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Study: Public Needs Recycling Education

recyclingThe public could benefit from additional education on what can be recycled, according to a recent national survey commissioned ahead of Earth Day by the National Waste & Recycling Association.

Curbside recycling is available to more than half of American adults and two-thirds are clear on what belongs in recycling bins, but significant numbers are unclear about some items that can be recycled.

The survey found that more than half of Americans (55 percent) confirm their town or city offers “curbside collection” of recyclables, which they place into a bin or cart separate from their household trash bin. Additionally, two-thirds of Americans (67 percent) say they’re clear on what materials go in recycling bins, and 64 percent know it is necessary to rinse used food containers before placing them into recycling receptacles.

In one area of confusion, 39 percent of Americans incorrectly believe it is acceptable to recycle plastic bags by tossing them into household bins. Plastic bags can damage and even shut down recycling facilities and should instead be recycled at participating grocery stores, the association said.

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