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Setting Up a Recycling Program Details

The links below will provide you with information on how to set up a paper recycling program.


Some important questions to ask when starting a paper recycling program include:

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Education and Outreach

The best way to increase paper recycling is to educate people about:

There are several key elements to a successful education and outreach program:

Here are some additional links to help you develop an outreach program:

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Monitoring involves visually inspecting to make sure the program is running smoothly. Periodically inspect paper recycling and trash bins and observe:

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Evaluation and Metrics

In order to measure progress, first establish a benchmark by trying to estimate the quantity and composition of paper and paperboard (by weight and grade) being generated. Your waste hauler might be able to provide this data. You can conduct a waste assessment — find out how at EPA’s WasteWise website.

Once your program starts, it is important to regularly monitor and evaluate participation and progress.

You can calculate your recycling rate with this formula:

Paper Recycling Rate =
Total paper recycled (by weight)
divided by Total paper discarded (trashed + recycled) (by weight)

For example:

600 pounds of paper recycled / 1200 pounds of paper discarded (600 pounds trashed + 600 pounds recycled) = recycling rate of 50%

It is also helpful to maintain records on the amount of money saved through reduced disposal costs and the amount of revenue generated through the sale of your recovered paper. Also, solicit feedback from residents and make changes to the program if needed.

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