Cascadia Consulting Group compiled single-family recycling composition data utilizing studies conducted in the past three years in five western and southern U.S. cities.

The five municipalities all operate single-stream recycling collection and have populations ranging from 600,000 to 2.2 million. The chart below provides a breakout of types and amounts of contaminants, defined as materials not accepted in the programs.

Although contamination rates ranged widely – from 12 to 32 percent – researchers found consistency in terms of material types: non-conforming paper; food, green waste and wood; and other non-recyclables.

Data Corner is compiled monthly by recycling consultancy RRS. For this edition, the company collaborated with Cascadia Consulting.

This article originally appeared in the June 2017 issue of Resource Recycling. Subscribe today for access to all print content.