Susan Buckley, RN, Director, Public Health
Ira Singh, MPH, Deputy Director
Donald I. Baird, MD, Health Officer

Division of Environmental Health


Date Released: 4/20/2005
Contact: Brian Cox, Director, Environmental Health Division
Phone: (707) 445-6215

Humboldt County's Thirteenth Annual Waste Awareness Week, from April 19-24, is based on the theme Watch Your Footprint – Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

This Thursday, April 21 the Humboldt County Department of Health and Human Service – Environmental Health Division, the Humboldt Waste Management Authority and the City of Fortuna are recognizing the efforts of several individuals and businesses for doing their part and serving as inspirational leaders in reducing waste by presenting Waste Reduction Awards in varying categories.

Local artists Kelly Giampaolo and Aaron Hassler will be making this year’s awards. Both are students at Humboldt State and are particularly interested in making art out of waste materials. According to Hassler “The reason I create my work is to make tangible to others the things I see in my imagination. I reuse materials in an effort to give new life, new purpose to discarded, unwanted objects. This years awards are working lamps made out of scrap metal, unwanted pieces from Yakima, and items found dumpster diving. Giampaolo states that “by reusing the discarded is to communicate the importance of socially responsible consumption, awareness of the limitations of natural resources, and reminding us of our interconnectedness to our planet, as well as one another.” For more information on the awards or other pieces of artwork please email Giampaolo at and Hassler at

This year’s waste reduction awards will be presented at the Wharfinger Building on Thursday, April 21. The awards ceremony will take place at approximately 7:00 p.m., following a reception and dinner in honor of the award-winning businesses, individuals, and organizations. This year’s award winners are listed below. We encourage you to contact them individually for more information about their award-winning waste reduction efforts. For more information about the awards presentation or other Waste Awareness Week events, please contact Louise Jeffrey, Waste Reduction Coordinator, at 268-2225.

List of Award Recipients

- Best individual waste reduction effort:
Marianne Bithell 822-7720

Marianne is best know for her work with Pacific Builders, but her dedication to the environment goes much deeper than construction material. Besides taking the lead in forming and maintaining the Construction & Demolition Taskforce several months ago, Marianne has worked to reduce the use of toxic chemicals at certain local businesses, protect old growth redwood forests, and make her office and home as waste free as possible. Bithell has been the driving force behind Pacific Builder’s goal of reducing waste in the very busy construction industry and has assisted other local firms to do the same. She is motivated and committed to assisting her local community and the environment on a daily basis.

- Best individual waste reduction effort:
Ken Kyle of Redwood Recycling 441-6368

You may have noticed, a small pick-up truck parked in an alley or driving around town with bags and bags of recyclables hanging off the sides. This is the way Ken Kyle of Redwood Recycling works; busy as can be picking up recyclables from his clients, getting the job done as quickly and efficiently as possible, and each year doing more and more. He offers his service free of charge to area businesses because he knows the value of the bottles and cans he collects, not only is it the California Redemption Value (CRV) but our nature resources at stake. Kyle was one of the first haulers of recyclables here in the County, and it certainly speaks to his dedication that he is still here working as hard, if not harder, then when he started many, many years ago.

- Best business waste prevention effort:
Vector Rehabilitation Patrick Brown 445-8881 & 442-6463

Vector Rehabilitation, a hand & occupational therapy center with two Eureka locations, started a recycling program in August of 2003. They had a goal of reducing the amount of waste being sent to the landfill and, although they were committed, they still were not sure how difficult, time extensive, or successful the recycling program would be. Vector Rehabilitation currently recycles aluminum & tin cans, plastic bags & bottles, glass bottles & jars, all types of office paper, toner cartridges, magazines, and cardboard. Little did they know, that recycling all of these materials would reduce their waste by 50%! It is now a regular program at both sites and employees are committed to making it as successful and simple as possible.

- Best business waste prevention effort:
Wildwood Saw Janet & Mark Mathis 725-6879

Wildwood Saw is almost a zero waste business. They of course recycle the usual cardboard, bottles & cans, newspapers and magazines at their local recycling center. But Wildwood Saw also recycles any scrap metal, printer cartridges, and used motor oil. According to their application “two Labradors work at Wildwood Saw every day and make sure that no food scraps are trashed.” Between the owners, Mark and Janet, and the two labs, very little waste is sent to the landfill and even that is self-hauled to the transfer station so that they can see first-hand what is in their waste and then figure out how to reduce it even more.

