The SPC’s Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling
Results from a study of the national availability of recycling programs
have been released today, an industry collaborative announced. The study examined the prevalence of consumer recycling programs across the United States and the acceptance of 49 types of packaging in those programs, which provides substantiation data for packaging recyclability claims and paints a national portrait of the characteristics of recycling programs offered to consumers.
Key findings include:
- Curbside programs are available to 73% of the US population, with 53% of the population having curbside recycling “automatically” provided at their home, while the other 20% has a type of subscription or opt-in recycling program available.
- For 21% of the population, drop-off recycling programs are the only programs available.
- Of the portion of the population with a subscription or opt-in curbside recycling program available, about one third are estimated to elect to participate in the program and receive their curbside receptacle.
- Taking into account estimates of the portion of the population that elects to participate in subscription or opt-in curbside recycling programs, 60% of the US population has a curbside recycling receptacle.
- Almost 90% of residents with single-family curbside recycling programs now have single stream collection.
- Only 21% of the US population is estimated to live in communities providing a uniform collection program to residents of all building types – single-family homes, small multi-family buildings, and large multi-family complexes.
- Large rolling carts for recycling collection are now used by at least 44% of residents with single-family curbside recycling programs, and are used by more programs than use traditional recycling bins.