Waste Wise logo. Says "reduce, reuse, rot, recycle, rethink!, WSU Extension, Island County."

About Waste Wise Volunteers

Program Contact: Sarah Bergquist, Waste Wise Program Coordinator
360-639-6062 • sarah.bergquist@wsu.edu

Waste 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 generating less waste and living with lower impact. We do this by learning to be more deliberate about our purchasing choices and more careful with our waste.  We rethink our approach by carefully considering ways to reduce what goes to the landfill.  By reducing, reusing, repairing, composting and recycling we lower our impact.

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 waste and living a more sustainable life.  In return, they agree to give back 30 hours of community service in sharing what they’ve learned.

In its 26 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 practical 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 site at Admiralty Head Lighthouse
  • School education programs
  • Presentations to businesses
  • Service-club speakers
  • Brochures and educational materials

Classes and Demonstrations

Waste Wise training is conducted Whidbey Island and Camano Island. For dates and details, please contact program manager Sara Bergquist at 360-639-6062 or by email at sarah.bergquist@wsu.edu.

A composting demonstration site is located near the program’s headquarters at Admiralty Head Lighthouse on the grounds of Fort Casey State Park. The public may view several types of composting systems in service and consider the pros and cons of each.