Department of Ecology announced yesterday that for the first time in the history of our state, last year we recycled 50.7 percent of our solid waste.
In 1989, the legislature passed the "Waste Not Washington Act," which established waste reduction and source-separated recycling as the fundamental strategies for managing solid waste. It set a goal of recycling 50 percent of Washington state's waste by 1995.
Well, that didn't happen.
But 16 years later we finally made it! If you contributed to reaching this goal, you ought to be proud of yourself.
So what does 50.7 percent mean on a per-person basis? According to Ecology's report, state residents recycled an average of 3.64 pounds of material each day, while throwing away 3.54 pounds of waste.
That's not all the good news. It turns out that all this recycling helped the state avoid emitting 3.2 million tons of greenhouse gasses, the equivalent of keeping 1.9 million cars off the road.
Thank you for doing your part to keep our Evergreen State... well, green!
Read Ecology's release. Learn more about recycling in Washington state.
Read this story in Spanish here.