The Importance of Recycling During a Pandemic

Person waving to a Republic Services employee

Feb. 15, 2021 – During the COVID-19 pandemic, there's been a high demand for necessary supplies, and without recycling, it's hard for paper and cardboard manufacturers to keep up with the needs of the healthcare and grocery industries.

Has the COVID-19 pandemic made you more or less likely to recycle and do other things that are good for the environment? According to a survey sponsored by Republic Services, 58% of us are reevaluating our eco-friendly habits due to the pandemic, pointing to at least one positive outcome from a very stressful 2020.

Of the 2,250 Americans surveyed by OnePoll on behalf of Republic Services, six in ten reported they are worried about the future of the environment — but it's also helping them change their eco-friendly habits. About 65% said the pandemic has acted as a wake-up call for them to make sustainable choices, especially as they relate to recycling.

Approximately 75% of survey participants recognized the importance of recycling, but they don't always do it. About 52% said they recycle most of the time — the biggest barrier was simply a lack of space in their home for an extra bin followed by a lack of understanding of what can and can't be recycled.

Here are three easy ways to make space for recycling in your life and ensure you're recycling correctly:

  1. Commit. You may not have space for an extra bin inside, but it only takes a minute (or two) to run your recyclables to your curbside bin. Commit to recycling, even if it means a few extra steps or minutes.
  2. Empty. Clean. Dry™. When recycling, make sure all items that you place in your recycling bin are empty, clean, and dry. You don't need to scrub them down, just rinse and let them dry for five minutes before recycling.
  3. Know what to throw. Check with your local waste service provider to ensure that you know which items are recyclable in your area and which items are not.

For more articles about recycling, please visit our blog.