Public Sector Spotlight: "Recycling is BS"–Combating Myths & Altering Perceptions–For Everyone’s Sake

Hear key research findings into what it will take—from all of us in the value chain—to incite the change necessary to accelerate recycling best practices.

May 7, 2024

Betty LaRue / Alamy Stock Photo

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8 out of 10 Americans report recycling is worth the effort, yet in homes with curbside recycling collection, over half of recyclables end up in the trash. Why? We know recycling is complex and highly interdependent. We also know there is a correlation between confidence and positive recycling behaviors.

The Recycling Partnership reports 84% of respondents said seeing a card with basic recycling information would give them more confidence in recycling but only a quarter of them remember receiving the information already. Only 47% said they believe their recyclables are always or usually made into new things.

We’ve all tried education programs to help bridge the intention-action gap. How do we truly rebuild confidence in the system so that the recycling is done, done properly, therefore aiding contamination reduction, process improvement and efficiency and lead to more resource recovery and revenue.

Some of it is tied to unlocking behavior change by using the right tools, motivation and illustrating how and why to recycle.

Hear key research findings into what it will take—from all of us in the value chain—to incite the change necessary to accelerate recycling best practices.

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