How can municipalities maximize and sustain citizen participation in solid waste recycling programs? Based on survey responses from 71 recycling coordinators, this research provides empirical evidence about what program strategies, incentives, and operational characteristics have worked best for the voluntary programs. Mandating recycling had a significant positive impact on citizen participation. But even voluntary programs worked well when combined with other implementation strategies, such as curbside pickup, increasing solid waste disposal fees on a per-trash-bag basis, length of time that the program has been in operation, campaign by local club organizations to encouraging citizens to recycle, helping school age children encourage their parents to recycle, same day pickup of the recyclables, receiving free bins, and using trucks with compartment trailers. Another useful strategy included specific goal setting for a recycling program. Other variables that did not have a significant positive impact on citizen participation rates were composting used as a method of yard waste disposal, charging waste collection fees as a proportion of the recycling budget, and citizen participation awards and contests. Although local conditions may influence citizen participation, the ultimate performance of each recycling program remains in the hands of its designers and managers.