- Best government agency waste reduction effort:
Rio Dell Post Office Debra Lake 764-3772

Little did we know, but the Rio Dell Post Office has been quietly doing its part for the past 13-years! During any given day, the Post Office handles mail that is “undeliverable as addressed” and the Federal requirement is that this material must be disposed of. Fortunately there is also a regulation that states that items that may be separated from their address and that may be of value to a charitable organization may be given to said organization. And that is exactly what the Rio Dell Post Office does. This undeliverable mail can consist of all types of function items such as diapers, razors, hair products, hearing aid batteries, pet food, calendars, toys, day planners, and much more. Clearly the staff at the Rio Dell post office took the lead by starting this program 13-years ago and the folks who have benefited directly from this are numerous, but we as a community are also very fortunate to have people like this in our community.

-Best “Closing the Loop” effort:
Orick School Cafeteria 488-2821

For the past three years the Cook at the Orick School has been recycling and reusing anything she can. All tins cans, plastic bottles, and cardboard is recycled due to her hard work. The school has also put old tires to use as flowerpots in the garden area. In addition, she collects all of the food waste from the kitchen and composts it onsite. The finished product is then used in the garden, which of course she tends to, and then the fresh veggies are used for the students’ lunches. This is a perfect example of “closing the loop’ as there is no waste generated and the materials keep getting used in different forms over and over again. It is also very energy efficient as it is all done onsite thanks to the commitment by Verna, the Orick School Cook.

- Most effective recycling program:
Karuk Tribe Angela Allgier 530-627-3446

The Karuk Tribe was not only fortunate to have received a special grant to assist the community in their waste reduction endeavors, but also to find a local resident, Angela Allgier, who was very motivated and committed to helping her community. Not only does she run the Recycling Program, which goes out to specific areas in the community on certain days to collect recyclables from tribal members, but she has also developed three educational brochures regarding various waste-related issues. In addition, Allgier organized a special Appliance Removal Week, two car crushing events with over 315 vehicles removed, an art contest at the local school, and a Pollution Prevention Week event to educate folks on disposing of their used oil properly. According to Allgier, “it is our ancestral duty to keep the land, air, water, and families healthy” and Allgier is doing just that with excitement and loads of energy.

- Most effective reuse program:
Reusable Office Supply Exchange (R.O.S.E.) Jo Manmoudhi 826-4162

In 1996, Humboldt State University’s Campus Recycling Program realized that there were a lot of office supplies going to waste as one department was throwing items away while another department was ordering new items. Recognizing that this waste of resources was entirely preventable, the students conceived the idea of the ROSE (Reusable Office Supply Exchange) program. ROSE coordinates the retrieval, storage, and distribution of reusable office equipment and supplies. These items range from desktop organizers to staplers to pens and pencils to ink cartridges to envelopes and file folders and much more. The “store” is open to all students, staff, faculty, and local community members Monday through Friday. Last year alone, ROSE redistributed an estimated $5,173 worth of school and office supplies! Ultimately, the program helps to conserve natural resources that are used to make the supplies by reducing the demand for new resources. This is a great example for other organizations to follow to help reduce waste and reduce costs.

- Most effective reuse program:
Recycling Enterprises Bill Timm 441-6720

Recycling Enterprises, owned by Bill Timm, has been rebuilding and repairing appliances for the past 15-years. Timm’s goal is to not have anything go to the dump that can be cost-effectively reused. He accomplishes this goal in several ways. Recycling Enterprises accepts non-working and older appliances from various sources such as the Eureka Rescue Mission, City Garbage, the Arcata/Eureka Community Recycling Centers, and those that have been dumped in vacant lots. He is able to repair them using recycled/salvaged parts. When they are not repairable, Timm recovers any useable parts and then recycles the metal. Timm not only repairs appliances for the Eureka Rescue Mission to sell, but even provides recycled appliances to low-income people in the community. Clearly Timm’s heart is in the right place- helping people and the environment.

- Most effective use of recycled and reused materials in manufacturing:
Footprint Recycling, Arcata Andrew Cooper 826-2606

Footprint Recycling is the only locally owned and operated Waste Vegetable Oil (WVO) collection agency and manufacturer of methyl ester (a.k.a. Biodiesel) in Humboldt County. Footprint Recycling services over eighty restaurants collecting over 34,000 gallons of WVO which otherwise leaves the County to be processed elsewhere. During 2004, Footprint added the hauling of tallow & meat-scraps from local markets in order to be a more complete, locally based rendering service. Their operation produces the waste vegetable oil into two ecologically oriented products: a supplement to petroleum-based fuel, methyl ester, and glycerin soap. Footprint Recycling helps close the loop on the County’s WVO disposal by transesterifying it into methyl ester and providing it to diesel engine operators where it is recognized by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy to significantly reduce six of the seven criteria pollutants affecting our air quality. Biodiesel is also recognized as non-toxic, biodegradable, safer in handling and storage than petroleum diesel, 100% compatible with all diesel engines, providing increased lubricity (longer engine life), and can be “splash” blended with petroleum diesel. Their WVO-based methyl ester is the first and most effective step in making the transition from a non-renewable fuel supply to a more sustainable energy market.

