Survey: Most Americans are proud to recycle.

Filling recycling bins fills makes most Americans feel proud, and we feel guilty when we toss something recyclable into the trash.

That’s what the Environmental Industry Associations (EIA) found when they looked at the results of the online survey that Harris Interactive conducted for them last month.

  • More than 80% feel proud when they recycle.
  • More than 60% feel guilty when they throw a recyclable into the trash instead of recycling it.
  • More than half are often successful recycling at work, but fewer than 25% are able to recycle when traveling or dining out.

A major take-away from the survey is that, for Americans to recycle away from home or work, recycling bins need to be available. According to Anne Germain, EIA’s waste and recycling technology director, “wherever there is a public trash can, there also should be a recycling bin within sight. People think about recycling and inherently want to, but they need readily available recycling options for the habit to be a no-brainer.”

Public Recycle Bin

Wherever you see a trash bin, you should see one of these. (photo: © Justin Smith / Wikimedia Commons, CC-By-SA-3. 0)

Detailed survey results are available on the Environmental Industry Associations website, and complete survey methodology is available here.

The Environmental Industry Associations (EIA) is the trade association that represents the private sector solid waste and recycling services industry through its two sub-associations, the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC).

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