Laurelhurst Community Club                                                     

Serving 2800 Households in Seattle’s Laurelhurst Neighborhood


October 7, 2003




Mayor Greg Nickels                                         Chuck Clarke, Director, Seattle Public Utilities

Seattle City Hall                                                Key Tower, Suite 4900

600 Fourth Avenue                                           700 Fifth Avenue

Seattle, Washington  98104-1876                     Seattle, Washington  98104-5020


Re:  Recycling Proposal – Why not include provisions to phase in a ban on plastic “peanuts?”


Dear Mayor Nickels and Mr. Clarke,


The Laurelhurst Community Club Board of Trustees has reviewed your proposal to mandate commercial recycling and to ban trashing recyclables by January 1, 2006.  We believe that this phased-in program provides an opportunity for the City to further meet its goals of reducing, recycling and reusing by banning expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging “peanuts.”  We encourage you to include provisions in your proposal to phase in a ban on plastic peanuts or in the alternative, to develop a separate proposal to address this nuisance to our environment.


EPS packaging peanuts are non-biodegradable.  They are a nuisance to their recipients and a source of widespread litter.  Although plastic peanuts can be reused, many escape into our communities, are not reused and end up in landfills.  There are biodegradable alternatives.


A phased-in ban would provide time to educate the public and the business community about alternatives to plastic peanuts and to work with the State for changes at that level.  The City has already made a great start in educating citizens in the Fall 2003 CurbWaste & Conserve newsletter to postal customers.  The newsletter article lets citizens know that many moving companies and mailing businesses offer biodegradable cornstarch peanuts and lists other alternatives.  Much more can be done to educate citizens and the business community to lay the groundwork for an eventual ban on plastic peanuts.


Thank you for considering our recommendation.



Jeannie Hale, President

3425 West Laurelhurst Drive NE

Seattle, Washington  98105

206-525-5135 / fax 206-525-9631


cc:  City Councilmembers; Steve Nicholas, Director, Office of Sustainability; Solid Waste Advisory Committee members