What is Beyond 34: Recycling and Recovery for a New Economy?

Beyond 34: Recycling and Recovery for a New Economy is a multi-stakeholder initiative aimed at increasing the current 34% recycling rate in the United States by providing a scalable model to increase and improve recycling and recovery rates.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation (USCCF) leads the Beyond 34 initiative. A coalition of partners and supporters make the initiative possible, provide valuable feedback on initiative activities, and actively engage with local communities involved in Beyond 34.

The Beyond 34 model has three phases: engage and convene stakeholders from a community’s recycling supply chain; provide the community with a detailed analysis of its waste management system, which includes projects that most effectively increase and improve recycling; and implement the identified projects with seed funding from Beyond 34 and other funds.

USCCF first applied the model in the Orlando region as part of a pilot to test the model and gain learnings. The result was a number of local stakeholder meetings discussing how to optimize the local recycling system and how they can work better together; a gap analysis and other research to identify the implementation projects that would most effectively increase and improve recycling; and an investment of more than $100,000 to conduct and measure the results of certain implementation projects. More information on the Orlando region pilot can be found in the Beyond 34 Case Study Report

Looking ahead, USCCF is continuing the work in Orlando while applying a refined Beyond 34 model in a second region based on findings from the Orlando pilot and developing a suite of online tools and resources so any community can learn about the model and apply it. Learn more about the expansion region and online tool development here.

The Beyond 34 initiative is made possible through support from The Coca-Cola Company, The Dow Chemical Company, Republic Services, Target, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and the Walmart Foundation.

Learn how to get involved in the initiative here.


“Orlando is committed to reducing our environmental impact and as a result, we have a goal to become a zero-waste community by 2040,” said Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer. “We’re making significant strides toward that commitment by providing our residents and businesses with the tools and strategies necessary to divert more waste from our landfills, including offering weekly recycling collection, quarterly e-waste drives, free backyard composters to residents, and a commercial food waste collection program that is diverting millions of pounds of organic waste per year.”