Back to top Jump to featured resources
Article, Resource filed under Waste to Wealth, Zero Waste & Economic Development

Community Record Setters

| Written by ILSR Admin | No Comments | Updated on Oct 1, 2002 The content that follows was originally published on the Institute for Local Self-Reliance website at https://ilsr.org/community-record-setters/

ILSR has been tracking and documenting community-wide recycling/composting programs for many years. Some of our reports on this subject are available online as PDF files. Others are available in hard copy format only.

Alameda County, California Innovation, Leadership, Stewardship
This 20-page booklet features Alameda County’s (California) record-setting recycling programs. The county diverts almost 60% of its municipal solid waste. The Alameda County Waste Management Authority and the Alameda County Source Reduction and Recycling Board deserve much credit. This glossy booklet — chock full of case studies and photographs — features the Board’s source reduction, reuse, construction material recycling, composting, market development, green building, and outreach initiatives.
View press release
(October 2002)
Download PDF file of report
Printed copies available for free from ILSR (only shipping & handling)

Cutting the Waste Stream in Half: Community Record-Setters Show How
by Brenda Platt and Kelly Lease, 1999
This report and fact sheet packet of the same title feature 18 cities and counties recovering 40 to 65% of their residential waste. They profile each community’s program, drivers for waste reduction levels, materials accepted, set-out and collection methods, and equipment and operating costs. The fact sheet packet summarizes and complements the full report. Essential reading on cost-effective recycling.
171-page report, EPA-530-R-99-013-
Download PDF file
Fact sheet packet, EPA-530-F-99-017 –
Download PDF file

Waste Reduction Record-Setters Program Profiles
November 1998
Features 30 examples of cutting-edge residential recycling programs and more than 20 commercial and institutional programs.
View online

Minimizing Waste, Maximizing Recycling
by Brenda Platt 1994, 34 pages $6.00
This report identifies steps to reach high levels of waste reduction and recycling, and highlights model communities.

Waste Prevention, Recycling, and Composting Options: Lessons from 30 U.S. Communities
by Brenda Platt, Naomi Friedman, Carolyn Grodinsky, Pia MacDonald, and Margaret Suozzo
1994, 168 pages
This report is a summary and analysis of the research conducted in In-Depth Studies of Recycling and Composting Programs: Designs, Costs, and Results. It looks at the operating experiences of 30 communities ranging from rural towns of 2,000 to cities of two million. It also offers nuts-and-bolts advice to communities wanting to strengthen their own programs. Published by the U.S. EPA.
EPA-530-R-92-015
FREE (S&H not included)
Download PDF file

In-Depth Studies of Recycling and Composting Programs: Designs, Costs, Results,
Volumes I, II, and III, 1992
by Brenda Platt, Naomi Friedman, Carolyn Grodinsky, and Margaret Suozzo See publications list
This three-volume study is one of the most comprehensive compilations on community recycling programs. It details aspects of 30 U.S. community recycling programs, each selected for its geographic and demographic representation, high recovery rates, and/or notable innovations. Each volume includes model initiatives for source reduction, construction and demolition debris recovery, food waste recovery, and salvage/reuse operations. The case studies allow for comparisons of costs and results, public and private collection, segregated and commingled set-out, curbside and drop-off, and mandatory.
Volume I, Rural Communities
113 pages $18.00 ISBN 0-917582-31-4, LC 92-9856
Volume II, Suburbs and Small Cities
190 pages $18.00 ISBN 0-917582-30-6, LC 92-9856
Volume III, Urban Areas
190 pages $18.00 ISBN 0-917582-29-2, LC 92-9856
Volumes I, II, and III
$45.00 ISBN 0-917582-32-2, LC 92-9856

Beyond 40 Percent: Record-Setting Recycling and Composting Programs
by Brenda Platt, Christine Doherty, Anne Claire Broughton, and David Morris
1991, 264 pages $25.00 ISBN 1-55963-073-6, LC 90-4769
This report demonstrated the reality of recovering more than 40 percent of municipal solid waste. It established materials recovery as a cost-effective, primary waste management strategy. The operating experiences of 17 communities-urban, suburban, and rural-are extensively documented. The book includes 58 charts with specifics of recycling and composting programs, breakdowns of capital and operating costs, and information on materials targeted. It also provides information on incentives, collection methods, education and publicity, and contact people. A valuable guide for anyone interested in materials recovery and recycling.
Click for more information