Recycling – good for a lot of reasons

We all agree that recycling is helpful and a good thing to do.

The question is “how good is it?”. It is surprising some of the ways that you benefit from recycling.

Recycling helps your health

Keeping hazardous wastes out of the waste stream will keep local water and air cleaner.

Recycling helps you and your community

Recycling programs can bring new jobs into your community.

  • Incinerating 10,000 tons of waste creates one job;
  • landfilling 10,000 tons of waste creates six jobs;
  • recycling 10,000 tons of waste creates 36 jobs.

Recycling can also put money in your pocket. Some cities pay for recyclables you bring to their centers and/or reward good recyclers with lower rates for their trash pickup or other incentives. Shopping to minimize waste saves money, too.
Recycling helps the Environment

  • According to the U.S. EPA, recycling (including composting your yard wastes and table scraps) diverted 68 million tons of material away from landfills and incinerators in 2001, up from 34 million tons in 1990.
  • America’s current level of recycling saves the equivalent of more than 5 billion gallons of gasoline, reducing dependence on foreign oil by 114 million barrels.
  • Substituting recycled for virgin material reduces climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions. Producing new plastic products from recycled materials uses two-thirds less energy than is required to make products from virgin materials.

Get more recycling information from the Sierra Club Green Home

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