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Beyond Waste

Beyond Waste: Washington State's waste reduction program

New! The 2014 plan update is now underway.  Get details.

Beyond Waste is the Washington state plan for managing hazardous and solid waste. This 30-year plan has a clear and simple goal: eliminate wastes and toxics whenever we can and use the remaining wastes as resources. This will contribute to economic, social, and environmental health.

Avoiding wastes and the use of toxic chemicals is the smartest, cheapest, and healthiest approach to waste management. The Beyond Waste Plan shifts from a reactive approach, focusing on management and clean-up, to a proactive approach, with an emphasis on preventing waste in the first place.

The Beyond Waste Plan focuses on five areas or initiatives:

  1. Moving Toward Beyond Waste with Industries
  2. Reducing Small Volume Hazardous Materials and Wastes
  3. Increasing Recycling of Organic Materials
  4. Making Green Building Practices Mainstream
  5. Measuring Progress Toward Beyond Waste

In addition to these initiatives, the plan also addresses:

The five initiatives were chosen as starting points for moving Beyond Waste because they represent large portions of the waste stream, they impact human health and the environment, and there is momentum and opportunity moving in these areas. In addition to these areas, the plan also addresses current issues in solid and hazardous waste systems.

The Beyond Waste Plan was originally written in 2004 and updated in 2009, is for the entire state of Washington. It is a collaborative effort between many stakeholders, including state agencies, local governments, businesses, and non-profit organizations. The Beyond Waste Plan is about more than just waste. In reducing and eliminating wastes, we will also help mitigate climate change, protect our waters, and reduce toxic threats.

The Plan consists of the 2009 Plan Update Summary, plus the 12 background papers. On this website, you can navigate to a plan section, view our progress report, or learn more about actions and resources in initiative areas.

Third Annual Beyond Waste Progress Report Issued

Ecology has released the third annual report documenting progress toward the Beyond Waste plan’s five-year goals. The 16 performance indicators track overall progress on the priority Beyond Waste initiatives.

A Beyond Waste Progress Report will be issued each year. Read the Progress report.

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2009 Beyond Waste Plan Update

A Brief Guide to the Beyond Waste Plan

Beyond Waste Status Report (on the 2009 Beyond Waste Plan)

30-Year Vision
for Beyond Waste


We can transition to a society where waste is viewed as inefficient, and where most wastes and toxic substances have been eliminated. This will contribute to economic, social and environmental vitality.

Tools and Resources