In 2011, 74 percent of the combined large and small system survey respondents reported providing a recycling service within their communities. This represents a slight increase from 2010, when the percentage was 72 percent. We first asked about recycling services in 2006, at which time 39 percent of systems reported a recycling program.
The graphic below represents the breakdown of all communities for which a recycling program was reported. The graphic shows the percentage of systems with a recycling program within each population group. The data labels indicate the number of survey respondents within each population group. In all population groups, greater than 50 percent of respondents reported a recycling program.
We also asked systems to estimate the usage of their recycling program. On average, it was estimated that for all survey respondents with a recycling program, 64 percent of the user base actually uses the program. Reported values for usage of the program ranged from 100 percent on the high end to four percent on the low end.
An increase of communities with recycling practices, from 39 percent to 74 percent of survey respondents, is clearly verification that communities are placing more emphasis on reducing landfill volume through recycling. The topic of recycling trends and associated cost is one we will continue to address in future versions of the rate survey.