OLYMPIA - According to data from the Washington Department of Ecology, the state's recycling rate reached 50.1% in 2012.
This was the second year in a row that the rate exceeded the 50% goal set by a 1989 Washington law. The national average was 34.7% in 2011.
The total amount of municipal solid waste recycled by state residents went down by nearly 90,000 tons in 2012, or about 2% from the previous year, while the amount of MSW disposed increased by almost 20,000 tons. This resulted in a slight drop in the recycling rate, falling from the high of 50.7% in 2011.