Independent Survey of Communities Shows Recycling Access Widespread With Room for Growth

Via Docuticker.

Independent Survey of Communities Shows Recycling Access Widespread With Room for Growth
Source: American Beverage Association

The American Beverage Association (ABA) released today a report showing that nearly three in four Americans have access to curbside recycling programs – but the infrastructure is in place for millions more to gain access to this convenient and efficient form of recycling.

The report, prepared independently by the environmental firm R.W. Beck, found that an estimated 229 million Americans, or 74 percent of the total population, have access to some form of curbside recycling at home. The data was compiled through a broad national survey of local recycling officials. Curbside recycling makes it easier and more convenient for people to recycle — and thus more likely to recycle.

While widespread access to curbside recycling is encouraging news, the study underscores the great potential for up to 95 million more Americans to have regular curbside pickup of recyclables. For these Americans, the infrastructure is in place for curbside recycling if two barriers are removed: extending recyclables collection to all who currently have curbside trash pickup and lifting of recycling fees for those who have access to “subscription” curbside recycling service. For example, right now, an estimated 36 to 60 million residents currently have trucks come to their curb to collect their trash but not their recyclables. So the pieces are in place for those same trucks, or entities, providing the trash collection to all to collect recyclable materials at the curbside. Also, subscription services can often be a disincentive for people to participate in existing curbside recycling programs.

+ Full Report (PDF; 323 KB)

About Laura B.

Laura L. Barnes is a librarian at the Prairie Research Institute Library, embedded at the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center, and writes for Environmental News Bits.
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