State, Kitsap County see increase in recycling rate

Washington state has achieved its highest recycling rate since statewide data collection began more than 20 years ago.

The Department of Ecology reports that Washington's recycling rate for 2010 increased to 49 percent, up from 45 percent in 2009.

Kitsap County's recycling rate improved to 45 percent, up from 40 percent in 2009. This represents a 25,000-ton increase in recyclable material collected and a 2,000-ton decrease in garbage sent to landfills.

The Kitsap County Recycling Coordinator, Chris Piercy, said that increased availability of curbside recycling countywide made the difference.

"The more convenient recycling becomes, the more folks are going to use the service," he said in a news release.

Piercy would like to see a greater overall increase in waste reduction. A 2,000-ton reduction represents about a 1 percentage point decrease from 2009 totals.

"Every day residents make purchasing decisions that can be altered to help reduce waste," he said. "Using durable goods and cutting down on disposable consumer goods can really help those disposal numbers go down."

He is optimistic that the recycling rate will continue to improve in the new year. New programs such as technical assistance and recognition programs for businesses will be ready for implementation in the summer, he said. A composting program in school cafeterias around the areas also will continue to expand.

"We are always looking for ways to divert more material from the landfill," Piercy said.



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