Why Americans Don’t Recycle


A HarrisInteractive poll on sent out on Business Wire today reveals that many Americans aren’t recycling and finds a murky mix of reasons for why this is so.  The good news is that three out of four Americans partakes in some form of recycling.  The bad news is, this is a large and populated country and 1 in four nonrecylers makes for a shitload of wastefullness.  Here’s what the Harris has to say about reasons for not recycling:

 Why Dont They Recycle?

Among those who do not recycle, the reasons are very varied. One in six (15%) say they do not recycle because it is not available in their area while 12 percent each say it takes too much effort and it costs more to recycle where they live. Just one in ten (11%) say they do not recycle because they dont believe it makes a difference while six percent say they are too busy and five percent say it is too difficult.

Southerners might be more inclined to recycle if it was cheaper and actually available. One in five (20%) of those who live in the South do not recycle because it isnt available in their area, while an additional 14 percent say it is because it costs more where they live. For those in the East who do not recycle, laziness may be the reason. One-quarter of Easterners (26%) say they do not recycle because it takes too much effort.

So, we’re cheap, lazy and can’t be bothered.  Not sure I needed a poll to tell me that, but it sounds like a combined category of “apathetic” would account for a third of the barriers keeping Americans from recycling.  Perhaps we should be lobbying for some sort of federal Make it Cheap, Make it Easy Recycling bill.  

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