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Consumers Open to Composting, Don’t Want to Pay Extra

US consumers are open to composting in their homes — but don’t want to pay additional fees to support such services, according to a survey.

While 72 percent of Americans do not compost their food waste, 67 percent of these non-composters would be willing to if it were more convenient to do so in their community, according to the online survey of more than 2,000 adults by Harris Interactive and commissioned by the National Waste & Recycling Association.

The waste and recycling industry group’s survey also found that 62 percent would not support an increase in the cost of their waste and recycling service, either in the form of a separate fee or an increase in taxes, if necessary to support separate food and yard waste collection and processing.

Other findings include:

  • More than three-quarters of Americans (77 percent) say that they understand the importance of implementing a separate management process for food/yard organic material waste instead of disposing of it with general household waste.
  • More than two-thirds of those who do not compost via community programs (68 percent) say they would be willing to manage another bin to separate food waste from recyclables and other trash if their community implemented a program requiring them to do so.
  • Among Americans who have gardens or a yard, four in five (79 percent) say they would be willing to use gardening fertilizers, mulch and other products made from food waste compost.

Compostability should replace the B word — biodegradable — in sustainability conversations, according to Adam Gendell, project manager at GreenBlue’s Sustainable Packaging Coalition. The problem with the B word, he says, is that sometimes biodegradable can improve sustainability but sometimes it’s a detractor.


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One thought on “Consumers Open to Composting, Don’t Want to Pay Extra

  1. So, the take away is that Americans want something for nothing? Would the percentages change if they received an incentive or direct benefit for composting their waste? If the survey is true in what it reflects, then we wouldn’t financially support any recycling initiative if we have to pay for it.

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