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Recycling rates

  1. Almost all households with access to recycling programs (98%) recycled.
  2. Only half of recycling households (52%) reported that they recycled all the recyclable waste they produced in an average week.
  3. Most households with access (84%) had curbside recycling pickup, with fewer than one in five having only recycling drop-off centers or depots.
  4. Households without curbside recycling pickup were less likely to recycle (92% versus 98%) and less likely to recycle all their waste (34% versus 55%).
  5. In Quebec, only 77% of households without curbside pickup recycled, compared to 98% of households with curbside pickup.

Barriers to recycling

  1. Non-recyclers were most likely to say that they had not recycled because recycling was too inconvenient (43%), it was too time-consuming (40%), or it took up too much space (33%).
  2. Households that recycled only part of their waste (partial recyclers) were most likely to state that some other factor kept them from recycling more: the most commonly mentioned factors were that they felt that they were recycling as much as they could or that they used the non-recycled material in some other way (for example by burning it).
  3. In Saskatchewan and Alberta, partial recyclers were twice as likely as the average partial recycler to say that it was too inconvenient for them to recycle more than they were recycling already (47% in Saskatchewan and 46% in Alberta).

Motives for recycling

  1. Most recyclers reported that they were motivated to recycle by a sense of social responsibility (82%) or by the desire to reduce waste in landfill sites (75%).
  2. Just over half of recyclers (53%) reported that reducing demand for raw materials was one of the reasons for which they recycled.

Access to recycling and material types

  1. In 2007, 95% of Canadian households had access to recycling programs.
  2. Most were able to recycle all four types of recyclable material: paper, plastic, glass, and metal.
  3. The availability of recycling in Canada has increased for all materials since 1994, rising from 70% or less in 1994 to 89% and up in 2007.
  4. Given access to recycling programs, households were more likely to report that they had recycled all of their glass waste (74%) than all of their paper waste (62%).
  5. Households in Saskatchewan and New Brunswick were among the least likely to recycle any single type of material, despite high overall recycling participation in those provinces.