“The Oct. 3, 2015, Op-Ed by John Tierney, ’The Reign of Recycling,’ which appeared in The New York Times, has generated responses from an array of organizations and individuals, including key stakeholders in the recycling sector.
“At Keep America Beautiful, our primary concern about the piece is that it may discourage the most important audience we serve: the American people. Recycling plays an important role in sustainable materials management, and we will continue to help educate, motivate and activate people to better understand the ’how, what, where and why’ of recycling today and in the future.
“Research conducted in partnership with the Ad Council by C+R Research in the development of the ‘I Want To Be Recycled’ public service advertising and awareness campaign was clear: Americans want to recycle. Approximately two-thirds of respondents said recycling is a very/extremely important issue, citing its potential positive impact on the economy, public health, the environment, and waste reduction, among other benefits.*
“While many factors play a role in making recycling successful, three key factors guide Keep America Beautiful’s work to increase recycling: convenience, communication and cause (getting people to understand the many benefits of recycling and why they should care). The first critical success factor is to make recycling convenient and an easy action to take. By educating and engaging individuals to recycle more of the right things the right way—at home, at work and on-the-go—we can help make recycling more economically viable, creating jobs and providing recyclables to manufacture new products and packaging, while continuing to reap greater environmental and community benefits.
“Few question fluctuations in commodity prices related to recycling, fragmented recycling infrastructure, and regulatory issues are challenges that must be addressed. These are not, however, reasons to give up on or to discourage recycling. We are a nation that knows how to solve problems.
“We stand committed to helping Americans better understand recycling and its potential for economic, environmental and community benefits by working with all stakeholders—manufacturers; the waste management industry; local, state and federal government entities; other nonprofit organizations; trade associations and beyond—to make recycling more sustainable.
“The business of recycling is complex, but the act of recycling can be easy and made even easier for Americans. Together, we can help make recycling even more successful.”
*The C+R survey was conducted online from August 28 – September 15, 2014, with 1,000 Americans age 18-64.
About Keep America Beautiful
At Keep America Beautiful, we want to ensure that beauty is our lasting signature. A leading national nonprofit, Keep America Beautiful inspires and educates people to take action every day to improve and beautify their community environment. We envision a country where every community is a clean, green, and beautiful place to live. Established in 1953, Keep America Beautiful provides the expertise, programs and resources to help people end littering, increase recycling in America, and beautify America’s communities. The organization is driven by the work and passion of more than 600 community-based Keep America Beautiful affiliates, millions of volunteers, and the support of corporate partners, municipalities, elected officials, and individuals. To learn how you can donate or take action, visit kab.org. Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, like us on Facebook, or view us on YouTube.