Paying for litter pickup

We manage the Waste Reduction, Recycling, and Litter Control Account (WRRLCA) to fund litter pickup and prevention programs in Washington.

Since 1971, Washington’s statewide litter collection, waste reduction, and recycling programs have been funded by a tax on wrappers, bottles, and other items typically found in roadside litter.

The 0.015-percent tax on retail sales of these items generates about $11.4 million a year for the Waste Reduction Recycling and Litter Control Account.

  • 40 percent of these funds go toward litter pickup and prevention
  • 40 percent are used for waste reduction and recycling programs
  • 20 percent go toward funding local government programs

In 2020, Ecology-funded programs picked up more than 4.5 million pounds of litter and cleaned 21,276 miles of road statewide. These programs include:

The Washington State Department of Transportation oversees the volunteer Adopt-A-Highway program.