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National Waste & Recycling Association survey finds most Americans would compost if it was more convenient in their community

Majority not OK with waste management cost increase to support composting

WASHINGTON, Jan. 8, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- New survey data suggests that Americans would be open to composting in their homes if it were more convenient. However, the same national survey found that they don't want to pay additional fees or taxes to support such services.


While 72 percent of Americans do not compost their food waste, 67 percent of these non-composters would be willing to if it were more convenient to do so in their community, according to a new survey conducted online among more than 2,000 adults in December by Harris Interactive and commissioned by the National Waste & Recycling Association, the trade group representing America's private-sector waste and recycling industry.

However, the survey also found that 62 percent would not support an increase in the cost of their waste and recycling service, either in the form of a separate fee or an increase in taxes, if necessary to support separate food and yard waste collection and processing.

"Waste and recycling experts agree that increased conversion of organics into either compost or energy sources is an evolving trend in our industry," said Sharon H. Kneiss, president and CEO of the National Waste & Recycling Association. "While America's waste and recycling industry has developed innovative composting technologies, there are hurdles inhibiting such changes. Challenges include the collection and transportation of food waste and the siting of food waste composting facilities more broadly. But a far greater hurdle inhibiting an organics revolution may involve a lack of understanding by the American public about the value of such a change."

Kneiss added, "If you are passionate about expanding composting opportunities, you need to do more than lobby your local government officials or your community waste and recycling services provider to build such a program. You need to support efforts to educate your neighbors about the value of composting food waste."

Major findings of the survey include:

  • More than three-quarters of Americans (77 percent) say that they understand the importance of implementing a separate management process for food/yard organic material waste instead of disposing of it with general household waste.
  • More than two-thirds of those who do not compost via community programs (68 percent) say they would be willing to manage another bin to separate food waste from recyclables and other trash if their community implemented a program requiring them to do so.
  • Among Americans who have gardens or a yard, four in five (79 percent) say they would be willing to use gardening fertilizers, mulch and other products made from food waste compost.

This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Interactive on behalf of the National Waste & Recycling Association from Dec.19 to 23, 2013, among 2,051 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey results and methodology, including weighting variables, please go to:

About the National Waste & Recycling Association
The National Waste & Recycling Association is the trade association that represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that collect and manage garbage, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors and a variety of other service providers. For more information about how innovation in the environmental services industry is helping to solve today's environmental challenges, visit

Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link.
Sharon H. Kneiss

SOURCE National Waste & Recycling Association

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