What gets recycled in the U.S.[?] It depends on the markets. Whether or not a particular material is recycled depends on a number of factors, but the most fundamental question is this: Is there a market for it? Markets for some materials, like car batteries, are highly developed and efficient—not least because strict regulations govern their disposal—and a mature recycling infrastructure has grown up as a result. About 90 percent of all lead-acid batteries are recycled, according to the EPA. Steel recycling, too, has been around for decades, while formalized recycling of yard trimmings has not. Despite the explosive growth of plastics—particularly for use in beverage containers—that industry has been slow to develop recycling infrastructure, with most plastic still going to incinerators or landfills.
A 2007 Harris poll found that 77 percent of Americans recycle in their homes.
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