Recycling Survey: More Than Half Recycle Often

The environment continues to be a huge concern for many Americans. Recycling has been one easy way that anyone can people can help reduce their carbon footprints. But not everyone takes advantage of that opportunity. So just how prevalent is recycling in America today? And is there anything that can be done to increase those numbers?



In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 53% of respondents said they recycle often. 32% said they sometimes recycle. 10% said they rarely recycle. And just 6% of respondents said they never recycle. Those numbers have changed just a bit over the past few years. 51% of respondents in a November 2011 survey said they recycled often, and 34% said they sometimes recycled.


There are already some incentives to recycle, aside from just helping the environment. Some states offer small return rates for people who recycle things like bottles and cans. However, just 20% of respondents said they definitely feel like there is already enough incentive for people to recycle. 32% said they feel like thee is some incentive for people to recycle. 40% feel like there isn’t really enough of an incentive for people to recycle. And 8% feel like they have no real incentive to recycle at all.

More specifically, 47% of respondents said they would definitely recycle more often if they had more of an incentive to do so, such as higher return rates. 43% said they would probably recycle more if they had a bigger incentive. 8% said they probably wouldn’t recycle any more often. And just 3% said they definitely wouldn’t recycle more often.


In general, 64% of respondents said they feel that recycling is very important for the environment. 30% said they think recycling is somewhat important. 4% don’t think it is very important. And just 2% think recycling is not important at all.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Colorful Recycling Containers for Trash from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on August 26 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.