The Recycling Partnership’s Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact

Driving innovative, human-centered solutions that improve recycling.


A hub for people-focused solutions designed to drive measurable improvement in residential recycling behaviors and boost confidence in U.S. recycling.

Fueled by robust data and consumer research, in concert with on-the-ground community pilots, The Center aims to improve recycling for all, empower recycling leaders to bolster programs, and advance circularity.

Why do we need a Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact?

Here’s the thing:  U.S. residents overwhelmingly support recycling. 80% say it has a positive impact. Even so, about two-thirds of household recyclables –32 million tons of recyclable paper, glass bottles, plastic containers, and more – end up incinerated or in landfills each year. Why is that? One reason is that people are confused about what and how to recycle and lack confidence when it comes to recycling.

The good news is, together, we can fix this.

The Center’s founding objective is to drive measurable improvement in recycling behavior – improvement that will be measured through greater amounts of recyclable material, increased household participation in recycling, and greater confidence in recycling. Data from our inaugural Recycling Confidence Index emphasizes the critical role of strong communication, information, and support in boosting recycling confidence.

How is The Recycling Partnership leading environmental behavior change?


Creating a hub for data-driven research on consumer behaviors and sentiments toward recycling


Conducting strategic pilots in a variety of communities to help test and develop equitable solutions


Scaling tactics and sharing best practices with communities across the U.S. to drive measurable improvement in recycling behavior across different populations

Leading with Action

Leading with action, The Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact combines robust data and consumer research with on-the-ground community pilots to develop scalable, best practice-based solutions that aim to drive more recyclable materials in bins and increase household participation in recycling. Strengthening recycling behavior requires collaboration, comprehensive data, a network of community recycling partnerships, expertise in recycling education, and targeted improvements to underperforming community recycling programs.

Recycling Confidence Index

Even though there is overwhelming support for recycling, one obstacle to actually putting items in recycling bins is confidence. Understanding this challenge can help improve recycling habits. The Center’s inaugural Recycling Confidence Index uses behavioral science to gauge consumer confidence in recycling, and the drivers of these beliefs.

Learn More: Recycling Confidence Index

Learn More

Louise Bruce, Managing Director for The Center for Sustainable Behavior & Impact shares how The Center is solving for people and planet.


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Founding support provided by the Milliken & Company Charitable Foundation and the Walmart Foundation.