The Wyoming recycling rate is less than stellar, but improving
The statewide recycling rate in 2004 was estimated to be 1.7%, but improved to near 7% in subsequent years. Wyoming also composts about 8% of waste, which equates to a total waste diversion rate of 15%.
These numbers are far below the 34% national average; however, there’s something to be said for the upward trend over the past decade.
A 2013 published report commissioned by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) lays out a comprehensive plan and recommendations to help boost Wyoming’s waste diversion rate to at least 30%.
Economic boost from recycling
We all know recycling is beneficial to the environment, but its economic benefits are not as well known. The recycling industry bring jobs to the community.
According to the EPA, for every 10,000 lbs. of waste disposed of in landfills, there is only 1 job created. On the other hand, the same amount of waste processed at recycling facilities creates 10 recycling-related jobs or 75 material reuse jobs.
In summary, recycling offers:
- New jobs, more money flowing through the state and local economies
- Fewer landfills, illegal dumping sites, and less need for virgin materials to manufacture new products
Cut waste generated at home by 25%
About a quarter of the waste landfilled in the U.S. is compostable. This includes waste like yard debris, food waste and paper products.
Composting is great for the environment and actually saves you money in two ways:
- Compost is free fertilizer and soil additive. You don’t have to buy it anymore.
- Composting may allow you to downsize your waste container needs and save a few bucks on your waste hauling bill.
It’s easy to compost at home, and no, it doesn’t smell like rotting garbage if you do it right.
It’s a matter of mixing “brown” materials like twigs, dead leaves and clean paper with “green” materials like coffee grounds/filters, fruit/veggie scraps, nut shells and egg shells (no whole eggs).
Mix in a higher ratio of brown materials to avoid a stinky batch of compost. Mix weekly and keep moist with water. That’s all it takes to start reaping the benefits of compost.
Learn more about composting here and here.
- Solid waste rules and state statutes
- Solid waste permitting information
- Wyoming DEQ Homepage