Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling
The Centralized Study on Availability of Recycling
In 2015-2016, The Sustainable Packaging Coalition (SPC) led an industry collaborative to study the availability of recycling programs in the United States and the types of packaging accepted in those programs.
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 recycling receptacle.
- Only 21% of the population is estimated to live in communities providing a uniform curbside collection program to residents of all building types - single-family homes, small multi-family buildings, and large multi-family complexes
The study's findings on the acceptance of 49 types of packaging in recycling programs provide important substantiation data for industry to make recyclability claims in compliance with the US Federal Trade Commission's guidance for environmental marketing claims. National acceptance rates for every packaging type studied are given in broadened figures in this report, and detailed information on acceptance rates are presented in a series of reports issued to the various project partner organizations.
The study is available for free download here. For questions about the report, please contact SPC Associate Director Adam Gendell at 434.202.4790 or email.
Two additional reports from the study have been made available: