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Below are selected work samples that correspond to our work engaging multifamily property managers and residents in the City of Kirkland.

Project Summary

Cascadia worked with the City of Kirkland to identify and implement outreach strategies to successfully reduce waste generation and improve recycling participation at the city’s multifamily properties. Cascadia researched potential best practices and new programs Kirkland could consider implementing to support diversion, service equity, and resident engagement, such as on-site collection of textiles, electronics, or bulky, utility rebate incentives, and property performance reporting. Through this research, Cascadia identified on-site bulky collection as an opportunity for Kirkland’s multifamily program and provided high-level considerations for implementation based on best practices in other locations. In addition, Cascadia conducted site assessments at 35 properties identified by City staff as potentially in need of service changes or other assistance to increase onsite recycling. After the assessments, Cascadia helped property managers implement recommendations wherever possible, including coordinating with WM to make service changes at nine properties, resulting in 102 cubic yards of additional recycling capacity per week. Cascadia staff also conducted multilingual door-to-door outreach at 11 properties, reaching nearly 950 units and educating Kirkland residents on recycling practices. To encourage long-term behavior change, residents were given reusable tote bags and educational materials and Cascadia placed signage at each property to promote understanding of accepted recyclable materials. Cascadia’s pre-and post-assistance recycling bin audits demonstrated that additional recycling capacity combined with door-to-door outreach can increase recycling volumes without significantly increasing contamination at multifamily properties.

Cascadia continued its work with the City of Kirkland and multifamily properties in 2019. Our team conducted bulky item collection implementation research by interviewing property managers to evaluate the need, feasibility, and optimal design of a bulky collection program. We summarized our findings and recommendations for bulky collection at multifamily properties in our final project report.

Our team also continued outreach efforts geared towards multifamily property managers and residents. Our visits mimicked the approach from 2017-2018, prioritizing management engagement, infrastructure improvement, and resident education. From 2019-2020, we provided customized support to 39 properties to implement recycling best practices. After assessing recycling infrastructure at each property, we recommended and completed service changes at 12 properties, resulting in approximately 115 cubic yards of additional multifamily recycling capacity per week in Kirkland. We conducted door-to-door resident outreach in the early months of the project but had to replace that with dropping off tote bags and educational collateral at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, our team visited 516 units at five properties, four of which received door-to-door outreach.

In 2022-2023, Cascadia will build on its prior work by providing tailored technical assistance and education directly to multifamily property managers and residents, focusing on adding compost service and increasing usage of compost carts. Our overarching goal will be to support multifamily customers in reducing waste, increasing recycling, increasing composting, and reducing contamination by addressing onsite infrastructure opportunities and delivering tailored education.

By June 2023, the Cascadia team expects to perform mail, email, and phone outreach to more than 300 properties; conduct in-person site visits to at least 50 properties; and provide door-to-door outreach to at least 700 units at priority properties citywide. We will aim to equip at least 25 properties to begin composting while encouraging properties that already participate in composting to increase capacity/activity or reduce contamination. For properties that don’t yet meet the minimum requirements for food waste composting service, we will focus on helping property managers improve recycling performance and resident engagement. Ultimately, these efforts will achieve an increase of 4,000 pounds of organics diverted to composting, an increase of 4,000 pounds of recycling, and a decrease of 100 pounds of contamination, as calculated using visual pre- and post-bin audits and estimations, per Ecology LSWFA grant guidelines.

Work Samples

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