Thursday, March 27, 2014

2012 Washington Solid Waste Highlights

By Ellen Caywood, Environmental Planner, Waste 2 Resources Program

Washington’s waste management system relies on partnerships among state and local governments and the private sector. State law requires the Department of Ecology to develop regulations for solid waste handling and disposal facilities, and a state plan for managing and reducing waste.

To track progress, Ecology compiles an annual report of solid waste disposal and recycling trends in Washington. The report also tracks moderate risk waste trends, and what Ecology is doing to reduce the use and impacts of toxic substances.

Top Tidbits

We invite you to learn more in the 22nd Annual Solid Waste Status Report but want to share a quick list of tidbits:
  • E-Cycle surpassed 200 million pounds of electronics recycled in the first five years! Learn more in Chapter 2.
  • Learn about ways to recover nutrients and fuels from organic materials – composting, anaerobic digesters, and more in Chapter 2.
  • Reducing toxic threats by preventing uses or releases in the first place is the smartest, cheapest, and healthiest approach. Learn about Ecology’s efforts in Chapter 2.
  • What is the status of local solid and hazardous waste plans? How can I be involved in updating these plans? See Chapter 2 for details.
  • In spite of continued budget reductions for litter pickup programs, over four million pounds of litter was collected in 2012 by the Ecology Youth Corps, local partners through the Community Litter Collection Program, and the Departments of Correction and Natural Resources. Details in Chapter 3.
  • The 2012 statewide recycling rate was 50 percent. Find out which materials are included and the benefits of recycling in Chapter 4.
  • In 2012, over 23 million pounds of hazardous waste was collected, and 84 percent was recycled, reused or used for energy recovery. Find out what types of wastes and details by county in Chapter 5.
Find all this and much, much more in the 22nd Annual Solid Waste Status Report!

Please contact Ellen Caywood for more information (360-407-6132).

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