Community Recycling Survey Results

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) has performed a series of national surveys to measure the extent and track the growth of access by the public to community-level paper and paperboard recycling. The latest iteration, the 2010 Community Recycling Survey, shows that 87 percent of the population has access to curbside and/or drop-off paper and paperboard recycling programs.

“We are encouraged that this rate has held steady through the global recession and population growth that have occurred since the last survey was conducted in 2007,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman.

Paper recycling access was an important factor in helping the industry exceed its 60 percent recovery goal three years ahead of schedule. In 2009, a record-high 63.4 percent of the paper used in the U.S. was recovered for recycling.

The survey asked respondents to report which types of products were accepted in recycling collection programs. Although recycling access in general did not increase since the 2007 Survey, recycling collection access for coated and uncoated paperboard, catalogs, and paper bags increased. This means that communities with existing curbside and drop-off programs added additional types of paper and paperboard to their programs.

Key findings from the survey include:

    * 87 percent of the U.S. population (273 million people) have access to curbside and/or drop-off paper recycling programs, including:
    * 63 percent of the U.S. population (193 million people) have access to curbside recycling programs
    * 68 percent of the populations (213 million) have access to drop-off recycling programs
    * Increased access for some grades collected in existing paper/paperboard recycling programs
    * Continued growth in curbside recycling programs employing single-stream collection systems

Full results can be found on the AF&PA site here.