2012 |
The Bellingham Herald
BELLINGHAM - Some old college furniture has found new life in the homes of people who need it most. A dormitory renovation at Western Washington University prompted the donation of 128 dressers for housing agencies.

Dressers were pulled out of Mathes Hall on Wednesday, June 13, with almost half going directly to the homes of people who had recently been homeless. The rest went to the Habitat for Humanity of Whatcom County Store.

Collection sites set up for WWU students' trash, items for move out

June 4, 2012 |
The Bellingham Herald
BELLINGHAM - This week is the fourth annual WWU Moveout Madness, when students across much of the city move out of their housing and off to summer destinations.

Five neighborhood collection sites have been set up for students to drop off usable items and trash, in the hopes they don't just toss everything or leave it behind in homes or yards.

WWU, City Plan Neighborhood Recycling Effort June 4-8

June 1, 2012 |
Western Today
BELLINGHAM – Western Washington University and the City of Bellingham are partnering to sponsor the fourth annual "WWU Moveout Madness" event in several neighborhoods near the university on June 4 through 8.

Upcycling: More than a hobby

May 18, 2012 |
The Western Front
Many fates might befall a newspaper after its reader abandons it. Some would look upon the discarded scraps and see a rag for shoe polish or lining for their birdcage. Western senior Joseph Quinn envisions transforming the pages into anything from a sail to a sunshade to a hand-woven basket.

Water Bottle initiative

April 23, 2012 |
The AS Review
"Should the students of Western Washington University recommend to the administration that all sales of bottled water cease on campus, in order to reduce the university's environmental impact in terms of plastic, water, and fossil fuels?"

The Water Bottle initiative is sponsored by Anna Amundson, Carolyn Bowie and Sara Purington. Our questions were answered by Carlolyn.

Volunteers clean up beach, make art from collected trash

April 3, 2012 |
The Western Front
A group of roughly 35 Bellingham residents helped turn garbage into art at Locust Beach on Sunday afternoon.

The effort was part of a beach cleanup and community art project put on by RE Sources, a non-profit organization that focuses on nature conservation, recycling and environmental advocacy and education in Bellingham, and the Northwest Straits chapter of the Surfrider Foundation.

Letter to the Editor: Says to sign petition to ban plastic water bottles

March 30, 2012 |
The Western Front
This spring there are going to be signature forms going around classrooms, Red Square and the Viking Union to ban bottled water on campus. This ban, put forth by Western's club, Students for Sustainable Water, would wipe out plastic water bottles from all of Western's markets.

Students should sign these forms because they take a solid stance against bottled water. Bottled water is bad for the environment, human health and nonrenewable resources.

Western competing in RecycleMania

March 6, 2012 |
The Western Front
Western will compete in RecycleMania, a American and Canadian competition where colleges compete for eight weeks to promote recycling and composting.

Lucas Minor, Aramark Higher Education's marketing manager, said in an email that University Dining Services is committed to minimizing Western's environmental footprint by "fostering a culture that reduces, reuses, and recycles waste."

Western will participate as part of Zero Waste Western, an Associated Students Recycle Center program that aims to eliminate waste on campus. Dining services plans to divert as much waste as possible so that 100 percent of products can be recycled, composted and diverted from landfills, Minor said.

Western Washington University wins national recycler award

March 1, 2013 |
The Western Front
Western Washington University's efforts to recycle have been recognized among statewide recycling leaders. Western received a Recycler of the Year award on Feb. 26, which is the fifth time the university has been recognized for sustainabilty performance.

Every year, the Washington State Recycling Association gives out awards to the top recyclers in cat egor ies such as higher education institutions, cities and companies. A committee is formed each time to evaluate nominees based on measurable changes and contributions to recycling and waste management, said Emily Phillips, executive director of the Washington State Recycling Association.

Western named Recycler of the Year

February 27, 2013 |
Western Today
The Washington State Recycling Association has selected Western Washington University to receive the 2013 Institution/Higher Education Recycler of the Year award.

The Washington State Recycler of the Year awards spotlight individuals, businesses, government organizations and community organizations that are making contributions to strengthening and expanding recycling and waste prevention practices across the state.

New hand dryers part of Green Energy Fee program

February 21, 2012 |
Western Today
Western Washington University's Green Energy Fee Program completed another project Feb. 17 when Facilities Management completed the installation of four high-speed Dyson Airblade hand dryers in the basement restrooms in Arntzen Hall.

