UW News

March 1, 2007

Local organizations transform recycling bins into works of art

The King County Solid Waste Division wants everyone to see recycling in a whole new light.

The county is sponsoring “Project Driveway” — a traveling exhibit of 23 recycling bins, including one made by the UW. Other participants include Woodland Park Zoo, the Seahawks, Harley-Davidson and Starbucks.

This unusual art collection will be on exhibit at Westfield Southcenter in Tukwila until March 2 when it begins traveling to several other locations — The Commons at Federal Way, Factoria Mall, Crossroads Bellevue, Westlake Center and finally at Woodland Park Zoo for Earth Day weekend in April.

“We hope this fun exhibit will encourage the community to recycle all they can at home,” said Sharon Aller of the King County Solid Waste Division. “These great organizations, including bin providers Waste Management and Allied Waste, help us remind people that just a little more recycling can make a big difference for the environment.”

Each 96-gallon, 4-foot-tall recycling container has been decorated in the spirit of the participating organization and with a recycling message:

  • The UW’s bin sports the head of a Husky and emphasizes the recycling of cans and bottles, the items most received at Husky games.
  • T-Mobile turned their bin into a giant flip-style phone, explaining how to recycle cell phones;
  • Woodland Park Zoo topped their container with motorized northwest pond turtles made from recycled materials;

UW Recycling Operations Manager Pat Kauffman said recycling staff decided to go with a Husky bin because the bins being used were identical to those the University takes to Husky games. “We’ve always called them Husky toters,” Kaufman said. And the abundance of cans and plastic bottles collected at the games made that a natural focus for their entry.

Ari Kasapyan, information specialist at recycling, came up with the original design, which was executed by an outside company.

“Project Driveway” is part of King County’s ongoing recycling education campaign, “Recycle More, It’s Easy to Do,” which was launched in September. Currently, more than half of what ends up in King County’s Cedar Hills Regional Landfill is readily recyclable.

The campaign seeks to increase residential recycling rates by asking people to take a few simple steps and recycle more, including:

  • Knowing what recyclables are in their garbage;
  • Setting up a convenient recycling location or two in their home;
  • Involving the entire family in recycling;
  • Making the effort to clean out recyclable containers; and
  • Adding food waste to yard waste bins (in select cities).

For a list of participating organizations and a complete schedule for “Project Driveway,” visit www.metrokc.gov/recyclemore

And by the way, you might want to check out UW Recycling’s animated public service announcement, which also features dogs and recycling bins. Go to http://www.washington.edu/admin/recycling/ and click on HuskyTron PSA.