Washington State’s Solid Waste Managers Want to Clean Up Recycling

Download a printable version of the press release here.

Ellensburg, WA (April 16, 2018) – The Washington Association of County Solid Waste Managers (WACSWM) held a statewide meeting in Ellensburg April 11 and 12 to discuss issues related to solid waste and recycling.

This year, industry partners in Washington have been meeting to discuss the impacts of the ban on certain recyclable material exported to China. Originally called the “China Sword”, as China drastically reduced the types and amounts of recyclable materials being imported into their country. The recyclable materials leaving the United States have a contamination level that has become unacceptable to China.

As the solid waste managers met, they unanimously agreed to step up actions to address this issue. They plan on creating a task force with members from King, Kitsap, Klickitat and Island Counties.

“It is great to have a group of local government professionals meet to discuss solid waste and recycling issues that impact the entire state.  It is through our discussion and understanding that we are better positioned to help problem solve for all of the communities we serve,” said Matt Zybas, Solid Waste Manager, Snohomish County.

WACSWM released this statement:

“The Washington Association of County Solid Waste Managers want to clean up our recyclables. Over time, contamination has grown, and we have lost the focus on the Reduce and Reuse actions of waste reduction. As County Solid Waste Managers, we will invest the time needed to get back to the basics. At our statewide meeting April 11 and 12 in Ellensburg, we took formal action to create a taskforce; To work with partners to create a unified outreach message and to work on a coordinated standard recyclables list as a baseline best management practice.”


Ruby Irving, Solid Waste Director for Klickitat County, praised the work of the Solid Waste Managers, “I am so glad we are coming together as a united front, and I for one feel that it was a great success!”

WACSWM will be reaching out to our state agency, other local government and industry partners to create synergies around cleaning up our state’s recyclables to impact real change within Washington and for our export partners.


Laura first became involved in government as a city council member for the city of Newport Washington and later became a County Commissioner in Pend Oreille County. She served for 6 years and represented the region on statewide and national boards. Laura and her family moved to Olympia in November of 2012 and she has worked for WSAC for four years doing policy work on natural resources, land use and environmental issues.