Local Government Recycling Program Attributes Associated with Recyclable Material Recovery
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This study was designed to describe the relationship between specific local government solid waste and recycling program attributes and recyclable material recovery. The characteristics of solid waste and recycling programs vary greatly across North Carolina, achieving variable levels of recyclable material recovery rates. Given that solid waste disposal is increasing at a significant rate in North Carolina and approximately 20 years of landfill space remain in the state’s landfills, solid waste directors and recycling coordinators face an enormous amount of pressure to divert as much materials as possible to recycling programs. Through a survey of North Carolina solid waste and recycling program managers, this study collected vital data regarding characteristics of waste and recycling collection programs including pickup frequencies, weekly waste and recycling collection capacities, recycling separation requirements, and other variables presumed to be related to recyclable material recovery rates. Using correlation analyses and significance tests, the study revealed which solid waste and recycling program characteristics are most closely related to recyclable materials recovery. The study showed the three variables most closely related to recyclable materials recovery are recycling pickup frequency, separation methods and provision of recycling equipment. Solid waste and recycling program managers interested in maximizing recyclable material recovery rates should evaluate these three program attributes first to determine if improvements could be made. Recycling pickup frequency should be maximized, separation methods should be minimized and local governments should increase convenience for residents to obtain recycling bins or carts.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
local government recycling
recyclable material recovery
economics of recycling
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