This article explores the role of memory processes in two aspects of recycling behavior. First, traditional research in cognitive psychology, communication, and consumer behavior is discussed briefly as it relates to understanding how people learn why to recycle. More importantly, a recently emerging stream of memory research, examining memory processes in real-world contexts, is introduced as a conceptual basis for understanding how people remember when and how to recycle. Additionally, these ideas are integrated to help explain the results of past recycling research and to offer suggestions regarding future recycling programs. © 1994 John Wiley & Sons, Inc.