We’ve been hearing the slogan for years: ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’. The imagery of the three bent arrows forming a triangle that is in perpetual motion just as familiar as the slogan the often accompanies it. There are many benefits to for the individual, society and the planet that come with consistent recycling, which we will outline below. This list is only going to cover a few of the benefits that recycling can offer, but trust that the list of benefits is almost endless and have the power to help shift out society and planet into a more aware, healthy and progressive version of itself in comparison to where it sits currently.
- Job Creation:
According to a study from 2011 there are over 2.3 people employed by the recycling industry. That is a large number of jobs being filled that would otherwise be non-existent. The economic impact of 2.3 million people being employed and having money to spend absolutely cannot be understated. There are four recycling workers for every one waste management job. That is a true sign of progress in how we treat and consider what happens to our refuse. Recycling prevents the need for more landfills in the waste management world as the facilities that process and reuse the materials keep them in rotation throughout society where they are seeing use instead of sitting and poisoning the earth.
There are many recycling programs that actually incentivize recycling with money gains. Many states have facilities where cans, bottles and other recyclables can be processed and payments rendered based on the amount of recyclables processed. While the price per piece may seem insignificant, the money adds up and any extra money in your pocket helps! Also, waste management facilities are extremely expensive to run and maintain in comparison to recycling plants. The reason for this is the need to dump or incinerate trash, which takes land and fuel and there will always be the need to acquire more of both as time goes on. Companies that use recycled material to create their products save money because they are not purchasing new material that needs to be created, packaged and delivered.
- Elimination of Landfills:
Landfills are unsightly and smell terrible, which is why living near one can be very undesirable. This is especially true if any trash is burned at the landfill. Burnt trash is truly one of the worst smells that you can experience. Putting garbage in an opening in the earth is very toxic to the surrounding eco system and will affect the area well beyond the physical limits and borders of the landfill. The worst part of landfills is the pure waste of useful materials. Excess food can be used as compost on farms and gardens, components of electronics can be stripped and utilized for other purposes, paper makes more paper and the list goes on and on and on and on. Landfills just let the material sit and degrade to the point that it becomes an environmental problem involving ecological toxicity.