Frequent Questions

What is the difference between a recycling rate and a waste diversion rate?

EPA’s recycling measurement method calculates a recycling rate that requires dividing the total amount of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) recycled in a given year by the total amount of MSW generated, where the amount of MSW generated equals the amount of recycled MSW plus the amount of disposed of MSW. This is different from a diversion rate. 

Diversion rates measure the amount of material diverted from MSW disposal facilities and typically only track disposed of quantities. For instance, if state A disposed of 100 tons of MSW in year one and 90 tons of MSW in year two, then state A could claim a 10 percent diversion rate. Since diversion rates only track disposal practices, they do not necessarily reflect recycling rates.

Have more questions? Submit a request