Six Wastebusters families cut back on trash; winner named

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OLYMPIA -- After participating in a county-sponsored Wastebusters program, the Crawford family of west Vancouver had a lot less trash to take out. In fact, they received a trophy in the shape of a garbage can in honor of their waste-reducing efforts.

Over six weeks in the program learning about various methods to cut down waste sent to landfills, the Crawford family reduced its trash by an average of 72 percent, the most of six participating families.

The Crawfords were honored at the Recycled Arts Festival last weekend in Esther Short Park, where they received their trophy -- made of reused materials, of course.

All but one of program's six families recorded reductions in their waste streams. Each family's weekly progress, along with waste reduction advice and other information, is online at www.clark.wa.gov/recycle/wastebusters.html.

Matt Grimley, a sustainability educator with Clark County Environmental Services, said he gave the families a lot of resources and tips to help them cut down on trash. They were provided with worm bins and glass food storage containers, he said.

The families weighed their accumulated trash each week. Some weeks were better than others, Grimley said. Graduation parties especially added to families' trash weight.

But overall, the six families reduced waste by 50 percent, he said. Grimley was pleased with the outcome, and said the county may continue Wastebusters, a pilot program, in years to come. "The program definitely went really well, and there are a lot of good things we'd like to move ahead with," he said.