If you build it, they will come. If you make it easy they will recycle.
A recent survey shows that 67 percent of area residents are recycling more compared to five years ago, in large part because it has become easier as curbside recycling is now widely available. Familiarity and satisfaction with recycling services are increasing as well. With this increased awareness, the region is also seeing increased support for expanding and improving waste reduction and recycling services.
Between October 2012 and January 2013, the Mid-America Regional Council (MARC) Solid Waste Management District conducted a recycling survey of residents in the nine-county Kansas City metro area. The survey results will help the district evaluate current recycling activities and awareness, determine what recycling services residents would like to see in the future, and determine focus areas for expanded services and outreach priorities. The district also compared results with 2005 and 2008 survey data to determine how citizens’ values, behavior and awareness levels have changed.
The survey results also show an increase in support for overall improvements to solid waste management. Some key findings:
- The top services that residents would like to see offered or expanded include materials accepted curbside, household hazardous waste collection, glass container recycling services, and computers/electronics recycling services.
- 58 percent of area residents are “very willing” or “somewhat willing” to recycle their food waste curbside.
- There is a significant increase in support for area local governments to implement mandatory recycling for residents, businesses and institutions.
- More than 90 percent of area residents feel local government should have a leadership or supportive role in educating residents about and developing policies on waste reduction and recycling.
- 60 percent of area residents are “very willing” or “somewhat willing” to pay for their trash services based on the amount of trash they set out for disposal, i.e., adopting a pay-as-you-throw system of solid waste collection.
The full survey is available online.