Circular Economy Research with the Recycling Partnership

Over the past 8 years, Cascadia has supported The Recycling Partnership with program evaluation services in cities across the U.S., primarily through innovative approaches to waste characterization—such as paired household cart-based capture rate studies in Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, and Houston—and modeling scenarios on the effects of customer education, material list changes, dual-stream collection, expanded service to new customers, and processing facility upgrades to inform rulemaking in Oregon and California. These multi-year studies assess changes in recycling performance over time as various behavior change strategies are implemented by The Recycling Partnership.

Our team supported a multicultural research effort in 2019—which informed the Partnership’s focus shift from infrastructure and systems to consumer behavior. The Partnership has since designed and piloted many successful behavior change campaigns in cities across America—and we’ve learned a lot about effective ways to reach residents and improve recycling behaviors among consumers.

In 2021 and 2022, Cascadia worked with Georgia State University (GSU) and Morehouse College (Morehouse) to develop each institution’s first-ever Sustainable Materials Management Plan, and provided technical assistance aimed at boosting recycling performance across both campuses. To share key learnings and insights from GSU, Morehouse, and Cascadia’s prior work with Georgia Institute of Technology with other U.S. higher education institutions, Cascadia and The Recycling Partnership created this Higher Education Recycling Guide. 

We’re excited to see the results of this work compiled into an accessible, actionable, and visually-appealing report from The Recycling Partnership. The best practices identified in this guide will help inform future-behavior change efforts industry-wide and support improved consumer recycling behavior.



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