Accumulating waste in our landfills and our environment can have serious and disastrous consequences. For this reason, landfill diversion, waste disposal services, and recycling facilities are in high demand. There’s so much product which can be recycled – including plastic bottles, paper, cardboard, cans, trays, and aluminum foil.
When we recycle, we are maximizing the potential of our natural resources while restricting our waste. The world that we leave to our children is going to have a much more sustainable waste management infrastructure than what we have present-day.
There are many reasons why we divert waste and numerous pros of recycling worth remembering:
1. You’re supporting wildlife
The environmental benefits are among the best pros of recycling. Increasing recycling efforts allows us to keep more of our forests, rivers, lakes, and wetlands. All these places are natural habitats for wildlife. More eco-friendly practices help to support the animals who, for better or worse, rely on us to not take everything away from their natural environment.
2. Every person makes a difference
The average American produces 1,600 pounds of waste a year. Up to 1,100 of that is recyclable. Even if you think you’re not making a big difference by recycling, you absolutely are. If every American maximized their recycling efforts, that’s millions of tons of waste we don’t have to put into our landfills.
3. You’re saving landfill space
Landfills are an absolute requirement for waste disposal. They’re where waste accumulates. Unfortunately, they’re overflowing with waste these days as our population continue to grow alongside consumption. By recycling, you’re saving more landfill space by keeping waste out. Estimates suggest as much as 75 percent of what’s in our landfills can be or could have been recycled. That’s a lot of space we can save! As the years pass, what we can recycle is likely to continue to increase.
4. You’re creating jobs
Who knew there could be career-related pros of recycling? It’s true! Environmentally sustainable waste management and recycling efforts are creating US jobs. A recent study shared an average US recycling plant will create up to 10 times more employment than a landfill waste management facility.
5. You’re creating recycling-friendly demand
The routine of recycling and purchasing recyclables is creating markets for more recycling to occur. The increase in demand on recycled products means more facilities to make develop those recyclables and possibly resulting in more companies setting up shop in this sector. The recycling industry is already bringing in more than $100 billion a year and that’s only growing.
6. You’re conserving natural resources
Our natural resources are limited. We deplete them every day. The only way to stop this production and consumption pattern from continuing indefinitely is to recycle. Any time we recycle, we save a lot from our natural resources. For example, one ton of recycled paper will save roughly 17 trees from being cut down and 17,000 gallons of water.
Recycling isn’t just helping your local community minimize its waste output but it’s helping the world. If waste accumulates, accumulates, and accumulates, eventually we won’t have any more place to put it. Landfills can have devastating effects on the environment as opposed to recycling which helps to conserve the environment we have by slowing down landfill development.
7. You could save money
If you’re recycling at home or in the office, reusing product can save you some money on your budget by not having to re-purchase what you already have. For companies seeking a way to recycle, in some parts of North America, they can sell their waste and recycling to derive additional income.
8. You’re reducing carbon emissions
Regardless of what’s being recycled, you’re minimizing carbon emissions aka greenhouse gases by reducing the effort required to produce a material. Did you know a single tree takes care of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide every year – it’s true! Recycling helps to keep these trees in the ground and continues the cycle of carbon emissions reduction.
9. You’re saving energy
Recycling saves energy in the production or re-production of a material. For example, when we recycle aluminum, we save over 95% of the energy it would take to produce aluminum from a raw source. Doing this over and over again, you’re saving a lot of energy which we no longer require to produce a material like aluminum.
10. You’re reducing the spread of disease
Accumulations of waste are breeding grounds for disease. In landfills or anywhere with poor disposal, toxic and infectious gases are emitted. Over time, these can cause respiratory illnesses and worse. As toxic liquids drain or develop in our water sources, this can also result in infectious diseases spreading.
11. You’re helping to further technology
When we recycle, we support eco-friendly technologies. As we put pressure on the companies we buy from to be more recycling-friendly, they become more likely to switch to biodegradable and recyclable materials. There’s so much positive development happening on the side of recycling technology that waste management is changing in a big way.
12. You’re improving property values
The more that we recycle, the cleaner the air is and the better living conditions we experience. Households with established recycling systems improve their property values, in addition to the community assuming there’s a network of opportunities to recycle.