Seattle Public Utilities shares the good news via e-mail: "For the eighth straight year, the city’s residents and businesses have recycled more than the year before. In 2011, Seattle’s overall recycling rate reached an all-time high of 55.4 percent, bringing Seattle closer to its goal of diverting 60 percent of generated municipal solid waste from the landfill through recycling and composting."

That's up 1.7 percent from last year, while our land-fill use dropped by 4.8 percent. The city credits: mandatory food waste service at 6,100 apartment buildings and condos, grants to promote recycling, phone book opt-our program. Yay, Seattle!

Here's a table that shows our 10 years of previous progress:

Recylcing rates among various sectors of the city.
  • SPU
  • Recylcing rates among various sectors of the city.

But we're not, like, the best or anything. Seattle is far ahead of New York (where recycling rates are actually declining to a depressing 15 percent of the solid waste stream), but San Francisco is more than a full score ahead.