Curbside recycling in the U.S.A. Convenience and mandatory participation

Jess W. Everett, J. Jeffrey Peirce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


This research examines the relationship between the success of a residential curbside recycling program (RCRP), measured as material recovery rate (MRR), and two program factors: (1) whether or not participation is mandated; and (2) convenience, measured by container provision, collection frequency and collection day relative to municipal solid waste collection day. Residential curbside recycling programs, with correct strategies and program design, can be an important part of solid waste management plans world-wide. While residential curbside recycling programs are growing in popularity, many basic design questions lie unanswered and successful program strategies are not always obvious. Data from 357 residential curbside recycling programs in the United States are used to test the hypotheses. Mandatory participation residential curbside recycling programs are seen to collect more material than voluntary participation residential curbside recycling programs. Container provision appears effective for voluntary, but not mandatory, residential curbside recycling programs. Increasing collection frequency appears to have a small positive effect on residential curbside recycling program success, while collection day has little effect on material recovery rate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)49-61
Number of pages13
JournalWaste Management & Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Pollution


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