New Case Study Outlines Blueprint for Breaking 34% Recycling Rate in U.S.

Case Study Report Provides Update on First-of-its-Kind Beyond 34 Project and Plan for Expansion

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and its partners today announced the release of the Beyond 34 Case Study: The Development of a Recycling Public-Private Partnership. This case study is part of the U.S. Chamber Foundation’s multi-stakeholder pilot project, “Beyond 34: Recycling and Recovery for A New Economy.” It evaluates efforts undertaken in the project’s pilot city, Orlando, Florida. The project aims to increase the current 34 percent recycling rate in the United States by providing a scalable model for improving recycling and recovery rates. The goal of the project is to help communities, cities, and businesses across the country create a more sustainable future. 

“This case study represents the significant steps the Orlando region is taking toward advancing the local area’s sustainability and economic growth,” said Marc DeCourcey, senior vice president of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation. “We will continue working with our partners to help improve recycling and recovery rates in the Orlando region. We hope that other areas will adopt the plan laid out in this case study to implement similar localized recycling and recovery projects nationwide.”

Beyond 34 was established in September 2017, when Orlando was selected as the pilot city location to launch the program. Since then, the U.S. Chamber Foundation has convened business leaders, recycling planners, and key stakeholders in Orlando and the surrounding municipalities to collaborate around a sustainable system that would positively impact the local area’s recycling rate.

The Beyond 34 case study serves as a guide for other communities seeking to strengthen their economic competitiveness through recycling initiatives. The case study illustrates how the investment is making an impact, fostering ideas for how to address the recycling and recovery gap, and providing insights on how to replicate such a project.

The Beyond 34 project is a private-public partnership between the U.S. Chamber Foundation, RRS (, the Orlando Regional Chamber of Commerce, and the City of Orlando. The U.S. Chamber Foundation is working with leading brands, manufacturers, retailers, industrial service providers, and other partners to tackle the recycling and recovery gap in the U.S. and accelerate recycling infrastructure development.

RRS facilitated development of a recycling gap analysis for the Orlando region and its local stakeholders that keeps high-value recyclable material out of landfills. The plan also identified greater economic reuse opportunities material generated in from commercial, industrial, and residential sources.

The report is made possible through support from The Dow Chemical Company, Republic Services, Target, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and the Walmart Foundation. The full case study is available here.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation is dedicated to strengthening America’s long-term competitiveness. We educate the public on the conditions necessary for business and communities to thrive, how business positively impacts communities, and emerging issues and creative solutions that will shape the future.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is the world’s largest business federation representing the interests of more than 3 million businesses of all sizes, sectors, and regions, as well as state and local chambers and industry associations.