The Recycling Partnership Releases New Resource to Improve Drop-Off Recycling Programs

March 10, 2022

3 Min Read

FALLS CHURCH, Va.  -The Recycling Partnership, a nonprofit organization that works with communities, companies, and governments to transform recycling programs, has released a new resource focusing on a specific type of recycling - drop-off sites.

Forty-five percent of Americans don’t have access to curbside recycling, whether because of rural locations or multi-family housing structures. Many of these communities utilize drop-off sites in these situations to fill that gap in access. “The Partnership has worked with many communities to reduce contamination at drop-off sites,” says Cassandra Ford, Community Program Manager at The Recycling Partnership. “The Drop-Off Recycling Contamination Reduction Kit takes our proven anti-contamination process and details a step-by-step, six steps to be exact, guide so communities can replicate our process.”

There are a lot of factors to consider when improving drop-off recycling and it does take resources, planning, and time. This can include everything from communication with material recovery facilities and haulers, clarity for residents and users, ease of use, as well as safety and security. But the benefits of contamination reduction work at drop-off recycling sites are many. Effective programs can increase the quality of the recycling stream, save on hauling fees, improve program satisfaction, increase participation, and improve the capture of quality recyclables which feeds into local manufacturing.

This is the second launch of the Drop-Off Recycling Contamination Reduction Kit. “We have been working with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) on recycling projects throughout the state and through our work with drop-off programs, we recognized a need to update and expand the kit,” continues Ford. This includes a communication plan, staffing guidance, household engagement survey guidance, an expansion to the MRF survey, as well as a new section covering security features. “And while this updated version of the kit was developed through our work with MI EGLE it can be applied to any recycling drop-off operation nationwide," says Ford. 

“We were so pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with The Recycling Partnership and Michigan communities on this important project. And we’re thrilled to know that this kit will benefit local recycling programs across the country," says Emily Freeman, Recycling Specialist from the Materials Management Division at MI EGLE.

The comprehensive kit includes guidance to help discuss recycling drop-off sites with local material recovery facilities and haulers, instructions and tools for messaging, tips for best results, strategies to reduce contamination including illegal/illicit dumping, as well as tracking and reporting. It can be used by communities looking to get started with drop-off recycling, as well as those with established programs that would like to reduce contamination, increase participation, and even improve capture of clean materials.

For more information or to download the Drop-Off Recycling Contamination Reduction Kit and get started in your community, visit

About The Recycling Partnership

At The Recycling Partnership, we are solving for circularity. We mobilize people, data, and solutions across the value chain to unlock the environmental and economic benefits of recycling and a circular economy. We work on the ground with thousands of communities to transform underperforming recycling programs; we partner with companies to achieve packing circularity, increase access to recycled materials, and meet sustainability commitments; and we work with government to develop policy solutions to address the systemic needs of our residential recycling system and advance a circular economy. We foster public-private partnerships and drive positive change at every step of the recycling and circularity process. Since 2014, we have diverted 500 million pounds of new recyclables from landfills, saved 968 million gallons of water, avoided more than 500,000metric tons of greenhouse gases, and driven significant reductions in targeted contamination rates. Learn more at

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