By networking throughout the North Coast, Footprint Recycling was able to find recycled equipment for it’s reprocessing of WVO. For their new service of hauling tallow, Footprint acquired a decommissioned freezer-trailer and modified it for on-site cold storage. From used diesel fuel tanks off tractor-trailer rigs and decommissioned fuel storage tanks to scrap metal to salvaged cabinets, Footprint Recycling has built itself around the concept of applying reusable materials to appropriate technologies. It is clear, that reuse and recycling is in the blood of the four appropriate technology enthusiasts that have made Footprint Recycling such as success!

- Most effective construction & demolition collaboration effort:
Grindables Recycling, McKinleyville John Sleuter 839-4740
Pacific Builders, Arcata Marianne Bithell 822-7720

Construction & demolition debris (C&D) is not only heavy but consumes a great deal of space in a landfill. Fortunately for Humboldt County, there are two companies paving the way at reducing the amount of C&D material that is sent to the landfill; Grindables Recycling and Pacific Builders. For several years now, Grindables Recycling has offered two services; onsite grinding of construction & demolition debris at the project, which is then reused on site or hauled off depending on their needs, or contractors can bring their C&D materials to Grindables at their site in Arcata. Pacific Builders, who has been servicing Humboldt County since 1979, initiated a new environmental policy in April of 2003 to address the issues of recycling and reusing construction material in their operations and procedures for construction projects. Their primary goal was to divert construction waste materials generated on job sites and convert then into materials that can be reused at the same site. Since working together on the Yurok Tribal Building in Klamath in 2002, this became a team effort between Grindables Recycling & Pacific Builders. Together, they can reuse or recycle the following materials; wood waste, drywall, concrete, glass, asphalt, asphalt shingles, hardi-plank/fiber cement siding, and greenwaste, among other things. In 2002, Grindables recycled 75-tons and that amount grew to 213 tons by 2004! Pacific Builders diverted a total of 335.3 tons of material, which saved approximately $52,720.00 through their waste reduction efforts. In addition, these two firms have taken the lead in developing a C&D Taskforce to assist other companies working towards this same goal of reducing the amount of C&D materials being sent to the landfill. The amount of tonnage diverted as well as the education they are providing to others is an amazing accomplishment and huge asset in this busy and ever-changing field but just shows that with a little commitment, how much tonnage and money can be saved!

- Most effective school waste reduction program:
Trillium School Marianne Keller & Carilyn Goldammer 822-4721

Schools are always overflowing with excitement, enthusiasm, a drive to learn, and, of course, a lot of activity. The Trillium School in Arcata is no exception, although between all of this hustle & bustle, staff, faculty and students have taken the time to develop a simple yet effective recycling and waste reduction program. The school recycles paper, cardboard, plastics, glass, and metal. Of course, reuse is the first option, so all paper is reused as many times as possible for math problems and other scratch paper needs before it even reaches the recycling bin. The most impressive portion of this program is what takes place at lunch. All students, kindergarten through 5th grade, place their leftover lunch materials in the compost bin. They also wash their own containers, dishes, and utensils and sort any recyclables into the respective bins. Students are even responsible for taking the compost out to the compost stations and washing out the buckets. This is truly a remarkable program in that the students are completely self-sufficient and do not require any oversight from teachers for the recycling operation at lunch. This may have something to do with the fact that the students have been educated on waste reduction and how this can help sustain the environment for future generations. This is accomplished through weekly presentations by the Arcata Community Recycling Center’s Education Team as well as field trips to places like HSU’s Campus Center for Appropriate Technology (CCAT). The students clearly play a vital role in ensuring that waste reduction is taking place at their second home, Trillium School.