The brainchild of Western sophomore Mike Gore, junior Bodie Cabiyo and senior Jordan Murphy, the project developed from an assignment in the students' campus sustainability planning class.

Green Energy Fee pays for alternative to paper towels

February 17, 2012 |
The Western Front
The bathrooms on the basement level of Arntzen Hall now have Dyson Airblade hand dryers.

In an effort to become a more environmentally friendly campus, Western will install four Dyson hand dryers, two in each restroom, funded by the Green Energy Fee Program on Friday, Feb. 17. The dryers blow two walls of air on inserted hands at 400 mph. Users pull their hands through the walls of air to create an invisible wiping effect, according to Dyson's website.

Recycle is their name, sorting is their game

February 6, 2012 |
The AS Review
In the age of "going green," Western has its own recycling army that takes care of all the recycling on campus—the Associated Students Recycle Center. The Recycle Center, located off campus near 25th Street and Taylor Avenue, has had its own facility since the late '90s. The center has a main yard filled with blue barrels from campus, a large pile of furniture, large bins called hoppers and small forklifts.

Emma Butterworth, Recycle Center staff manager, is in her second year at center and said she enjoys working there. "It's outside, it's physical—not just sitting at a desk," Butterworth said.

WWU students build houses for Haiti out of recycled trash

January 24, 2012 |
KING 5 News
What could be the ultimate recycling project is under way at Western Washington University. Students hope to build houses for the homeless of Haiti from the mounds of garbage littering the landscape. KING 5's Eric Wilkinson reports from Bellingham.

Library bathrooms gain bins to lose waste

January 6, 2012 |
The Western Front
Students using Haggard Hall bathrooms can now compost paper towels. The new compost bins are a part of a six-month pilot program to reduce Western's solid waste.

Haggard Hall ranks first on Western's most frequently used bathrooms list, winning it the compost bin selection. The building's restrooms average more than 1,000 uses per day, said Kathryn Freeman, Green Energy Grant program coordinator. The pilot project was awarded a grant for $1,400.

The Green Energy Fee program, which all full-time Western students pay for as part of their fees and tuition, is funding the project. The fee charges students 70 cents per credit, up to $7 per quarter.

Western wades through barrels of waste

November 18, 2011 |
The Western Front
For eight hours straight, Western senior Wil Wrede sorted through bags of trash outside Sam Carver Gymnasium, looking for recyclable items that didn't belong, such as paper cups and plastic bottles.

He doesn't just like getting his hands dirty, however. Wrede was helping with the Huxley chapter of the Air and Waste Management Association's waste audit on Nov. 16.

The group audited trash from Wilson Library and Haggard Hall, analyzing whether trash cans were being used properly in the two buildings.

Bellingham shows Seattle how to bag plastic bags

November 16, 2011 |
The Seattle Times
AS evidence accumulates about the environmental hazards of plastic shopping bags, the Bellingham City Council offers a template for how to go about banning them.

The Seattle City Council is taking up the subject again, two years after voters sharply rebuffed an attempt to discourage the use of the disposable bags with a 20-cent fee.

For starters, Bellingham bans single-use carryout bags outright. The ordinance passed in July takes effect next summer, to give consumers and retailers a chance to adjust.

Seattle council may ban plastic bags

November 13, 2011 |
The Seattle Times
At the urging of the local environmental community, the Seattle City Council is considering a ban on plastic shopping bags based on a ban approved this year in Bellingham.

Pilot project in Arntzen Hall aims to reduce landfill waste

September 14, 2011 |
Western Today
The 10x12 program at Western Washington University, in partnership with Academic Custodial services, Facilities Management and the AS Recycling Center, will pilot a waste management improvement project in Arntzen Hall classrooms and labs starting fall quarter 2011.

The Arntzen classroom waste project will enable the Office of Sustainability, ACS and the AS Recycle Center to assess potential landfill waste reduction and cleaning efficacy and to evaluate the collection and removal systems for compostable items with the aim of expanding the pilot, if it's successful.

The goal of the 10x12 program is a 10-percent reduction in utilities consumption and costs by the end of 2012, achieving that goal by encouraging individual actions, technical strategies education and outreach.

Plastic bags sacked

July 20, 2011 |
The Western Front
Bellingham City Council unanimously voted to approve an ordinance that would ban nearly all plastic grocery bags within city limits on Monday, July 11.

The ordinance would prohibit single-use plastic bags in retail stores and imposes a five-cent fee for each paper bag a customer uses. The fee would go back to the retailer for the cost of each paper bag.

