SPOKANE, Wash. -- Spokane County recycling grew to its highest level ever in 2012, reaching 54.7 percent, officials said Friday.
According to final figures from the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System (SRSWS) and the Washington State Department of Ecology, Spokane County residents and businesses recycled 352,912 tons of the 645,250 tons of municipal solid waste generated in 2012. The Spokane County rate exceeds the Washington statewide 2012 recycling rate of 50.1 percent.
The SRSWS credits the 2012 recycling increase to greater interest and participation in recycling and waste reduction, including the launch of single stream recycling. The SRSWS also credited targeted education and outreach and strong collaboration between private recyclers, haulers, government, businesses and residents throughout the county.
“Spokane has cutting-edge systems to divert recyclables and organics from disposal. But the real success story is that residents and businesses have made recycling and waste reduction a normal part of their daily routine,” said Suzanne Tresko, Recycling Coordinator of the Spokane Regional Solid Waste System. “We are recycling more and throwing away less, saving money and conserving resources.”
WATCH: One year later: Spokane big blue bins increase recycle rate
With the October 2012 launch of single stream recycling and the opening of Waste Management Northwest’s SMaRT recycling facility, Big Blue recycling carts began accepting additional materials like plastic tubs, pressed cardboard, and junk mail. Additionally, the Barr Tech composting facility in 2010 began accepting food scraps in Clean Green yard debris carts.
Washington State Department of Ecology has tracked the municipal solid waste recycling rate since 1986. The first recycling rate posted for Spokane County in 1987 was 20 percent.
For more information on recycling in Spokane County, click here.