Simple Steps to Increase the US Recycling Rate
Jul 30, 2012
Increasing the Recycling Rate Nearly Overnight
I just read a great opinion piece in the New York Times writer David Bornstein, where he discusses the million or so new jobs that can be created and the amount of carbon emissions that can be cut if people recycled the majority of their waste.
I coudn’t agree more.
He also espouses the RAA labeling standards, which are shown below.
I like the idea of using photographs of the type of materials you want thrown into a particular bin- as a picture is worth a thousand words. In fact, I was at a music venue last night and the person nxt to me commented out loud to his friend after seeing a composting bin, “Composting!??! What the “F” is that?” A picture surely would have made it easy for him to understand it.
However, too many choices and too many labels with the same color codes will only cause confusion.
My suggestion: Limit to 5 or 6 recycling options max.
People want simplicity– so you have to give them what they want or they will lose interest and just toss it all in one bin.
Also, one color code per type of recycling behavior you want. We cannot have multiple shades of blue — plus different meaning to the color tags.
Stick with red, white, blue, green, yellow and black — and that’s it. Teach those color recycling codes to the public and in a few years, the majority of the population will know them.
The recycling rate must increase, and making it easy to do will surely help.