Filling a Need

NewWWLogoSMWaste Wise Volunteers come from all walks of life and share the conviction that we must care for these beautiful islands to protect our quality of life. That includes keeping our water clean and generating less waste. We do this by learning to reduce, re-use and recycle our garbage, and by composting as much yard waste as possible and returning the nutrients to the land.

Waste Wise was formed in 1992 and originally called Waste Warriors. It is a volunteer organization administered by Washington State University Extension for Island County. Volunteers receive four weeks of classroom training on techniques for reducing solid waste. In return, they agree to give back 25 hours of community service in sharing what they’ve learned.

In its 24 years of operation, the program has trained many dedicated and talented volunteers from a rich variety of backgrounds. They include airline pilots, medical doctors, students, retirees, construction workers, chemists and caterers.

What Waste Wise Volunteers Do

Waste Wise Volunteers share ideas and techniques with the community in a variety of educational and pratical ways, including:

  • Annual training sessions on Camano and Whidbey Islands
  • Classes – community education and schools
  • Displays
  • Booths at fairs and festivals
  • Recycle bins at community events
  • Composting demonstration sites at Admiralty Head Lighthouse, Oak Harbor and Good Cheer Garden
  • School programs
  • Presentations to businesses
  • Service-club speakers
  • Brochures and educational materials

Classes and Demonstrations

Waste Wise training is conducted on Whidbey Island and Camano Island. For dates and details, please contact Sara Bergquist, program manager and educator at (360) 678-7974 or by email at

Composting demonstration sites are located next to the Admiralty Head Lighthouse on the grounds of Fort Casey State Park and at the Good Cheer Garden in Bayview. The public may view several types of composting systems in service and consider the pros and cons of each.

Log in for Volunteer signups and hours reporting