Updated January 19, 2023
It's common knowledge that recycling is beneficial for the environment.
Recycling reduces the amount of waste that ends up in landfills, saves energy, and prevents pollution, just to name a few.
There are many other benefits to recycling beyond environmental ones that are often overlooked that we'll go over in this article.
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Recycling makes a direct impact on your local economy by creating more jobs in the area.
Throwing your unwanted junk out creates 6-7 jobs at best, while recycling can help create up to 30 jobs.
According to the US Recycling Economic Information Study, the US Recycling Industry employs around 1.25 million people while the US Solid Waste Management industry employs around 0.25 million.
Recycling is more labor-intensive than incineration or landfill disposal, which explains why so many more jobs are created from the recycling industry.
According to Ecocycle, recycling creates around of 9x more jobs than traditional disposal methods, and in some areas can create as many as 30x more jobs.
If the idea of contributing less trash to our rapidly decreasing landfill space isn't enough to begin recycling, maybe knowing the amount of jobs it could create in your area is.
One of the main benefits of recycling is preserving natural resources.
While preserving resources is beneficial for the environment, it's also beneficial for the cost of raw materials.
The cost of aluminum, for example, would be significantly more expensive if it wasn't a commonly recycled material.
Other materials like copper, iron, wood, glass, paper, plastic, and steel can also be recycled to help keep costs down.
It's also worth mentioning that landfill space is a precious resource within itself.
The less landfill space there is, the more expensive waste disposal costs will be, so recycling helps to preserve this quickly depleting landfill space.
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If you are lucky enough to live in an area that provides a free recycling program, you could save significantly on your monthly municipal waste bill.
Committing to recycling the estimated 75% of recyclable household waste would mean a 75% decrease in the amount of garbage you'll need your waste program to pick up.
Even if you only recycle 50% of your trash, that's still a significant decrease in yearly disposal costs.
Sets a Good Example
If you have a child, niece, nephew, younger sibling, or other children in your life that you are a role model for, recycling is a great example to set for them.
If you think that the effort recycling requires isn't worth it because it won't impact you directly, think of the impact it will make for future generations.
The cost that future generations will have to pay for basic resources will be much higher than previous generations.
Teaching them how to recycle and reuse will help shape their habits for a lifetime.
How to Recycle Your Junk
If you don't have a free recycling pickup program, it's highly likely that there is a recycling drop-off center within driving distance.
Doing a quick online search for free recycling centers will show you which options are offered in your area.
If you have gently used household items or clothing, consider donating them to a local charitable organization.
Places like Goodwill or The Salvation Army have drop boxes and drop-off locations where you can unload your unwanted items.
Listing free items on Facebook Marketplace or Craigslist is also a great way to have someone come pick up your used items.
If you have junk to get rid of but don't have the time or transportation to haul it yourself, hiring a junk removal company that recycles on your behalf can be a stress-free solution.
You can find locally-owned junk removal companies in your area by using Hometown.
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