What is the difference between Diversion Rate and Recycling Rate?

Diversion and Recycling rates are ways of measuring waste disposal. A diversion rate is a calculation explaining the amount of waste that is diverted away from landfills. The diversion rate considers what can be diverted by using the 3 R’s of the Recycling Hierarchy:

• Reduce: Actions such as composting certain wastes or using silverware instead of plastic utensils

• Reuse: Reusing individual products in a different way like taking an old tire and making it into swing or using old paint cans as flower pots

• Recycle: separating certain items for waste like paper, plastic, and metal so that they may be processed into material for new products.

The recycling rate serves to determine the amount set aside for recycling and what is actually being processed from the diverted amount. A town with a diversion rate of 50% may only have a recycling rate of 34% as only 17lbs of that diverted waste can be processed. This is because some products may not be recycled due to either being contaminated or the community may not have the means to deal with particular types of products such as plastic or wax coated cups.

Other Sources

CVUSD Recycles. “What’s a diversion rate?.” http://www.cvusdrecycles.org/diversion-rate/. Accessed May 5, 2016.

Waste Diversion Ontario. “Glossary.” http://wdo.ca/learn/glossary. Accessed May 3, 2016.