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Public Outreach-Education

Public Works Outreach
The Public Works Department is responsible for providing and maintaining the vital infrastructure necessary for the community to receive clean water, remove and treat wastewater, keep roads in operation, minimize stormwater pollution, and manage several other important everyday functions.
A further department responsibility is to provide the information and education that will engage the community to establish complementary actions that help sustain the quality of this infrastructure.  Here are some areas of information to explore.
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 Drinking Water



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Where Do You Put It?


Energy Efficient Buildings


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 Wastewater - Sanitary Sewer






Puget Sound Starts Here

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The problem below the surface - LEARN MORE

The campaign, Puget Sound Starts Here, tells residents how changes in their everyday actions can help save local waterways and the Sound.  The effort is the largest in history to save Puget Sound, and is led by the Puget Sound Partnership, S.T.O.R.M. (Stormwater Outreach for Regional Municipalities) and the Washington State Department of Ecology.

Dog Doogity

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Publications of Interest:

Streamside Landowners

Stormwater Management
Streamside Landowners
Best Management Practices (BMPs)


We are lucky to live in one of the most wildlife-rich places in the world.. By ensuring that streamside activities have beneficial impacts instead of harmful impacts, and that they enhance habitat-forming natural processes instead of stopping them, you can improve stream health and wildlife habitat for generations to come.

The most important things you can do to create good wildlife habitat are also the most important things you can do for your stream:

    1. Leave Your Streambanks Natural:  Healthy streams are bordered by native trees and shrubs, and are crossed with fallen logs and roots that catch and hold sediment, leaves, and debris.  It may look untidy, but such natural clutter is essential to the health of rivers and streams.  Trees, shrubs, and roots, stabilize streambanks and reduce erosion.  Logs and branches in streams slow water velocity and protect streambanks and streamside plants from being swept away in high winter flows.  Fallen trees help create gravel bars where salmon and trout spawn.
    2. Plant Native Plants:  Native plants are suited to our local climate and soils so they don’t require watering, fertilizer, or pesticides. Native plants are hosts for many species of beneficial insects that serve as pollinators, food for salmon, trout and birds, and predators of harmful insects. They also provide seeds and fruit for birds. Salmon depend on native plants for shade, shelter (young salmon hide in overhanging shrubs at all times of the year), food (the mayflies, stoneflies, and caddisflies that salmon eat all need native plants), and leaf litter.
    3. Plant Trees: Shrubs, especially native shrubs, are very good for streams. Trees, however, provide many services that shrubs and smaller plants cannot. Living trees provide shade that keeps water cool. They provide food such as beneficial insects. They also provide leaves, needles, twigs and branches for the insects, amphibians and fish that live in the streams. Dead and fallen trees provide habitat for insects, amphibians and fish. They create pools that control sediment and nutrient movement. They slow the flow of water, reducing erosion and property damage.

Cartoon of fish.

    1. Limit Use of Lawn Chemicals:  Most lawn chemicals can harm your stream.
  • Pesticides designed to kill terrestrial insects can also kill aquatic insects such as the mayflies, caddisflies and stoneflies that salmon and trout rely on for food. They can also kill important predatory insects like dragonfly and damselfly larvae, aquatic beetles, and water striders. These insects help control mosquitoes, blackflies, and other pests.
  • Herbicides designed to kill weeds can also kill aquatic vegetation, cutting off the food supply for the entire aquatic food chain. The nitrogen and phosphorus in fertilizers, livestock waste, and pet waste are like vitamins. People need vitamins to live, but too much of some vitamins is toxic. Likewise, streams need phosphorus and nitrogen, but too much can cause severe problems. High nitrogen levels in water are also toxic to fish. Phosphorus is a major problem in many Snohomish County lakes.
  • Fertilizers dissolve in rainwater and wash into the soil. Some, but not all, of the fertilizer is absorbed and used by plants. The rest eventually migrates into streams, where it causes algae blooms. Algae blooms not only look bad, they consume dissolved oxygen in the water – oxygen that fish and other aquatic wildlife need to breathe. Cold-water fish species like salmon and trout require high oxygen levels.
    1. Wash Your Car at a Car Wash:  Fuel, oil, antifreeze, copper, and zinc are common pollutants from your vehicle. Fuel, oil, and antifreeze drip onto roads. Bits of copper and zinc wear off your brake pads and fall onto roads. Rain turns those powdered metals and chemicals into a poisonous soup that is sprayed over your vehicle as you drive. These pollutants and soap can flow into storm drains and ditches that discharge into your stream. Remember: Most storm drains flow directly to streams and rivers that flow into Puget Sound!

