Richard Florida
by Richard Florida
Tue Jul 29th 2008 at 5:22pm UTC

Who’s Your Recycler?

This graphic from the NY Times shows recycling rates for various U.S. cities. West Coast and especially high creative class cities do well. Does anyone have comparable data for Toronto? My hunch is that it would stack up very well.

8 Responses to “Who’s Your Recycler?”

  1. Chris Says:

    Not sure about Toronto, but Metro Vancouver is at 50%.

  2. Chris Says:

    Toronto is at 42% (from an article in the Toronto Star). Edmonton is at 60% (tops in Canada), Halifax is next at 55%.

    The Statistics Canada data is here, but they only have provincial breakdowns available for free. Canadian average is 27%, well behind the USA.

  3. Harold Jarche Says:

    Westmorland-Albert Solid Waste Commission in Moncton, NB has a 75% participation rate, as of 2006.

  4. Matt Says:

    Of Toronto’s residential waste, 42% is recycled. Single family homes recycle 59% while apartment buildings only recycle 13% (in part because very few have recycling facilities on each floor). See: http://www.toronto.ca/garbage/residential-diversion.htm .

  5. Michael Wells Says:

    California mandates a waste diversion (recycling) minimum for cities and tracks each city’s progress, so the leaders are because of statewide government action. I wonder what the story is with Chicago?

    Metro Portland is about 55%, I expect the city itself is higher. Seattle is I think around 35%.

  6. Michael Wells Says:

    I wonder if Texas cities dismal showing is partly because they have so much open space they can use for landfills? The California cities don’t really have anyplace to put their trash.

  7. Erich Says:

    Recycling may feel good, but the financial benefits are often negligible if not negative. The podcast linked to my name is an entertaining & informative discussion on the topic which respects the fact that financial considerations may not represent everyone’s bottom line.

  8. Michael Wells Says:

    The financial benefits from selling and reusing the paper, plastic, etc. are small. The economic benefit is from not filling landfills and not cutting new trees, drilling oil, etc. for the products that use recycled materials. And as Erich says, the strict short-term economic considerations aren’t the only bottom line. Landfills aren’t just ugly, they’re smelly, polluting and space wasters.