America Recycles Day: Everyday Environmentalism Starts At Home

Recent Survey Reveals Americans Daily Recycling Habits and Attitudes

America Recycles Day is November 15. Recycling can be the easiest way for Americans to be environmentalists. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, recycling is the easiest way to help protect our own environment.

While most people claim to support recycling, participation rates in curbside recycling programs across the country average around 50 percent. This shows that many Americans are not as diligent as they intend to be in recycling.

Survey Results

Here are some of the results from a national survey conducted by the Opinion Research Corporation, commissioned by the Aluminum Can Council’s Curbside Value Partnership.

Age appears to have a significant effect on whether or not people recycle. Of those surveyed with access to curbside recycling, the majority of participants who say they “always” recycle were baby boomers and senior citizens.

Eighty percent of people ages 45-54, seventy-six percent of people ages 55-64, and eighty-two percent of those 65 and older say they “always” recycle at the curb. On the opposite end of the spectrum the group that reported being most likely to never recycle at the curb were those between the ages of 18-34.

Young Adults Least Likely To Recycle

“We were a bit surprised to learn that the young adult age group is the least likely to recycle. The current perception is that this is an age group that is quite socially conscious and ‘into’ environmental protection,” said Steve Thompson, 31-year veteran of the recycling industry and Program Director of the Curbside Value Partnership.

“This could be an indication that many are unaware of curbside programs in their communities. This reiterates the importance of communities regularly communicating to their residents, encouraging them to participate in their curbside recycling programs.”

Materials Recycled

Survey respondents also revealed a variation among what types of materials individuals are most diligent about recycling. Of all the recyclable materials, newspaper is the most popular item to recycle at (32%), with aluminum cans (25%) followed by plastic bottles (20%) and glass bottles (14%).

In households with no children, newspaper is the most commonly recycled item, however, in households with children the figure drops from 35% to 23% (12 and under) then up again to 26% when children are 12-17. Interestingly, while families with children appear to be less careful about recycling newspaper, there is a small spike in other materials, including aluminum, plastic, and glass.

Population Growth

“As the Earth’s population continues to grow, it is more important than ever for Americans to realize that our resources are finite,” says Heather McNamara, Senior Vice President of Hill & Knowlton, the public relations firm hired by the Aluminum Can Council to help promote recycling to consumers.

“There is a misconception that consumers don’t care about recycling. The truth is, they do care, they just need to know how small changes to their everyday activities can make a positive impact. We can’t expect them to go out of their way, but if we can simplify the message, show them the facts and give them tangible action items, we will see results. Our goal is to encourage all Americans to take the time to make a habit of recycling on America Recycles Day, and every day!”

Alan Gray is the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of NewsBlaze Daily News and other online newspapers. He prefers to edit, rather than write, but sometimes an issue rears it’s head and makes him start hammering away on the keyboard.

Content Expertise

Alan has been on the internet since it first started. He loves to use his expertise in content and digital marketing to help businesses grow, through managed content services. After living in the United States for 15 years, he is now in South Australia. To learn more about how Alan can help you with content marketing and managed content services, contact him by email.

Technical Expertise

Alan is also a techie. His father was a British solder in the 4th Indian Division in WWII, with Sikhs and Gurkhas. He was a sergeant in signals and after that, he was a printer who typeset magazines and books on his linotype machine. Those skills were passed on to Alan and his brothers, who all worked for Telecom Australia, on more advanced signals (communications). After studying electronics, communications, and computing at college, and building and repairing all kinds of electronics, Alan switched to programming and team building and management.

He has a fascination with shooting video footage and video editing, so watch out if he points his Canon 7d in your direction.