Nearly half of U.S. adults do not have information on recycling available to them

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Washington, USA — According to a new survey released by the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), and conducted online by Harris Poll, more than 103 million Americans over the age of 18 must rely on their own devices to figure out what can and cannot be recycled, information about the recycling process, and other details about recycling. This total represents 44 percent of the adult population. As a result many of these people rely on Internet searches (52 percent), proactively seeking out information from local government sources (21 percent), family/friends (18 percent), or other sources for information on recycling.

“It is deeply troubling to know that almost half of adults do not have access to recycling information,” said Robin Wiener, president of ISRI. “When people do not know how, what, or where to recycle, it can lead to trash entering and contaminating the recycling stream. It could also lead to recyclable materials ending up in landfills. Further public education on recycling by municipalities is needed to clear up confusion, promote proper recycling, and thereby increase recycling rates.”

Key findings from the survey include:

  • Just over half (56 percent) of Americans say detailed information about recycling is readily available to them, while 44 percent say it’s not and that they have to seek it out.
  • Overall, 36 percent of Americans say that they either seek out or are provided with detailed information about recycling from their local government.
    • Among those who say detailed information about recycling is readily available to them – 49 percent say it’s provided by their local government.
    • Among those who have to seek out detailed information about recycling – 21 percent say they go to local government to seek it out.
  • Overall, 39 percent of Americans say that they either seek out or are provided with detailed information about recycling from the Internet.
    • Among those who say detailed information about recycling is readily available to them – 30 percent say it’s provided on the Internet.
    • Among those who have to seek out detailed information about recycling – 52 percent say they go to the Internet.
  • Whether or not it is provided or sought out, only 6 percent of respondents received information from local schools.
  • Of all respondents, 18 percent received information from their local garbage man.

Source: The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc. (ISRI) / Business Wire