recycling survey results released
American businesses are looking for affordable
and flexible options when it comes to recycling, according to
results from a national survey conducted by an independent third-party,
AJR & Partners, on behalf of AERC Recycling Solutions. The
research will help to determine how to improve business-recycling
rates in the United States.
The 2010 AERC How & Why Businesses Recycle Survey tracked
two types of companies – those that recycle and those that do
not. Of the 600 completed surveys, results indicated that 90
percent of American businesses practice some form of recycling
and 10 percent do not. Fifteen industries including manufacturing,
electronics, software, medical services, finance, insurance,
real estate, education, retail and public administration were
represented by survey participants from all over the country.
More than two-thirds of all survey respondents had annual revenue
under $25 million and 20 percent under $1 million.
Companies that do recycle and those that currently do not are
both looking for affordable solutions and more options in order
to start or increase recycling efforts. Surveyed companies are
not aware of how their information is being destroyed, if it
is being destroyed. Key findings include:
- Ninety percent of firms either don’t know how their data
is destroyed or have insufficient data destruction practices
for protecting their organization from data leaks or hackers
retrieving sensitive information.
- The top three recycled waste streams with over 80 percent
rates of recycling are batteries, electronic waste and lamps.
- Slightly more than half (51 percent) of firms that do not
recycle say their customers, vendors and employees want them
to recycle, but the primary reasons for not having a recycling
program in place (for 72 percent of companies) is lack of options
or it’s too costly.
- Of the firms that do recycle, 45 percent say that their
cost of doing business has decreased by having a recycling program
through lower insurance premiums or reduced liability risks for
- Having additional options in recycling programs is a factor
in deciding if surveyed firms recycle or increase their recycling
- About 40 percent of all companies report a need for more
access to recycling options.
More than two-thirds (72 percent) of the companies that do not
recycle say that it is either too costly to recycle or they do
not have available options in their geographic region. One-third
of the companies say they do not recycle because there is no
law mandating it.
Slightly more than half say their customers, vendors and employees
want them to recycle, but the options are not there for them
to meet those demands. A full 10 percent of firms not recycling
say they have no interest in recycling.
Nearly all firms that currently recycle are genuinely concerned
about the environment and conserving natural resources as well
as being in full compliance with regulatory and industry practices.
About 45 percent say that recycling actually reduces their cost
of doing business by paying lowered insurance premiums or reducing
liability risks. The top three obstacles to increasing recycling
- Space limitations for containers
- Inconvenience of sorting materials
In order to increase recycling rates, more than one-third (35
percent) of firms that recycle say that more training is needed
to implement recycling programs for different types of waste