The Recycling Partnership’s Impact Report 2022


Unless we acknowledge the need for bold systemic change, we’ll only see incremental adjustment, leaving us frustrated that a brighter future didn’t unfold. That future is one that cannot be left to chance; it requires our full spectrum of solutions delivered at scale. The Partnership was built for problemsolving, and the time for system change is now. There is no time to be timid.”

—Keefe Harrison, CEO, The Recycling Partnership

Complex Problems Require Bold, Integrated Solutions


The Recycling Partnership has a proven track record of getting things done and tackling big challenges. For nearly a decade, we’ve reached millions of households, diverted hundreds of millions of incremental pounds of valuable recyclables from landfills, delivered hundreds of thousands of recycling carts, and led innovation to transform system infrastructure and create more circular packaging.

But, we’re just getting started. 

We know how to create the circular system of the future – one where all households can recycle, people know what and how to recycle, materials recovery facilities are fully modernized, stakeholders work together to overcome material-specific obstacles to recycling, packaging is designed for or on a path to recyclability, and recycling has sustainable public-private funding based on smart policy.  

In our recent Impact Report, you can find our solutions to deliver that robust circular system, including on-the-ground community engagement, MRF collaboration, material-specific problem-solving, packaging circularity strategies, recycling behavior innovation, and more. These solutions are driving measurable impact – but we need to connect the solutions to the size of the problem.

At The Recycling Partnership, we recognize that only bold systemic change will drive the future we want to see. Each year, we forfeit up to two-thirds of residential recyclable material. That’s a tremendous loss of not only environmental benefit, but economic value. It doesn’t have to be this way. The time for action is now. 

Return on Recycling Investment

Investments in this work have catalyzed change, unlocking environmental and economic benefits. Since 2014, a $95 million investment led to $241 million in direct impacts: millions of curbside carts delivered to homes, more than 100 million households reached, reduced carbon emissions in the environment, and so much more. That means $1 invested in The Partnership led to 2.5 times the impact. We continue to build on this progress.

Total invested in
The Recycling
Partnership to date
$95 million
Total value
$241 million
Diverted over
770 million
incremental pounds of
recyclables from landfills
1.6 million
recycling carts
Reached over
100 million
Supported over
of community
recycling programs
metrics tons of CO2e
1.3 million
carts in communities
contamination by
through our Feet on
the Street projects

Explore featured stories from The Recycling Partnership’s 2022 Impact Report to see how we can continue Solving for Circularity, together.

Scaling Statewide Transformation in Michigan

Multiyear collaboration looks to help the state with its goal of increasing statewide recycling to 45% by 2030.


Improving MRF Infrastructure to Increase Can Capture

Enhancing can sortation infrastructure to support a circular economy and innovative materials recovery facilities.


Overcoming Recycling Challenges through Coalitions

The Partnership’s coalitions address recycling challenges of today and support solutions of tomorrow for the challenges.


Creating Clarity on the Pathway to Circularity

Furthering collaboration to solve a complex challenge and bring clarity to advance a circular economy for packaging.


Empowering People to Recycle Right

Leading consumer-focused solutions to empower residents, optimize recycling and advance circularity of the system.


Closing the Equity Gap through the Recycling Inclusion Fund

Promoting equity and addressing racial disparities and systemic challenges in the U.S. waste and recycling industries.


Impact Highlights

See All the Ways We Continue to Solve for People and Planet


Expanding Equitable Recycling Access in Orlando

Ensuring recycling access for multifamily communities led to improvements to equity, and development of scalable solutions.


Big City Modernization in Baltimore

Collaboration fuels recycling modernization and increased access for residents across the city, supporting equity and innovation.


Advancing Recyclability of All Materials through the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition

Furthering solutions to drive change for the entire recycling system.


Improving the Quality of Recyclables in Orange County

A project to reduce contamination transformed the county’s recycling system, resulting in a better connected, efficient system.


Driving Packaging Strategies with Plastic IQ

Free, digital strategy-building tool allows U.S. companies to discover ways to make their packaging more circular and further progress.


Expediting Circularity through U.S. Plastics Pact

Leading transformative, systemwide efforts to establish a path toward a circular economy for plastic, challenging stakeholders to do more.