Thursday, August 26, 2010

Air Time: King County honors state's vehicle emissions contractor

By Seth Preston, Communications Manager, Air Quality Program

King County recently honored the state’s contractor for vehicle emissions checks for its “green” practices, including recycling.

Ecology contracts with Applus Technologies Inc. to run the vehicle check program in Clark, King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Spokane counties. Emissions tests are required in urban areas of those counties because of the amount of air pollution caused by motor vehicles there.

Motor vehicles cause more than half of Washington’s air pollution. This pollution causes cancer, asthma and other health problems. More than 50 percent of Washington’s residents suffer from at least one medical condition that air pollution makes worse.

For the second year in a row, King County’s Solid Waste Division named Applus as a 2010 Best Workplace for Recycling and Waste Reduction.

Applus earned the recognition by taking nearly 30 actions to reduce waste and increase recycling at its King County facilities. Actions included:
  • More use of electronic documents and e-mail to reduce printing.
  • Forming recycling teams made up of employees.
  • Providing composting, recycling and food waste bins at all Applus locations.
  • Verifying that any new items could be recycled or were made from recycled materials.
Separately, Applus employees worked with the Arbor Day Foundation to plant more than 1,000 trees in the Plumas National Forest in northern California.

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