Good News for Paper Recycling!

Mar 10, 2015

  By Brian Hawkinson
  Executive Director, Recovered Fiber


  The industry has a goal to exceed 70 percent paper recovery for
  recycling by 2020. To reach that goal, consumers having access to
  paper recycling is the first step toward increasing paper and
  paperboard recovery. And being informed about where in the United
  States there is access to curbside or drop-off paper recycling
 increases the likelihood that people around the country will recycle.

At AF&PA, we are leaders in documenting the success of the voluntary recycling infrastructure for paper and paperboard. The AF&PA Community Access Survey, conducted since 1994, is a national study that measures and tracks consumer access to community paper and paperboard recycling in the U.S.

The recently-completed 2014 survey results show that overall, access to community paper and paperboard recycling has reached 96 percent in the U.S. That is an increase from 87 percent in 2010 when the survey was last conducted. 

The survey also shows increases in recycling access for all 12 paper grades evaluated, indicating that people are able to recycle a wider range of paper and paperboard products. Access for 9 of the 12 grades is now at or above 90 percent.

The survey also shows that single stream recovery grew from 65 percent in 2010 to 87 percent in 2014.

As we continue to work toward our goal to exceed 70 percent recovery for recycling by 2020, AF&PA thanks communities nationwide for investing in their recycling programs.

To see state-specific recycling access information and to download the executive summary of the 2014 Community Access Survey, visit

Let’s keep recycling!