Public Opinion Poll

Diverting waste from the landfill is at the center of SWACO’s public purpose, and we have set an ambitious goal of increasing the percentage of all waste diverted by Franklin County residents and businesses to 75%, an additional 25%, by the end of 2032.

SWACO determined that it was crucial for us to have a fuller understanding of whether and why people participate in recycling, composting and other diversion activities and if any barriers exist to reducing waste generated in Central Ohio. 

In 2017, SWACO conducted its first-ever survey of Franklin County residents. 

Download the 2017 Survey

View an Infographic of the 2017 Survey Results

In the first quarter of 2022, an update was made to the survey in which 1,300 Franklin County residents were asked about their waste and recycling behaviors. 

Here's a look at the results. 

2022 Survey Results 

The results of this poll tell a great story about the character and the potential of our community. 

Our community is one that cares deeply about the environment, believes recycling is the right thing to do, and sees the value in recycling.

According to our survey, most residents (89%) support Central Ohio's goal to achieve 75% diversion by 2032. Furthermore: 

  • 95% of single family household's reported having access to curbside recycling. 
  • 94% of residents report donating items.
  • 80% of residents report being motivated to recycle more because of the environmental benefits while 79% are motivated in order to support local jobs and other economic resources. 
  • 82% of residents agree that recycling and reducing waste can help reduce the impacts of climate change.

When it comes to recycling at home: 

  • 87% reported recycling as convenient and easy.
  • 92% agree that recycling reflects well on the community. 

And yet there is plenty of room for us to get better.

  • 2 in 3 residents correctly identified what's accepted for recycling yet more than half still incorrectly recycling clear plastic packages with lids. 
  • Less than half of residents living in multifamily housing with five units or more reported having access to recycling. 
  • 1 in 4 residents living in a multifamily home indicate lack of onsite recycling is a barrier to reducing waste. 

When asked about the commercial sector's recycling and composting:

  • 78% of surveyed residents believe that businesses should be required to offer recycling services to their customers and employees. 
  • 73% reported greater likelihood to shop at businesses that use environmentally friendly products and recycle or compost waste. 
  • 80% would like to see recycling or composting efforts started or improved at their school or place of work.

Food waste, organics and composting:

  • 83% of residents are concerned about the amount of food wasted every day in central Ohio. 
  • 78% support a curbside food waste collection program.
  • 29% of residents report composting food or yard waste at home or a drop off program.

The data will inform SWACO's decision-making about future programs.

SWACO will use this information to create a large-scale educational and awareness program and food waste initiative to divert even more materials from the landfill, as well as programs for schools, commercial and institutional partners. 

Download the 2022 Survey.

View the Infographic of the 2022 Survey Results.