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New SWANA report addresses cost effectiveness of Recycle Right programs

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The Recycling Partnership recommends that communities implement five strategies to reduce curbside recycling contamination.

Many local governments in North America have implemented "recycle right" programs to help reduce contamination in curbside recycling. The SWANA Applied Research Foundation (ARF) has issued an important new report presenting the costs and effectiveness of these educational programs designed to address and improve recycling behaviours. The report, Encouraging Better Curbside Recycling Behaviors, follows the ARF report released in March 2021, Reducing Contamination in Curbside Recycling Programs, which addressed curbside recycling contamination.

"The new SWANA-ARF report is a powerful tool for local governments assessing how to improve their recycling programs and reduce contamination," stated David Biderman, SWANA Executive Director and CEO. "With the recent issuance of EPA's National Recycling Strategy and its identification of reducing contamination as a key objective, the report is particularly timely. SWANA will be working closely with EPA and other recycling stakeholders to implement the Strategy, using some of the lessons learned from this report," Biderman added.

The Recycling Partnership recommends that communities implement five strategies to reduce curbside recycling contamination. The ARF report provides summaries and cost effectiveness for each of these strategies.

"SWANA would like to recognize and thank the organizations that comprise the ARF's Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) research group that identified and voted on this topic as well as supported and assisted in the research," said Jeremy O'Brien, SWANA's Director of Applied Research.

The full report, Encouraging Better Curbside Recycling Behaviors, is currently only available to SWANA-ARF subscribers. SWANA members receive free access to the report one year after publication.

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