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Recycling Industry Has Central Role to Play in Rebuilding U.S. Economy, Says Recycling Partnership

It takes a village, as they say, to accomplish big goals, and that is certainly true of the recycling industry. With so much consumer involvement required to make recycling a success, the Recycling Partnership’s "2020 Impact Report" shows how this national nonprofit has activated dynamic change in communities since 2014.  The U.S. recycling system is the foundation for designing a circular economy where products and packaging are increasingly recirculated through material supply chains with the goal of reducing greenhouse gases, enhancing the recycling economy, and diminishing the impact of a take-make-waste society.

“One of the tasks ahead is rebuilding a strong U.S. economy in a way that supports people and the planet,” said Keefe Harrison, Recycling Partnership CEO. “Recycling will have a central role to play in the process of rebuilding the U.S. economy. Our "2020 Impact Report" shows how we’re working with communities, corporate brands, and other industry-aligned organizations to move the United States from a linear economy to a circular economy.”

There has been no shortage of reports of the challenges that recycling has encountered, as waste plastics and other materials have increased. The Recycling Partnership’s report shows how the organization has helped more than 1,500 U.S. communities overcome these recycling challenges. In particular, it has:

  • Delivered new recycling carts to more than 700,000 U.S. households;
  • prevented 251,000 metric tons of carbon emissions;
  • reached out to more than 77 million households nationwide; and
  • diverted more than 230 million pounds of recyclables from landfills into the recycling stream in the last six years.
Programs cited in the report include the “Do you know what to throw” in north-central Texas to improve the recovery of materials and provide anti-contamination strategies in various cities. The report also provides a comprehensive overview of the current supply system that is highly dependent on healthy local curbside programs to capture as much of the 37.4 million tons of single-family recyclables as possible each year.

The Recycling Partnership’s strategy for the next 18 months will focus on implementing smarter systems across the value chain, along with continuing to unlock supply of recyclable materials from communities and reducing contamination in local recycling systems.

The "2020 Impact Report" can be found at

Image: Stock

Publication date: 27/05/2020

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This project has been co-funded with the support of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Union [LIFE17 ENV/ES/000438] Life programme

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Last update: 2022-01-31