Why is Recycling Important?

As we now know recycling, it was born out of the environmental movements of the late 1960s to early 1970s. Since then, the recycling rate in America has risen from 7.3% per cent to well over 30%. Our national recycling rates have remained at 33.8% for two decades, despite the mantra to “go green” extra resources.

Why do we need to raise our recycling rate, then? Why is recycling so important? These are the four most important reasons for recycling.

Recycling reduces pollution of air, water, and greenhouse gases that are responsible for global warming.

Recycle one ton (one hundred pounds) of paper and save:

17 trees

The water equivalent of 7,000 gallons

Oil 2 barrels

Four hundred and one kilowatts (kilowatts) of power

The 2 cubic yard landfill is a great way to reduce waste.

The air is also cleaned up by about 60 pounds.

Recycling is an entry point into other eco-friendly behaviors.

Recycling allows people to feel as though they have made a significant difference, without having to undergo major changes in their lifestyle. People are willing to adapt other changes once they realize that being green doesn’t have to be a hardship.

Recycling helps to reduce landfill space.

As landfill space shrinks, many states find themselves forced to ship their trash abroad. Today Americans generate about 4 pounds of waste per person, per day. The number must be reduced in order to guarantee future sustainability. The residents are not fond of landfills either. Home values of comparable homes situated farther away from landfills drop by between 5 and 10%.

Recycling creates jobs.

Recycling and sorting recyclables supports ten times the number of jobs per ton as landfilling. Ten thousand tons of trash will only sustain one landfill position. 10 000 tons of compost supports 4 jobs. The material recovery center can support ten jobs from 10,000 tons collected in recyclables. Even better news is coming from the manufacturing industries. This same 10,000 ton of material recycled sustains jobs for 18 in paper, 26 in glass and 93 plastics. The reuse of computer equipment sustains 296 full-time jobs. The average manufacturing salary is $47.700 per annum, while the annual wage for landfill workers is around half of that.


Recycling is a great way to conserve resources, decrease pollution and create jobs. These are the factors that will affect our economic future and also determine how sustainable we can be in terms of environment. To increase recycling, the government needs to do more.

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