Survey: Georgians Support Recycling

According to a statewide survey, conducted by Responsive Management and commissioned by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA), the majority of Georgians care about the environment and agree that they can make an impact through personal action.

"We were pleasantly surprised to hear that 67 percent of Georgians strongly agree that they personally can have an impact on the environment by recycling," said Randy Hartmann, director of DCA's Office of Environmental Management. "The research reaffirms our belief that people do want to make a difference and believe they can, by taking a small step like recycling. We know we have work to do to increase recycling rates throughout the state, but this is a great place to start."

Eighty-four percent of surveyed residents have recycled something in the past 12 months and 82 percent admitted to feeling guilty when they throw away an item that could have been recycled. Only 58 percent say they recycle always or often, with 21 percent recycling only sometimes and 22 percent doing so rarely or never.

A primary barrier to recycling in Georgia is the lack of curbside collection in many communities. Only two in five Georgia residents (41 percent) say they live in a community that offers curbside or bin pickup recycling. And 90 percent said they would recycle if it "were easier to do."

"The global economic crisis has hit recycling markets hard. Yet, despite recent volatility, communities can rest assured there is strong demand for programs," says Gloria Hardegree, executive director for the Georgia Recycling Coalition. "When 76 percent of Georgians without a curbside program say they would be very likely to participate in a program if it were offered, that is a statistic that cannot be ignored."