Hi! What is Bellevue’s plan to eliminate the use of plastic bags at retail establishments and to promote compostable take out amenities at restaurants?
Thanks for your question. Reducing waste and the
emissions that come from waste is one of the goals of our Environmental
Stewardship Plan. We are currently evaluating a range of strategies that would
help businesses and residents reduce their waste and promote composting. In
early 2020 we will be discussing these strategies with the broader community –
residents, business, schools, non-profits. Our goal is to have a robust dialog
about costs and benefits so we can make the best decisions. We hope you will be a part of those discussions.
Question from Community Workshop:
Waste accounts for 2% of emissions! Does that include site and building demolition & construction waste?
Would transportation associated with above question be counted in “waste” or “transportation?”
That 2% figure does not include construction & demolition waste. The emissions from waste are calculated based on the volume of residential and commercial waste sent to landfills by Republic Services.
We count the emissions from waste haulers and other heavy-duty trucks in our transportation numbers and we rely on regional data to make those calculations.
Question from Community Workshop • Does the reported 41% recycling rate account for contaminated materials? I.e., is that the true recycling rate or the reported rate from haulers?
The 2018 recycling rate was 40%. That number does take into account trash that had to be removed from the recyclables. In other words, the trash that shows up in the recycling is counted as trash, not as recycling.
To determine our recycling rate we use data provided by Republic Services, which provides all
services to single-family customers and at a minimum, garbage service to
commercial customers. Commercial recycling is open market, so we don’t have a
full accounting of all recycling taking place in Bellevue (the city doesn’t
require business or commercial buildings to report their recycling rate); however, most commercial
customers use Republic Services for recycling. At times, we are able to obtain
reporting from third-party recycling vendors that we are able to include
in the recycling rate.
40% recycling rate does take into account trash that had to be removed from the
recyclables. In other words, the trash that shows up in the recycling is
counted as trash, not as recycling. The recycling rate doesn’t tell us how much
material is recyclable, just what is recycled.
Question From Community Workshop: • Is your department engaged with the department of transportation and parks department? Their projects will impact your goals.
are working very closely with Transportation, Parks, Utilities, Municipal
Operations and other departments to evaluate and set potential goals and
targets. We meet regularly to discuss feasibility, cost, impact, and other
important factors that we need to consider in setting goals.
I just filled out your survey for environmental stewardship in Bellevue. I would like to know a few things and not sure who to direct them to...
Why BSD and the city still uses pesticides like Roundup?
Why Bellevue approves the use of rubber crumb in their turf fields, which is carcinogenic and composed of heavy metals, that goes directly into our environment and storm drains?
Why food trucks are not being regulated on dumping waste water into storm drains?
Thank you for sharing your concerns. Supporting
healthy and sustainable communities is one of the goals of the city’s
environmental stewardship work. The Parks & Community Services Department takes health
and safety seriously. That’s why we minimize the use of herbicides, use those
products appropriately and post notices before any applications in parks. And
we follow EPA guidelines. We are aware that safety concerns about synthetic
turf and rubber infill have been raised periodically; thus far we have not seen
scientific evidence to support those concerns, but we will continue to monitor
the research related to this product.
As for food truck dumping waste water into storm
drains know City of Bellevue
enforces state and federal regulations that prohibit discharge of ANY substance
into the storm system. If you see or know about anyone, food truck or other,
discharging anything into the storm system, please report it immediately to it
425.452.7840, or via the MyBellevue app. Take a photo if possible and provide
as much information as you can about the dumper. City water quality staff will
respond. This spill line is monitored 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
What is the city's formal community engagement process when vetting new ideas and plans that affect our city? What vehicles (such as this survey email) are used to reach people? Is the process the same across programs and departments and is it mandated? Thank you for the proactive survey!
Thanks for your question. The city uses a variety of tools to engage residents - surveys, in-person events, tabling at locations throughout the city, etc. Each department and each project has unique needs and will create different processes. In addition to this website, you can also check out the city website at www.bellevuewa.gov to learn more about specific projects. We're glad you liked the survey and hope you'll come to some of our in-person events too!
The latest messaging that we are seeing from the City states that the City is taking "bold" action in the ESI plan update. This term "bold" is not the highest level of action according to the terms that the City ESI staff previously defined. The City staff has called the highest action level "leading edge" in prior (2019) presentations. In fact, in a 2019 public survey by the City nearly half of the responding residents said that they wanted the highest level of action, i.e. "leading edge". (Only roughly a third chose "bold" level of action, and the balance of respondents chose the lowest action level which the City called "stretch". )
Also, in the November 12, 2019 ESI update presentation to the City Council, a majority of the council members voiced strong concern that only "bold" goals were being presented, and that highest level "leading edge" goals were not being pursued. In that Council meeting the Council asked that the Environmental Stewardship manager come back to the Council with revised goals that reflected a higher bar and "leading edge" intentions.
Given this recent history, my question is why are we only seeing the middle level "bold" goals being pursued, and not the highest level "leading edge" goals?
Thanks you for your questions about the goals of the Environmental Stewardship Plan. We have not yet drafted the plan, and the goals and actions you are seeing on the survey and at events are still being evaluated. We also heard in our survey and through other outreach that people want us to be thoughtful about considering the costs, impacts emissions reduction, feasibility, and equity of the plan. As we learn more we may make adjustments to the targets and timelines we’ve set in our draft goals.
Community support is another important criteria that we're using to evaluate goals and potential actions, which is why your comments and participation in the process is so important. In addition to Bellevue residents we are reaching out to a broad spectrum of community partners - businesses, developers, non-profits, schools, boards & commissions. All of that feedback will help shape the plan.
I encourage you and other to continue to share your feedback with us. We're listening.