Note: EPA no longer updates this information, but it may be useful as a reference or resource.
List of State and Local Waste Characterization Studies - A collection of state and local waste characterization studies
- Ensures fair comparisons of recycling rates among states and local governments.
- Produces useful information for planning and decision-making.
- Provides accurate, up-to-date numbers for market development.
- Allows for easy data collection from the private sector.
- Saves you time and effort.
EPA developed a voluntary, standard methodology for measuring recycling rates. At present, few states or local governments define recycling in the same way, use the same approach for measuring recycling rates, or include the same materials in their rates. Many are not able to obtain complete information from data sources to calculate a reliable rate. As a result, the benefits of measuring recycling are often not fully realized. Utilizing this methodology can help you accurately evaluate the success of your program and ensure that your fiscal, administrative, and planning decisions are sound.
EPA developed this website to help state and local government officials learn more about the standard methodology. The following links allow you to access a number of recycling measurement documents including:
- Guidance document containing
- Detailed instructions,
- Sample survey forms
- Real life examples,
- Helpful hints and tips,
- Recommended timeline for developing a measurement program,
- Glossary of more than 100 terms, and
- Standard volume-to-weight conversion factors.
- brochure providing an overview of the EPA method and a form for ordering the guidance document,
- sample newsletter article, and
- journal articles.
There also are two journal articles. One explains the mechanics of the measurement method. The other describes how to recalculate an existing recycling rate using a special component of the measurement method called the translator.
In addition, this site contains a place for you to download the guidance document, resources for you to use , and answers to frequently asked questions. You also can send your questions and comments about the recycling measurement methodology to EPA.