The main stream
The idea of single-stream recycling, where all recyclable trash is placed into one receptacle, has been praised as a consumer-friendly way to recycle. Largely due to its convenience, places that use the single-stream method tend to have higher recycling participation rates. However, a new study by the Container Recycling Institute finds that it results in more contamination of what’s collected, lower material quality and increased waste. The report, “Understanding economic and environmental impacts of single-stream, collection systems,” used data from industry reports and interviews with recyclers. It can be found at www.container-recycling.org.