Top 5 Reasons to Recycle

We at the District are constantly encouraging our residents to recycle. But why? What are the benefits of recycling? Learn more here!

1. Recycling reduces waste.

Recycling gives materials a second life, allowing them to be made into a new product rather than being sent to the landfill or incinerator. By diverting these materials, we are conserving landfill space and reducing pollutants such as methane gas and leachate.

2. Recycling conserves resources.

Every item we buy and use originally came from materials extracted from the earth. Extraction of resources (mining, logging, drilling, etc.) is environmentally-taxing because it destroys ecosystems, and uses a lot of energy and water. Recycling reuses these materials and reduces the need for further extraction.

3. Recycling tackles climate change.

Landfills and incinerators emit greenhouse gases (methane, carbon dioxide, and nitrous oxide). When we reduce our waste, we reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The extraction, manufacturing, and transportation of virgin materials also contribute to global greenhouse gas emissions. Utilizing recycled materials requires much less energy, which reduces these emissions and combats climate change.

4. Recycling saves energy.

It takes less energy to manufacture a product made from recycled materials than a product made from virgin materials. This is because raw materials require much more processing and refining than recycled materials, and they also must be extracted, all of which uses a great deal of energy. The recycling process still uses energy, but considerably less than creating products out of virgin materials.

5. Recycling creates jobs.

Recycling is a complex process that utilizes a large number of workers in many different types of jobs. According to Eco-Cycle, the recycling and reuse industries create somewhere between 9 and 30 times as many jobs as landfill and incinerating operations. Furthermore, even though the recycling rate in the United States is quite low (about 34%), 86% of waste management jobs come from the recycling process. If we were to increase the recycling rate, we could create thousands (possibly over a million) new jobs.

Now that you know WHY you should recycle, make sure you know HOW to recycle by checking out our Mini-Disposal Guide!