Eighty-two percent of New Yorkers say that they recycle “almost
always” or “most of the time” at home, according to a survey
conducted by Baruch College's eTownPanel for Gotham Gazette this month. Only
five percent say that they never recycle. Fifty-six percent said
they recycle more now than they did five years ago.
But they also express confusion about what they can and cannot
recycle. While 83 percent of respondents knew they could recycle
newspapers, only 40 percent knew that wire hangers were recyclable,
and less than half knew that aerosol cans were recyclable. Only
62 percent said they were either “very familiar” or “familiar” with
the city’s recycling program overall, and 15 percent said they
were “not familiar at all.”
Respondents seemed to see their own confusion as a result of
the city’s poor performance in educating its residents about
the recycling regulations. Sixty-six percent said that the government’s
performance in education the public was either “fair” or “poor”.
They were also skeptical of the government’s commitment. Over
half of respondents said that the city was only “somewhat committed” or “not
committed at all” to recycling, while only 11 percent felt the
city was “very committed”.
The survey was conducted betweeen June 7 and June 14, 2005 of 150 New Yorkers.
Return to Recycling by Sam Williams and Joshua Brustein
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