Auburn companies make Best Workplaces

For the Reporter

King County’s Solid Waste Division recently honored 97 local companies – including three from Auburn – for adopting business practices that reduce waste and increase recycling, naming them Best Workplaces for Waste Prevention and Recycling for 2014.

It is the highest number of businesses listed since the program began in 2007.

“The creativity and commitment shown by these organizations to limit waste and increase recycling merits special recognition,” said Pat McLaughlin, director of the King County Solid Waste Division. “Whether it’s converting to paperless billing or holding recycling events for employees to donate old clothing and cell phones, these organizations demonstrate that sustainability can be simple and effective.”

The Best Workplaces list is in its eighth year and includes a wide variety of businesses in King County – from hospitality, medical services, professional services, technology, retail, finance, government, arts and entertainment and others.

All businesses operating in King County outside the City of Seattle are eligible for the list. To secure a spot, businesses are required to meet the same five basic, as well as 10 additional waste reduction and recycling criteria.

The Auburn companies honored in specific categories were:


• Conrad Manufacturing Co., Inc. (

The company produces quality products from simple parts to sophisticated aerospace components. Some of its best practices include reusing all shredded paper as packaging, returning pallets to distributors to be reused, purchasing used boxes, recycling Styrofoam and reusing plastic bins for transportation for goods. Conrad Manufacturing also trains staff on proper recycling and provides easily accessible bins with clear labeling throughout their buildings.

• Norgren GT Development Corporation (

A global supplier of fluid and motion control technology for the commercial vehicle industry. Its successful waste prevention and recycling efforts are done in cooperation with suppliers. For example, the special packaging that they receive parts in is collected and returned to suppliers for reuse. This saves in costs to customers and eliminates waste.


• Safeway Distribution Center

The Auburn center earns a spot on this year’s honor roll list. It has been tasked with reducing its corporate carbon footprint by providing sustainable recycling operations. Its goal is to become leaders, mentors and stewards in the recycling community by sharing best practices, and by learning from other recycling operations. Over the course of the year, it has focused on recycling meat and grease into bio-diesel. Also, it began a cardboard bailing program to maximize trailer loads – saving transportation costs. The center also placed more emphasis on separating plastics in order to ensure proper recycling.


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