It’s what garbage nerds call the “recovery rate,” the portion of all the waste collected that’s put to use rather than ending up in a landfill. And while that number is 10 percentage points higher than it was a 10 years ago, the 2014 calculation also marks the region’s first decline in nearly a decade.
The numbers were released this week in the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality's annual Material Recovery and Waste Generation Report. The report is based on the collection of materials as reported through surveys of garbage haulers and recycling and composting companies. Numbers are based on weight, and recovery rates include credits for operating state-certified waste prevention, reuse and residential composting programs. Portland-area numbers include Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties.