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Closing the Equity Gap through the Recycling Inclusion Fund

Our research shows that recycling services disadvantage certain streets, neighborhoods, and housing types along socioeconomic lines. Nearly 40 million U.S. residents lack the same level of access to recycling as they have to garbage service. That access gap is even larger for residents of multifamily housing, which has a higher than-average percentage of members of the BIPOC community and a significantly lower likelihood of on-property or equitable access than single-family residents.

The Partnership created a dedicated funding stream, the Recycling Inclusion Fund, to address racial disparities and systemic challenges in the U.S. waste and recycling industries. The national discourse on race propelled us to take a closer look at ourselves and the industry as a whole, and compelled us to stand up and speak out for equity and inclusion.

The Recycling Inclusion Fund focuses on three key areas:

• Research to identify the state of recycling access and participation, barriers, and needs in BIPOC communities across the U.S.;
• Infrastructure and education to reach and empower BIPOC populations with recycling access and education resources that meet their needs; and
• A leadership and training program to create opportunities in the sustainability sector for recent BIPOC college graduates through our Fellowship Through Partnership program.

See more stories of how The Recycling Partnership is solving with communities and leading on recycling equity in the 2022 Impact Report.

Download the 2022 Impact Report