Multi-Agency Collaboration: A Success Story
This hazardous waste program helps local businesses properly use, store, and dispose of hazardous materials to prevent spills during disasters.
Many public health problems are complex and require cross-sector partnerships to successfully deal with them. For over two decades, the Local Hazardous Waste Management Program in King County, Washington has thrived as a successful multi-agency collaboration. Their experience can offer insights for other agencies that want to create similar partnerships.
The development of a common mission is the first step in forming a multi-agency partnership. The Local Hazardous Waste Management Program began operating in 1991 in response to a state regulation that required local jurisdictions to manage small amounts of hazardous waste. The regional plan that guided the program established goals, services, a funding structure, and a consensus-based governance model for the program.
According to Liz Tennant, Strategic Advisor, the group truly became unified in 2001 when program partners developed a common mission: “to protect public health and environmental quality in King County by helping citizens, businesses and government reduce the threat posed by the use, storage and disposal of hazardous materials.”