What is the State Solid and Hazardous Waste Plan?
The State Solid and Hazardous Waste Plan guides the management of waste and materials in Washington. Its goal is to eliminate waste and toxics wherever possible and use the remaining wastes as resources. The plan helps advance the state's waste management hierarchy, established in the solid and hazardous waste statutes, which identifies waste reduction as the highest priority, followed by recycling, and then safe disposal.
Washington's citizens, businesses, and governments have all made big improvements in waste management practices since the first state plan was adopted in 1972, but there is work yet to be done.
- Valuable recyclables and other resources are still thrown away.
- Toxic substances are still common in many products.
- A lot of waste continues to be produced — all of it made from finite natural resources.
- Wasting these resources is not sustainable in the long term.
Why plan for reducing solid and hazardous waste?
Reducing wastes and toxics has many benefits. It saves money for consumers, local governments, and businesses. It conserves natural resources and protects human health and the environment. As all of us in Washington reduce wastes and toxics, we help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and protect Washington waters from toxics in stormwater runoff — two key priorities. Reducing wastes and the use of toxic chemicals is the smartest, cheapest, and healthiest approach to waste management.
State plan contents
The state plan has five sections, each containing goals and actions for the next five years.
Learn the plan update process and read public comments.
Sustainable materials management
To help reduce waste and toxics, the plan update focuses on sustainable materials management. This means using and reusing materials in the most sustainable way across their entire life cycle — from design, manufacturing and use, to end-of-life when the material is either disposed or recycled.