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The Carton Council of North America has released an analysis of policies that could increase post-consumer packaging and printed paper recovery and recycling efforts
in the U.S. Based on data from both the state and local (county/municipal) levels, the report identified several successful strategies with regard to disposal bans, recycling policies, and pay-as-you-throw (PAYT) service fees.
Here are 4 key take-aways.
1. Carrots work better than sticks. Research, education and outreach (engaging stakeholders) were identified as key factors in improving receptivity at the state level.
2. The biggest barriers to creating a successful PAYT recycling program are often political. Two of the biggest concerns are constituent opposition to new fees, potential conflicts with haulers and concern over the need for more government personnel to manage and market the program.
3. Stable funding is key. "Generally speaking, states whose governments provide funding support and municipalities that have PAYT systems in place have more high-performing recycling programs," stated the report. It also noted that when local local governments own and operate their own disposal facilities, tipping fees maybe a key source of funding for recycling programs; however, when recycling programs are successful, that revenue will decrease.
4. State and local policies should work in tandem. The public works director in Worcester, Mass., one of several interviewed for the report, stated while he believes his city's PAYT program has been the key factor driving a 45% recycling rate, state and local disposal bans have provided context and support.
Want the full report? Click here.