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This page offers a wealth of information and links to various resources including:

Benefits of Recycling

You will need Adobe Reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA's PDF page to learn more.

Puzzled About Recycling Value? Look Beyond the Bin (PDF) (16 pp, 317K)

This publication documents the benefits of recycling, including economic development and sustainable resource use.

The Climate and Waste Connection

Every stage of a product's life cycle—extraction, manufacturing, distribution, use, and disposal—indirectly or directly contributes to the concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere and affects the global climate. Waste prevention and recycling offer significant potential for decreasing GHG emissions.

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Tools for Recycling Programs

Toolkit to Help Local Governments with Green Building Practices (PDF) (92 pp, 15MB)

Describes a new local government toolkit for fostering green building.

Full Cost Accounting for Municipal Solid Waste Management

Local government officials need to know what solid waste management really costs. Full cost accounting (FCA) provides a common-sense approach to identifying and assessing the cost of managing solid waste operations, and aiding decision-makers with short and long-term program planning to help identify measures for streamlining and improving operations.

Getting More for Less: Improving Collection Efficiency (PDF) (45 pp, 882K)

This guide provides local planners with a better understanding of cost-saving methods for collecting residential recyclables.

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Recycling Program Models

Innovations: Analysis of Successful Local Programs – California Integrated Waste Management Board Exit EPA Disclaimer

In March 2000, the Board presented the "Innovations" video conference to showcase successful recycling and waste reduction programs developed by local and regional jurisdictions to achieve California's 50 percent waste diversion goals.  The programs featured in the video conference were reviewed and analyzed, and 24 studies were prepared to highlight successful model programs in reuse, recycling, composting, and other areas of waste management. These programs can be examples for other cities, counties, and regional agencies.

Curbside Recycling, the Next Generation: A Model for Local Government Recycling and Waste Reduction Exit EPA Disclaimer

Hundreds of millions of dollars have been invested in recycling by both the public and private sector during the past decade. However, the programs that were developed in the late 1980s and early- to mid-1990s have begun to be replaced by the next generation of curbside recycling programs.

Recycling in Multi-Family Dwellings: Guidance and Case Studies Exit EPA Disclaimer

Recycling for residents of multifamily dwellings (MFD) poses a challenge for many communities. MFD residents can generate a large amount of a community’s residential waste and are often left out of community curbside recycling programs.

Serving Diverse Populations With Recycling: A Model for Local Government Recycling and Waste Reduction Exit EPA Disclaimer

Local governments can raise awareness for and increase participation in their recycling programs by performing outreach and designing a recycling program with community diversity in mind.

Recycling Returns: Ten Reforms for Making New York City’s Recycling Program More Cost-EffectiveExit EPA Disclaimer

This report, provided by the Natural Resources Defense Council, highlights New York City's recycling program.

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Waste Reduction Resources

Preserving Resources, Preventing Waste—EPA's WasteWise Program

WasteWise is a flexible program that allows partners to design their own waste reduction programs tailored to their needs, benefiting their bottom line and the environment. Many resources on how to set up a waste reduction program are provided.

Local Government Challenges and Opportunities in Creating Waste Reduction IncentivesExit EPA Disclaimer

Local governments define the economics of solid waste in their areas. Through their policies, laws, regulations, rate structures, fees, and taxes, local governments can have a tremendous impact on what is "economic" to do in their community.

INFORM: Case Studies of Government-Sponsored Waste Prevention ProgramsExit EPA Disclaimer

INFORM's Community Waste Prevention Toolkit is a resource that can help community leaders and grassroots environmental organizations across the U.S. design and implement effective solid waste prevention programs in their towns and cities.

Making Source Reduction and Reuse Work in Your Community: A Manual for Local Governments (PDF) (79 pp, 7.5M)Exit EPA Disclaimer

This publication is valuable to any community wanting to implement source reduction initiatives, as well as to policy makers and community leaders hoping to better understand the opportunities for source reduction and reuse at the local level.

Pay-As-You-Throw-Programs in the South: Summaries of Existing Unit Pricing Programs for Municipal Solid Waste Collection (PDF) (85 pp, 153K)Exit EPA Disclaimer

This report summarizes PAYT programs for various communities in the southern U.S.

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Public Outreach

Municipal Waste Management Association: U.S. Conference of Mayors Exit EPA Disclaimer

Affiliated with the United States Conference of Mayors, MWMA, is dedicated to, and driven by, the needs of municipal solid waste directors, environmental commissioners, and public works professionals.

RE3—Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Exit EPA Disclaimer

The RE3 Web site targets young adults in an engaging and interactive forum. It provides comprehensive information on recycling including what the public can do and how to get involved.

Plastic Bag RecyclingExit EPA Disclaimer

An online resource for consumers, businesses, and recycling coordinators for plastic bag and film recycling.

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