Participation Rates refers to the % of residents who put a recycle bin at the curb. Period. It does not account for the contamination (garbage or unrecyclable items) that also land in the recycle bin. BEWARE! When single stream proponents talk about “increased participation rates”. Savvy citizens will ask, “Participation in what, mindless over consumption with no thought beyond the recycle bin?! If the contamination rate is such that a re-manufacturer cannot make a new product from our collected items, then we are not recycling. But we are paying for a recycling program.” Citizens in Chattanooga, Atlanta, etc. thought they were “participating” only to find out glass was being land-filled. The glass industry is the first re-manufacturing industry to acknowledge higher quality glass is that which is kept separate from other recyclables.
Citizens in Chattanooga, Atlanta, Portland, Nashville, Houston etc. may be annoyed that glass is not allowed to be mixed with other recyclables. What do they think is happening to the plastic, paper, and metals? Do they think glass is the only recyclable contaminated by single stream?
Wake up people. Single stream stinks.