State recycling rate surpasses 50 percent
February 26, 2013
The statewide recycling rate reached the highest level ever recorded and surpassed 50 percent last year, according to data released Dec. 18 by the state Department of Ecology.
The announcement marked the first time the statewide recycling rate topped the 50 percent goal set in a 1989 state law. The national average recycling rate reached 34 percent in 2010, according to the latest available data.
State officials said Washington residents continue to recycle more and throw away less. The statewide recycling rate for 2011 reached 50.7 percent.
The amount of municipal waste recycled by state residents increased by more than 186,000 tons in 2011 — up 4 percent from 2010 — or 3.64 pounds per person per day collected for recycling. The figure is the highest ever measured in Washington since the Department of Ecology started measuring recycling in 1986.