Seattle reports 59% diversion rate in 13th consecutive year of progress

By Cole Rosengren, Waste Dive.

Dive Brief:

  • The latest annual report from Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) shows that the Washington city achieved an overall diversion rate of 58.8% in 2016, marking its 13th consecutive year of growth. Within that overall statistic the rates were 74% for single-family homes, 38.5% for multi-family buildings, 64% for commercial establishments and 10.9% for self-hauling. The city's diversion rate for construction and demolition recycling, not factored into the overall rate, was 72.5%.
  • Seattle's municipal solid waste generation increased by 3.6% to nearly 748,000 tons, due to population growth and increased economic activity. Recycling volumes grew at the same time and disposal volumes were still close to 30% less than in 2006. Though SPU's report also recognized that some of this decrease could be attributed to the recession and recognized a need for more waste prevention education.
  • The city is working to hit an overall diversion target of 70%, excluding construction and demolition, by 2022. Each sector has room for improvement to make this happen, with the self-hauling and multi-family categories seen as the farthest behind.