Student move-out events include trash pick-up, materials exchange June 9-12

June 2, 2011 |
Western Today
Western Washington University and the City of Bellingham are partnering to sponsor the fourth annual Neighborhood Trash Pickup in several neighborhoods near the university campus from June 9 to 12.

WWU Junior Industrial Design Students to Sell ReMade Projects at Bellingham Store

June 1, 2011 |
University Communications
BELLINGHAM – Juniors in Western Washington University's Industrial Design program have completed their annual ReMade projects, with this year's designs featuring Vessels created from found and discarded industrial materials.

The products will be on sale at Ideal – Carefully Curated Goods in Bellingham starting on Friday, June 3 as part of the monthly Bellingham Art Walk and will be available for one month.

During Move-Out Madness event, students may exchange, not trash, reusable goods

May 19, 2011 |
Western Today
Every year at Western Washington University, students throw away a large amount of reusable goods, such as furniture, electronics and household items. Instead of letting those items hit the landfills, the WWU Office of Sustainability and the AS Recycle Center want to put them in the hands of new, happy owners.

Dining Services aims to reduce food waste in campus dining commons

April 27, 2011 |
Western Today
During its Sustainable Dinner served April 20 in the campus dining commons, University Dining Services held a "Weight the Waste" event to determine the amount of food dished up but not eaten during dinner.

Customers of each of the three dining commons scraped uneaten food scraps and paper napkins into compost bins, which were then weighed and divided by the total number of customers at the meal.

Bellingham fashion show makes trash look good

April 25, 2011 |
The Bellingham Herald
For anyone who has wondered what satin and empty pill packets have in common, Rebecca Maxim has the answer: they can both be used to make a seriously beautiful wedding gown. Maxim, an HIV nurse from Seattle, was one of dozens of designers who created inspired ensembles out of recycled goods for the annual Trash Fashion Show, held Saturday, April 23, at Western Washington University. "You take the ordinary things you see in life and transform them into something out of the ordinary," said Maxim, who collected the pill packets and paper pill cups to create a monumental gown. "Then you wrap it around a body and turn it into fashion."

Local business bans the bag

April 15, 2011 |
The Western Front
Terra Organica, an all-organic health food store located in Bellingham's Public Market, announced April 11 it plans to stop providing plastic carryout bags to its customers as part of the Bag it Bellingham initiative.

Letter to the editor: AS Bookstore shows support for plastic bag ban

April 12, 2011 |
The Western Front
Seth Vidaña, Campus Sustainability Coordinator Office of Sustainability: I'd like to thank the Front for their coverage of Bellingham's "Ban the Bag" movement. This is a worthwhile endeavor and one that has roots on our own campus.

Battle of the (bag) bans

March 24, 2011 |
Bellingham ponders becoming the second city in Washington to outlaw plastic shopping bags.

A measure of how seriously Bellinghamsters consider their city's environmental policies: When The Bellingham Herald first reported on a proposed ordinance to ban single-use plastic shopping bags a few days ago, 343 readers had something spirited to say about it. That's in a newspaper with a weekday circulation of 20,000. The number of responses may not be a record, says online editor Jim Donaldson, "but it's right up there in the top four or five" among Herald stories that have opened up the comment stream.

Bellingham aims to ban the bag

March 8, 2011 |
The Western Front
About 60,000 plastic bags are being used every second in the United States. Billions of plastic bags end up as litter, which causes more than 100,000 marine animals to die because of the pollution of plastic bags, according to the Planet Green website.

A new campaign was launched on March 4 in Bellingham by community members, Bag It Bellingham, to get rid of single use plastic bags in grocery stores.

Frontline: Plastic bag ban could come to Whatcom County

March 8, 2011 |
The Western Front
City councilmember Seth Fleetwood drafted an ordinance that would ban plastic bags distributed at businesses in Whatcom County and require retailers to charge 5 cents for every paper bag used. This is similar to a Seattle ordinance that requires retailers to charge 10 cents per plastic bag.

Students create fashion statements from trash

March 2, 2011 |
Western Today
The second annual Trashion Show Preview takes place at 2:30 p.m. today, March 2, in the third-floor hallway of the Engineering Technology Building on campus. The show features fashion statements that students in professor Arunas Oslapas' sophomore industrial design class have made from trash.


Western students maintain waste, talk trash

February 25, 2011 |
The Western Front
When someone is thirsty and decides to buy a soda, they're not just purchasing the soda but also the bottle, cap and label, said Jason Austin, vice president of the Environmental Center.