Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact to improve recycling behavior and build confidence in recycling in the United States

Content of the article

Six experts serving as launch advisors

Advertisement 2

Content of the article

Washington, DC, Aug. 03, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Recycling Partnership today announced that it has launched the Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact (“The Center”) to drive measurable improvement in residential recycling behavior and mobilize the participation of households in the circular economy. Human behavior is at the heart of any successful recycling program. The Recycling Partnership takes the lead in helping people overcome barriers to participation, combining behavioral science with programs to increase access.

“Engaging the public first means making sure everyone has fair access to recycling services,” said Keefe Harrison, CEO of The Recycling Partnership. “As we reached more than 100 million American homes, we saw firsthand that a critical piece was missing. We have a responsibility to make it easy, even enjoyable, for all Americans to participate fully. That is exactly what we will do, working in collaboration with our Expert Launch Advisors to quickly create and share innovative, evidence-based solutions with practitioners and stakeholders working in the circular economy on recycling, reuse and reduction.

Advertisement 3

Content of the article

Each year, 15 million tons of recyclable household waste is lost to landfills because Americans are confused and lack confidence in recycling. The loss of 15 million tons of recyclables is equivalent to 63 million metric tons of carbon dioxide; capturing this material would generate more than 17,500 jobs and $834 million in landfill savings.

“Solving this challenge requires an evidence-based approach,” said Louise Bruce, Executive Director of the Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact. “By rigorously evaluating and disseminating our findings, we are making the Center the go-to hub for innovative, people-centric solutions that dramatically improve recycling at every stage of the consumer journey. With this, we hope to empower recycling leaders to optimize their programs and advance the circularity of the economy.

Advertisement 4

Content of the article

With founding support from the Walmart Foundation and the Milliken & Company Charitable Foundation, The Recycling Partnership will leverage its network of community partnerships, comprehensive national database, deep expertise in recycling education and its established track record of improving underperforming recycling programs to propel positive change in recycling. behaviour. This change will be measured both by an increase in the collection of recyclable materials and by the growth in household participation in recycling.

“People are at the heart of our sustainability strategy, so supporting the Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact was the right fit,” said Chairman and CEO of Milliken & Company and Chairman of the Board of Milliken & Company Charitable Foundation, Halsey Cook. “The Centre’s work to build consumer confidence and equitably overcome barriers to residential recycling will become a critical part of our strategy to address end-of-life plastics.”

Advertisement 5

Content of the article

“The Center fills a gap in the circular economy flywheel, which includes circular design, infrastructure and behavior change,” said Julie Gehrki, vice president and chief operating officer of the Walmart Foundation. “The Walmart Foundation supports the Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact to identify key trends, attitudes, motivations and barriers to circularity at the national, regional and local levels. This information will inform several tools to accelerate recycling trust and adoption, including a digital handbook that will be purposefully designed to improve community trust in recycling and embed equity into circular initiatives.

While Americans overwhelmingly support recycling, with 80% saying it has a positive impact, when it comes to putting recyclables in the trash, one roadblock is a lack of trust. Through his first Recycling Confidence Index, The Center uses behavioral science to assess consumer confidence in recycling programs and identify the drivers of these beliefs. Half of those surveyed believe the items they recycle are turned into new things, suggesting there is potential to build trust in recycling, but only 7% said they believed the items recycled seldom if ever became something new. Significantly, the survey found that the highest levels of trust exist among those who receive the full spectrum of recycling communications and support, including practical bins, recycling knowledge and information. and motivational messages. When there is strong communication, information and support, consumers are more likely to believe that recycling works and that their personal behaviors are having a real impact. Click here to learn more about the Recycling Confidence Index.

Advertising 6

Content of the article

The Center will initially focus on three areas: (i) deepening understanding of consumer barriers and sentiments towards recycling, (ii) scientifically testing different types of solutions to determine the most effective and scalable tactics that improve behavior recycling with different populations in the United States. , and (iii) the creation of a playbook and related online tool to make best practices and key information available to national, state and local recycling leaders.

To support its initial phase, the Center works with six launch advisors; experts and practitioners in the fields of environmental research, behavioral science, community recycling program management and sustainable marketing to ensure that its research practices meet the highest scientific standards, while being grounded in the daily challenges of local communities. Launch Advisors are:

Advertising 7

Content of the article

  • Bridget Anderson, Deputy Commissioner of Recycling and Sustainability, New York Department of Sanitation
  • Jason Hale, COO, Ocean Plastics Asia, Systemiq
  • Steve Raabe, Founder and President, OpinionWorks
  • Suzanne Shelton, Founder, President and CEO, Shelton Group
  • Joseph Sherlock, Applied Behavioral Researcher, Duke University Center for Advanced Hindsight
  • Cynthia Shih, Senior Advisor, Delterra

“The vast majority of Americans want to do the right thing and keep their trash out of landfills. Why, then, are diversion rates so low in some areas? We have real work to do to change that, and I’m proud to be part of the effort to fix this, before it’s too late,” said Bridget Anderson, Deputy Commissioner of Recycling and Sustainability, New York Department of Sanitation.

Advertising 8

Content of the article

About the Recycling Partnership

At The Recycling Partnership, we strive for circularity. We mobilize people, data and solutions across the value chain to unlock the environmental and economic benefits of recycling and a circular economy. We work on the ground with thousands of communities to transform underperforming recycling programs; we partner with companies to achieve circularity in packaging, increase access to recycled materials and meet sustainability commitments; and we work with the government to develop policy solutions to address the systemic needs of our residential recycling system and advance a circular economy. We encourage public-private partnerships and drive positive change at every step of the recycling and circularity process. Since 2014, we’ve diverted 770 million pounds of new recyclable material from landfills, saved 968 million gallons of water, avoided more than 670,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases, and resulted in significant reductions in targeted contamination rates. To learn more, visit




Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively yet civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments can take up to an hour to be moderated before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread you follow, or if a user follows you comments. Visit our Community Rules for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail settings.