The US is bad at recycling. Making businesses pay could boost the rate.

By Catherine Boudreau
Business Insider
February 2, 2023
Category: Wood, Paper & Green Building
Region: Canada, United States

Americans have reason to envy some Canadian provinces and European countries for their waste systems as well. Recycling rates are high there, and taxpayers don’t cover the bill, unlike in the US. British Columbia, Belgium, Spain, and the Netherlands all had recycling rates of 78% or higher in recent years when averaged across materials like paper, cardboard, aluminum cans, and plastic, according to an analysis published Thursday by The Recycling Partnership, a group dedicated to improving recycling across the US. …Washington and Connecticut delivered the highest score, at about 50%, while Maryland, Wisconsin, Colorado, and Florida all came in at 34% or below, the analysis found. So what explains the gap? The Canadian provinces and European countries have laws that… require the companies that produce waste from bottles, packaging, and other materials to pay fees on those items. This, in turn, raises money for recycling and disposal.

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