Just last month my municipality implemented single stream recycling. Like many other local governments, my well intentioned town succumbed to the waste hauling propaganda that single-stream collection is the recycling panacea. According to proponents, single-stream recycling increases collections rates, reduces hauling costs, and keeps more recyclables out of landfills. While this sounds like recycling at its best, in actuality, recyclables collected under the single-stream system are less likely to be recycled and more likely to be buried in landfills than those collected in source separated (deposit, dual stream, and triple stream) systems.
Although the EPA does not keep track of the actual number of single-stream collection systems, various associations have published studies with this data: