The U.S. paper and OCC recycling rates for 2021 were 68.0% and 91.4%, higher than the previous year, the American Forest & Paper Association announced in a press conference May 24.
The U.S. is processing more of its scrap plastic domestically, but the overall weight of plastic recycled in 2020 dropped just under 6% from 2019, according to an annual industry report.
To quickly grasp the struggles facing American curbside recycling programs, one can follow the money – or lack thereof. In July 2017, a ton of recyclables was worth over $90. In October 2019, it was worth $30. That’s according to new research from The Recycling Partnership.
Many recycling facilities track throughput, materials composition, contamination and other data points. One operator in the Northeast is now bringing meticulous measurement to social distancing.
Thirty trash and recyclables collectors were killed on the job in 2017, roughly equal to the number who lost their lives the year before, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The Recycling Partnership will launch a PET recycling coalition, a representative of the nonprofit group announced at last week’s Plastics Recycling Conference.