Despite enormous amounts of time and money being poured into educating the younger generations on the importance of recycling, recent studies show that younger Americans are less likely to recycle than older age groups.
According to an article posted on Waste 360, a recent poll of over 2,000 U.S. adults showed that only 33% of Americans between the ages of 18-34 claim to always recycle compared to 48% of older adults. The study also showed that this same age group is less likely to say that recycling will help reduce landfills and energy consumption and is the socially responsible thing to do.
This information begs the question…why don’t young people see the environmental and economic value in recycling and what can be done about it?
Some answers may be found by addressing accessibility and the costs of the programs. Despite the efforts to make recycling more accessible in recent decades through curbside pick up, public cans, drop off locations and more, 90% of Americans believe recycling needs to be more easily accessible. Between 62-68% feel that retailers, manufacturers, and the government should pay for these programs.
At Veritas Waste, we firmly believe that education and accessibility are key factors to the success of any recycling program. We continue to help our clients with their sustainability efforts. The bright side is that recycling is easier now than ever before. With the advent of Single Stream Recycling in most markets there is no need to sort paper, plastic, tin, cardboard, glass – it all goes into one waste stream and is sorted at the
recycling facility. Composting is also becoming more mainstream with composting services available in a number of areas for the recycling of food waste both at residential and commercial levels.
So we continue to fight the good fight! If you are interested in starting a recycling program in your business or community or need help with an existing one, contact Veritas Waste for a free consultation.