Study: Recycling by Canadian households 2007
In 2007, the vast majority (95%) of Canadian households had access to recycling, up from 74% in 1994. Nearly all those with access chose to recycle (98%), although the extent of this recycling varied.
Just over one-half (52%) of recyclers reported that they recycled all their recyclable waste. Thirty-four percent reported recycling the majority of their waste, and 15% said they recycled some, but not most, of their recyclable waste.
Asked why they recycled, most households reported that it was because of a sense of social responsibility or a desire to reduce waste in landfills.
Those that did not recycle cited a variety of reasons, such as it was too inconvenient (43%), requiring too much time or effort (40%), or taking up too much space (33%).
Recycling behaviour was most strongly associated with the type of recycling program that was available to the household. Households with curbside recycling pickup were more likely to recycle and more likely to recycle all of their recyclable waste when they did.
Households in detached homes were more likely to recycle and more likely to recycle all of their recyclable waste than those living in apartments or in mobile homes.
The likelihood that a household would have access to recycling was more strongly related to demographic characteristics. Households with higher incomes, higher levels of education, or those living in a detached dwelling were more likely to have access to recycling programs.
Despite overall high levels of access, 11% of the households with access to recycling programs reported that their program did not accept one or more types of recyclable waste.
Certain materials were more likely than others to be accepted by recycling programs. Recycling programs were slightly more likely to accept paper and plastic than glass or metal. When households were able to recycle a material, they were most likely to recycle all of their glass or metal waste.
Provincially, the households most likely to have recycled in 2007 were those in Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Nova Scotia and Quebec.
Definitions, data sources and methods: survey number 3881
Recycling by Canadian households, 2007 (11-526-X, free), is now available from the Key resource module of our website under Publications.
For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact the information officer (613-951-0297; fax: 613-951-0634; firstname.lastname@example.org), Environment Accounts and Statistics Division.
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