Research Reports

The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) 2014 Community Access Survey (2014 Survey) shows that 96 percent of Americans have access to curbside and/or drop-off community-level paper and paperboard recycling. Access increased for each of the 12 grades of paper and paperboard included in the survey; access for nine of the 12 grades is now at or above 90 percent. Since 1994, AF&PA has performed a series of national surveys to measure the extent and track the growth of access to community-level paper and paperboard recycling. This Executive Summary presents background information on the survey methodology and highlights notable findings of the 2014 Survey, as well as trends from prior years. Complete details can be found in the report.

Press Releases

AF&PA Announces Increase in Paper Recovery, Meets Goal Ahead of Schedule

Mar 22, 2010
NEW YORK - The American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) announced today that a record-high 63.4 percent of the paper consumed in the U.S. was recovered for recycling in 2009. This is great news for the industry and the environment, and exceeds the industry's 60 percent recovery goal three years ahead of schedule. To balance growing global demand for recovered fiber and decreased paper consumption, increasing recovery nationwide remains a priority.

“Recycling is one of America’s great environmental success stories and the paper industry is proud of our ongoing leadership role in this arena,” said AF&PA President and CEO Donna Harman.  “Today’s announcement is a testament to the work of the industry and the commitment of millions of Americans who recycle at home, school and work on a daily basis.”

Harman pointed to the 2010 AF&PA Recycling Award winners in the categories of school, business, and community as examples of successful and innovative paper recycling programs:

2010 AF&PA Recycling Award Winners:

  • AF&PA School Recycling Award – Parkway School District, Chesterfield, MO
    The Parkway School District, serving 18,000 students in 29 buildings, started their recycling program after several elementary students requested of the Board of Education that they be better environmental stewards.  The results are impressive, including the recovery of more than 1,031 tons of newspaper, magazines, catalogs, direct mail, office paper, envelopes, and brochures, along with more than 138 tons of paper-based packaging in 2009.
  • AF&PA Business Leadership Recycling Award – Continental Airlines
    Thanks to a renewed commitment to the environment in recent years, Continental Airlines has significantly increased the effectiveness of its recycling program by maximizing cost-effective, manageable, and sustainable collection efforts. From 2006 - 2009, Continental recovered more than 6,000 tons of paper from its aircraft, hubs, offices and supporting facilities.
  • AF&PA Community Recycling Award – Virginia Beach, VA
    Developed in 1997, the Virginia Beach recycling program includes a customized, voluntary, single-stream, automated system that services 124,000 residents, 94 City schools and 106 municipal buildings, along with five public-use drop-off sites.  Thanks to a variety of education and outreach efforts, the City of Virginia Beach recovered nearly 23,800 tons of paper and paper-based packaging in 2009 – more than 68 percent of all recyclables collected.

“AF&PA appreciates the ongoing dedication of Americans who recycle every day, and we congratulate and thank the award winners for their achievements,” said Harman.

The annual AF&PA Recycling Awards recognize outstanding school, business, and community recycling programs, the details of which can be found at  Also available on the site are background materials, free classroom resources, interactive features, and more.


AF&PA is the national trade association of the forest, paper, and wood products industry. AF&PA represents companies and related associations that engage in or represent the manufacture of pulp, paper, paperboard, and wood products. The forest products industry accounts for approximately 6 percent of the total U.S. manufacturing output, employs more than one million people, and ranks among the top 10 manufacturing employers in 42 states with an estimated payroll exceeding $50 billion. Visit AF&PA online at