4 Surprising Benefits of Recycling

by Phume Mdluli

We all know the catchphrase, “reduce, reuse, recycle,” but are you aware of the benefits that come from recycling? While most people are taught that they should recycle, most people have little understanding of the direct impact that recycling makes. Here are four benefits of recycling and how they directly impact people and the economy near you.

1. Recycling Preserves Natural Resources

One of the most obvious impacts of recycling is that it keeps more trash out of landfills. Plastics are especially concerning since they don’t break down the same way organic material does. However, if we are able to take the plastic and recycle it into new products it’s able to stay out of the landfills for a longer. This helps preserve natural land resources. Recycling drastically reduces the rate at which new landfills are created.

2. Recycling Helps the Economy

The recycling industry has created a plethora of new businesses that process, transport, and negotiate sales of recovered materials. In addition, there are companies that specifically deal with the production and distribution of goods made with recycled materials. With more people becoming environmentally conscious over the years, there has been a lot of growth in the recycling and reuse industry.

The growing labor force in the recycling sector includes everything from people working recycling center jobs to truck drivers, dispatchers, and even chemists. Many times these jobs are centered around urban areas where job creation and growth are vital to communities.

3. Recycling Saves Energy

Making products from recycled materials saves energy during the manufacturing process. Because those materials have already been processed once, manufacturers don’t have to use the energy and the resources to process them a second time. It’s been estimated creating a new product from recycled aluminum can save up to 95% of the energy it requires to make aluminum from scratch. Aluminum, paper, and plastic are all materials that save considerable amounts of energy when they are recycled to make new products.

4. Recycling Reduces Greenhouse Gases

Because using recycled materials takes less energy than manufacturing a new product from scratch, it also helps cut down on the emissions of greenhouse gasses. The extra energy that is needed to create new products from virgin materials translates to more carbon emissions into the environment. Every time a business is able to manufacture with recycled material instead, they are doing their part to help the environment.

There are many ways that recycling helps our planet and economy. Everyone can pitch in the help reduce the amount of waste that makes it into our landfills. Make sure to learn about your local recycling guidelines so you can do your part.

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