Reducing waste is a top focus of the Snohomish County Council. There are multiple ways we have been working to reduce waste in our county. The first is in our annual county budget, where we strive to increase efficiency by stretching your tax dollars to ensure that you are getting the most “bang for your buck” in terms of county services. This is reflected in our past two budgets, where we have worked to increase efficiency and reduce waste in order to avoid increases in general levy property taxes for local residents.
We also make a priority of reducing physical waste. We are blessed to live in a place with such beautiful natural scenery, from the Puget Sound to the Cascade Mountains and everything in between. This is one of the biggest draws to the county, and so it is important that we work to conserve it.
An initiative we have been working on looks to increase access to local businesses and encourage a healthy lifestyle while reducing the plastic we discard. This effort is called “Snohomish County Tap”. It is a partnership between my office, Zero Waste Washington, the Snohomish Health District and TapApp. TapApp is an app that identifies businesses and other public locations that will refill a reusable water bottle for free. The app shows users the locations closest to them. The partnership is spreading the word and encouraging more people to ditch plastic water bottles and use reusable water bottles instead. On June 4 stakeholders from local Chambers of Commerce, business, local government, community groups, and schools met to discuss the effort. We had presenters from Zero Waste Washington, the health district and Economic Alliance of Snohomish County talk about the benefits. We are working to provide decals to businesses that participate and water bottles with the Snohomish County Tap logo to encourage reusable water bottle use. We are working on a kickoff event that will include a community service component to get the word out. Information will be available in coming weeks. I look forward to seeing this program move forward and the benefits it can bring.
Nate Nehring is a member of the Snohomish County Council and represents District 1, which includes Arlington and Marysville. His column runs monthly. Nate.Nehring@snoco.org or 425-388-3494.