Oregon is supposed to be recycling more than half of our waste by 2020. It’s not looking good.
Based on a report released by Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center on Nov. 15 (America Recycles Day), our state’s recycling rate has been steadily declining since 2014. Every major county has failed to improve its waste reduction since 2012. The current statewide rate of 37 percent is well below the goal of recycling 52 percent of our waste by 2020 and 55 percent by 2025.
“Unfortunately, Oregon is moving in the wrong direction,” Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center Associate John Ammondson told the Portland Tribune.
But we can still turn this mess around. In the report, Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center recommended reducing the use of single-use plastics and investing in curbside compost collection, education and outreach efforts, and local recycling facilities.
Photo: Portland Recycles bin. Credit: Toby Webster via Flickr CC-BY-2.0.