The recycling rate is below average in the State of New York
The national recycling rate is about 34%, and the State of New York falls far short of that at around 20% (2010). New York City is hurting even worse with a waste diversion/recycling rate of just 15.1% (2013).
Cities like NYC are looking to introduce new legislation and recycling programs aimed at boosting these figures. The Mayor of NYC vowed to double the recycling rate by 2017. If achieved, it would save tax payers $60 million per year.
New York State’s Beyond Waste Plan drafted in 2010 sets forth a comprehensive plan to reduce waste generation and increase recycling efforts statewide. The benefits of the plan, according to the report, are plentiful and include:
- A reduction of 21 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions
- Saves enough energy each year to power 2.6 million homes
- Creates 67,000 new recycling-related jobs by 2030
Read the entire Beyond Waste Plan
Why is recycling so important?
We all know recycling is beneficial to the environment, but its economic benefits are not as well known. The recycling industry bring jobs to the community.
According to the EPA, for every 10,000 lbs. of waste disposed of in landfills, there is only 1 job created. On the other hand, the same amount of waste processed at recycling facilities creates 10 recycling-related jobs or 75 material reuse jobs.
In summary, recycling offers:
- New jobs, more money flowing through the state and local economies
- Fewer landfills, illegal dumping sites, and less need for virgin materials to manufacture new products
Don’t throw it away; recycle or reuse
There are a number of material exchange facilities located throughout the state which accept things like clothing, books, kitchen items, gardening tools, furniture, appliances, toys, cellphones, bedding and much more. Consider this option before tossing it in the trash.
A second eco-friendly option for disposing of waste is to recycle. You can contact your local recycling coordinator to determine the closest facility, or get in touch with a materials exchange facility that accepts the type of material or debris you are disposing of (e.g., building materials, furniture, chemicals, e-waste)
Separate C&D debris if possible
New York recovered 6.3 million tons of construction and demolition (C&D) debris in 2010. This includes bricks, concrete, drywall, flooring, shingles and more. Most of these materials are recyclable.
The key is to separate different types of material so that it can be recycled. If possible, separate C&D debris during your next renovations, roofing or new construction project. By using separate dumpsters for each type of debris, you’ll be helping to recover valuable resources that would otherwise rot in landfills.
***Talk to your dumpster rental provider about these options. You may get a better rate if you plan to source separate C&D debris because recycling debris rather than dropping it off at a landfill is a more cost-effective option for the waste hauler.