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