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37.2 Recycling Diversion Rate

This indicator measures the degree to which Albuquerque residents sort their waste and divert portions of it to be recycled rather than disposed in the landfill.

This indicator is part of Active citizen conservation.

Indicator description:

This indicator measures the degree to which Albuquerque residents sort their waste and divert portions of it to be recycled rather than disposed in the landfill. Recycling diversion rate is calculated by dividing the total tons of recyclable material collected by all non-commercial refuse and recycling material collected. Total tons of recyclable material includes curbside pick-ups and material collected at drop-off sites. The City of Albuquerque’s Solid Waste Department operates 18 recycling drop-off sites for citizens to deposit glass, paper, corrugated cardboard, plastic bottles, tin, and aluminum. Curbside collection is for residents while drop-off sites are for all citizens. Albuquerque’s recycling diversion rate is compared to other peer communities and to the mean of those jurisdictions with populations over 100,000 reporting their diversion rate to ICMA.

Rollover and click the interactive graphs to make comparisons

Why is this indicator relevant?

According to the EPA, every American generated an average of 4.43 pounds of municipal solid waste per day in 2010. This is down from 4.6 pounds in 2006. In 2006, this figure had risen every year since 1960. This show the impact recycling is beginning to have. Generally, about 75 percent of what is found in the average garbage can is recyclable. Recycling is important because it helps conserve resources and lessens demands placed on the environment by waste disposal. When products are made using recovered rather than new materials, less energy is used during manufacturing and, consequently, fewer pollutants are emitted. Recycling also diverts materials from going in the landfill, which in turn extends landfill life (Indicator 35.2).

Rollover and click the interactive graphs to make comparisons

What can we tell from the data?

  • The recycling diversion rate has grown from 4.6% in fiscal year 2005 to 8.4% in fiscal year 2012. This is an 82% increase.
  • In fiscal year 2012, tons of glass collected at drop-off sites represented 20% of the ton of all recycled tons.
  • Residential curbside tons has decreased every year since fiscal year 2007. In that same time span, recycling has seen an increase each year.
  • In fiscal year 2011, Austin's diversion rate of 29% was 426% more than Albuquerque's rate of 6.8%. Austin has a pay-as-you-throw program where residents pay a per-bag-of-garbage fee instead of a lump sum.

 

For Help in understanding this page, see Understanding Indicators.

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