Evergreen State hits 50 percent recycling rate

Evergreen State hits 50 percent recycling rate

By Editorial Staff, Resource Recycling

Washington state reached a new milestone by achieving a 50 percent recycling rate for the first time ever in 2011, according to the state's Department of Ecology.

Residents of the Evergreen State continue to recycle more while throwing away less. According to the department, the total amount of materials recycled by residents increased to more than 186,000 tons in 2011, a 4 percent increase from previous years. That pencils out to 3.64 pounds of materials collected per person, per day for recycling, which is the highest rate the department has on records since it began measuring recycling 1986. Residents threw away 3.54 pounds of waste per person per day in landfills, the lowest amount in 24 years.

The total amount of waste tossed out by Washington households and businesses has been decreasing as a result of the bad economy, and in 2011 that trend continued. Disposal dropped by about 170,000 tons or 4 percent in 2011.

Including waste recovered for energy generation and materials collected for reuse, the total amount of waste diverted from landfill was 57 percent, up from 54 percent in 2010.

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