By washing your vehicle at a carwash, you can send those pollutants, along with your dirty soap, to a wastewater treatment plant where they belong.

If you do wash your car at home it is best to do so on the lawn or direct the soapsuds to the lawn. Soap in limited quantities will not harm your lawn, but is extremely damaging to fish and other aquatic life.

  1. Keep Pets out of Streams: Pets and livestock are hard on streams. They damage streamside vegetation, cause erosion, and trample salmon eggs. They disrupt spawning salmon, disturb wildlife, and harass juvenile fish. Like fertilizer, pet waste can cause severe nitrogen, phosphorus, and bacterial problems.

Map showing creeks, streams, ponds and lakes.

Public Outreach-Education Resources-Links

What Do I Do With... Electronics?

Common consumer electronics such as computers and TVs are not allowed to be thrown into the garbage - anywhere in Snohomish County - and most of Western Washington.

The three Snohomish County Transfer Stations (garbage dumps) do not accept any unwanted electronics for recycling.  Please check out the local options outlined here.

These types of electronics are not accepted into the garbage in Snohomish County:

  • Computers (CPUs)
  • Computer Monitors (any kind)
  • Laptops and Tablets
  • Televisions (any kind)
  • e-Readers
  • Separated computer circuit boards

Here are the options for Edmonds residents and those businesses with 50 employees or less 

FREE* drop-off and recycling at these locations in Edmonds:

  • Goodwill Edmonds Store  -- 10117 Edmonds Way (behind QFC) – 425-977-2090
  • Value Village Edmonds outlet – 21558 Highway 99 – 425-771-8323

FREE* drop-off and recycling at these locations in Lynnwood:

  • Goodwill Lynnwood Store – 4027 198th St. SW – 425-774-6157
  • Value Village Lynnwood outlet – 17216 Highway 99 – 425-745-6603
  • St. Vincent DePaul Lynnwood outlet – 17214 Highway 99 – 425-741-8468
  • PC Recycle Lynnwood store – 4520 200th St. SW – 425-697-6666
  • Salvation Army Donation Trailer – 2902 164th St. SW – (trailer at south end of Fred Meyer parking lot)
  • E-Waste, LLC – 12424 Beverly Park Rd., Suite A-4 – 425-239-4118  -- www.e-wastes.com

*FREE drop-off at these locations covers computers, monitors, laptops and tablets, e-readers, and TVs only – working or not.  These businesses are official collectors under the state-wide E-Cycle program.  Visit www.ecyclewashington.org to learn more.

Other common electronics such as printers, scanners, DVD players can be recycled and may be subject to fees at some of the drop-off locations listed.

However, the Best Buy store location in Lynnwood at 19225 Alderwood Mall Parkway accepts many unwanted electronics and other recyclable items for free, although restrictions may apply.

Household Hazardous Waste

Where Do You Put It?



Medicine Return Program
Pills and Medicine

Leftover, unused or expired prescription medicine should not be flushed down sinks or toilets or thrown into the garbage.  There are two locations in Edmonds where you can drop-off unwanted medications to prevent any misuse or abuse.

In Edmonds the locations are:

- Bartell Drugs - Edmonds outlet, 23028 100th Ave. W

- Edmonds Police Department - 250 5th Ave. N

You can drop-off any of the following during business hours:

  • Prescription medications
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Medication samples
  • Medications for pets
  • Vitamins
  • Medicated ointments and lotions
  • Inhalers
  • Liquid medication in glass or leak-proof containers

Other drop-off locations close to Edmonds:

- Bartell Drugs  - Lynnwood outlet, 17633 Highway 99

- Group Health -  Lynnwood, 20200 54th Ave. W

Narcotics and controlled substances are only accepted at law enforcement locations throughout Snohomish county.

What Do I Do With...

Every day we generate things we don't want anymore.  What options do we have for our unwanted items?


Today we often have choices for where to properly put unwanted items other than automatically sending them to the landfill, which is usually the costlier option.

  • Convenient curbside collection of basic recyclable materials has been available for 20 years and is included with residential garbage service.
  • Yard waste collection service is very popular and now can include food scraps.
  • There are free drop-off locations for other type of items that can be recycled or reused.

Click on the categories shown to the left under "Your Unwanted Item" to view current options and opportunities for handling several common household items.