- Most effective public education program:
Humboldt Environmental Ambassador Pilot Project Morgan King

The Humboldt Environmental Ambassadors Pilot Project Program (HEAPP) is a public school-based program that initiates and strengthens waste reduction programs at the school and district levels, and supports K-12 teachers as they develop and implement curriculum utilizing waste reduction programs as the context for general subjects instruction. HEAPP is grant-funded by the California Integrated Waste Management Board and has been coordinated by Eureka High School’s Special Projects Office. HEAPP has assisted Zane Middle School, Freshwater School, Dow’s Prairie, Eureka High School, Winship Middle School, and Pacific View Charter School in implementing and supporting waste reduction-based service learning projects. Fortunately, outreach to the community and school partners has developed a collaborative atmosphere to ensure the program’s sustainability beyond the funding period. The very motivated HEAPP staff was able to provide classroom worm bins in five classrooms, school-wide worm composting systems at two schools, and greenwaste composting systems at one school. Besides working on diverting organic materials from the landfill, this was a great way to teach the students all types of lessons related to math & science. In addition, they have been recycling lunch trays at Eureka High School, 60-100 per day, developed a zero waste office to show that waste reduction can occur one office or classroom at a time, started a service-learning-based recycling program at Winship Middle School for which 30 classrooms collect and sort paper, cardboard, magazine, and plastics, managed a campaign to reduce catalogs and junk mail sent to Eureka City Schools, and worked on making the schools more energy efficient. HEAPP also sponsored a ‘Careers in Waste Reduction’ Day to show students local businesses that were making profits and improving the community by diverting waste. Clearly the Humboldt Environmental Ambassador Pilot Project, as a result of their motivated staff, was able to accomplish a great deal of public education that went much further than the schools but really involved and utilized our community assets.

-Unsung Heroes of the Waste Reduction World:
Wally Williams County Vehicle Abatement Program 268-3629

If you live in the unincorporated area of the County, have you ever wondered how that abandoned car down your street eventually disappears? Well, that is the work of a quiet, no-nonsense, hard working fellow named Wally Williams who manages the County’s Vehicle Abatement Program. It is not an easy process to get those vehicles removed, as there are several steps Williams must take before he can haul it off. First, Williams does the “180”, basically taking inventory of the vehicle itself. He then has to go to the Department of Motor Vehicles to find out who the last registered owner was and the third step is to send a letter to that person. If the vehicle is intact, the owner has 10-days to remove it themselves. If it is not intact, such as missing a motor, etc., then Williams can move it right away. Of course all of this is contingent on funding and a place to take it, neither of which are very abundant in Humboldt County. Every time a car is registered within California, $1.00 of that goes to fund the Vehicle Abatement Program. This amounts to about $25,000/year which is somewhat sufficient except when there are motor-homes and trailers that cost between $600-1000 to remove. Williams spreads the ‘joy’ of the abatement program between many of our local towing companies, but only two local facilities can actually accept, crush, and recycle abandoned vehicles. Fortunately, the price of scrap metal is currently up so the cost to take-in old vehicles has dropped significantly which means that this is a great time for individuals with junk vehicles of their own to take that step towards removal. Williams has been working for the County for the past 37-years and doing this for the past 7 years and although he is only paid to work two-days per week, his commitment extends above and beyond in order to get the job done. We are very fortunate in Humboldt to have someone like Williams running this important program.

-Most effective Collaboration Effort in waste diversion:
Bayside Grange, Girl Scout Troup 78, and community members 822-9998

The Bayside Grange hosts periodic pancake breakfasts with 25-450 people in attendance at each event. With so many people coming to partake in the wonderful breakfast delights, some of which are donated by Mad River Farm Jams, Sacred Grounds Coffee, Tofu Shop, it is amazing to find out that they generate very little waste. In fact, due to a huge community effort, the Grange has made a concerted effort to reduce the amount of waste from these events to as close to zero as possible. They use all reusable plates, cups, and utensils that are all hand-washed by community members. Cloth napkins are provided because of the hard work of Girl Scout Troup 78 who has sewn 300 napkins thus far with 200 more to go. While the Girl Scouts are busy taking care of that end, other community members are collecting and hauling all types of recyclable materials, such as cardboard and bottles & cans, to the recycling center. Any leftover food waste, about five to eight 5-gallon buckets per breakfast, is vermicomposted. Clearly the Bayside Grange is a special place with committed community members to both the Grange itself and waste reduction. They are a wonderful example to follow for anyone hosting small or large events where food is served.

-Certificate Award of appreciation for continued commitment to waste reduction:
Arcata Community Center Education Program – As always, educating our County’s students through classroom presentations, of which there were 148 in 2004, and the public through educational booths at special events, guide materials, and advertising, all of which reached 3,123 people in 2004!
Arcata Library Bikes – Accepts old bicycles for repair, reuses parts, and loans the bicycles out to community members much like borrowing a library book. A terrific program which has reused 793 bikes in one way or another, which amounts to the diversion of about 13 tons of metal, plastic, and steel!
Eel River Disposal & Resource Recovery – Started a single-stream recycling program in Rio Dell in 2004, which has already recycled 50,000 pounds of bottles & cans. This is the very first program of this nature in Humboldt County


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