The U.S. recycled a record amount of paper in 2010.

Stephen Ursery, Editor, Waste Age Magazine

April 1, 2011

1 Min Read
Paper Recycling Reaches All-Time High

The U.S. paper recycling rate reached 63.5 percent in 2010, according to the Washington-based American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA). The rate marks a slight uptick from 2009, when 63.4 percent of the paper consumed in the United States was recycled, and is an all-time high, according to Chuck Fuqua, spokesman for AF&PA. The recycling rate was 57.4 percent in 2008.

The rise of paper recycling in the United States largely can be attributed to three factors, Fuqua says: access, education and the increasing desire of the public to “be green.”

In 2010, 87 percent of the U.S. population had access to either a curbside recycling program and/or a community drop-off center, Fuqua says, citing a recent R.W. Beck study. The effects of paper-recycling education efforts by organizations such as AF&PA, Scholastic Inc. and Keep America Beautiful have been significant as well, he adds.

“It’s a situation where the public has been armed with the information and the access, and they also have the desire,” Fuqua says.

AF&PA, which is the national trade association of the forest products industry, also announced recently that it has set a goal of a national paper recycling rate of more than 70 percent by 2020. Additionally, the group recently named its 2011 Recycling Award winners:

Business Leadership Award: MGM Resorts International, Las Vegas

Community Recycling Award: Onondaga County Resource Recovery Agency, Onondaga, N.Y.

School Recycling Award: Purdy High School, Purdy, Mo.

About the Author(s)

Stephen Ursery

Editor, Waste Age Magazine, Waste360

Stephen Ursery is the editor of Waste Age magazine. During his time as editor, Waste Age has won more than 20 national and regional awards. He has worked for Penton Media since August 1999. Before joining Waste Age as the magazine's managing editor, he was an associate editor for American City & County and for National Real Estate Investor.

Prior to joining Penton, Stephen worked as a reporter for The Marietta Daily Journal and The Fulton County Daily Report, both of which are located in metro Atlanta.

Stephen earned a BA in History from Rhodes College in Memphis, Tenn.

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