Lane County residents lead the state in recycling, with 61.5% of waste kept out of the landfill last year.
That is compared to a 60.8% recovery in Marion County and 59.3% in the Portland area.
It’s the first time since 2000 that Lane County has had the state’s highest recycling rate, which is called a recovery rate in the official reports. That’s because it reflects all the material recovered from the waste stream and diverted to a useful purpose, whether it’s composting food waste from restaurants, recycling scrap metal or dropping paper and plastic into a curbside bin.
And at the same time recycling has been going up, garbage volumes have been going down. The drop in material going to the landfill is largely attributed to the Great Recession and its lingering aftermath, because people with less money tend to buy less stuff. And when they buy less stuff, they have less stuff left over to throw away.
Read more at The Register-Guard.