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EPA Revises National Recycling Rate Upward Slightly

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has revised some of its latest waste characterization figures, which resulted in a slight increase in the national recycling rate.

The EPA said on its website that it has revised its national recycling rate to 34.1 percent from 34 percent for its 2010 Municipal Solid Waste Characterization report, published last November.

The rate was buoyed by a revision in its recycling rate for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles and jars upward to 29.2 percent from 21 percent. The EPA made that change after deciding to include caps, lids and other materials in the rate, to be more consistent with how it measured other materials and how the PET products were gauged in the past.

Also, the EPA revised downward its recycling rate for selected consumer electronics, to 19.6 percent from 26.6 percent. The change reflects the EPA examining a broader selection of electronics types, in keeping with methods the agency has used in previous years.

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