SURVEY RESULTS: ABA Survey Shows Widespread Recycling Access

The American Beverage Association released a report showing that a greater number of households have access to curbside recycling than what previous studies have shown. The report, prepared by R.W. Beck, is based on a 2008 survey that was issued to the largest counties and cities in the United States, as well as a representative sample of smaller communities. The survey was designed to collect direct responses, targeting 280 million people (90% of the U.S. population), and reaching more than 1,200 counties containing 20,000 communities.

The 2008 ABA Community Survey Final Report states important findings gathered from the data collected by recycling coordinators:
-229 million Americans (74% of the total population) have access to some form of curbside recycling at home

-Study shows great potential for up to 95 million more Americans to have regular curbside recycling
-59% of the population served by curbside recycling has single-stream collection service available
-Two factors necessary for potential to be reached

1) Extend curbside recycling pickup for all communities who receive curbside trash pickup (an estimated 36-60 million residents)
2) Terminate recycling fees for communities who have “subscription” recycling services, as it becomes a disincentive for recycling participants

North Carolina population statistics extrapolated from the 2008 survey:
-Total population of communities in the state = 9.2 million
-Responding population to the 2008 survey = 6.3 million (68%)
-Population with access to curbside recycling = 4.5 million
-Percent of responding population with curbside access = 71%
-Population with access to drop off recycling = 5.5 million
-Percent of responding population with drop off access = 88%

ABA commissioned the study in order to assess the availability of recycling for consumers to recycle beverage containers. The ABA’s goal for the study is to help improve recycling habits through providing information and support for better access to efficient and convenient recycling programs across the nation.

The question at hand is, with a total of 10 million North Carolina residents that have access to at least one form of recycling, and 4.5 million who have the convenience of curbside pickup, why do we not recycle more?

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