For many cities and communities, having a top-notch recycling program is a matter of great civic pride. Many people have realized that many benefits come from their participation in these programs. Here is how recycling benefits your community every day.
An immediate benefit for any place that implements a recycling program is the introduction of new employment opportunities for the citizens of the area. These new career paths that open along with the new recycling center include drivers, sorters, and other entry-level positions. There are also positions for people with advanced degrees, such as facility managers who run the recycling centers, scientists who work with recycled materials, and regulators who ensure that everything is done in accordance with current government standards.
Jobs in the recycling industry can be very rewarding from a personal and financial perspective. Many people who work in waste disposal take great pride in the work they do to protect our planet. This type of job satisfaction is hard to quantify. However, surveys indicate that employees who feel that their work has a positive impact on the environment are twice as likely to take pride in their job compared to those who do not. And depending on the exact job title, the financial compensation can be considerable.
Conserves Natural Resources
Communities will not have to pillage the planet to find raw materials. Here are some of the ways that recycling individual materials can help with the preservation of our planet’s national resources.
The obvious benefit of recycling paper is the preservation of our forests. Not only does recycling this material save trees from being chopped down for supply, but it also can help benefit air quality. It has been estimated that for each ton of paper recycled, it can save more than 3.3 cubic yards from ending up in a landfill.
Recycling plastics can also save a staggering amount in natural resources and energy. The production of new plastic often requires the use of coal, natural gas, salt, crude oil, and water. Being able to conserve this can save these resources for other, more pressing productions. Recycling one ton of plastic is estimated to save 7.4 cubic yards of space in a landfill.
Aluminum and steel are two of the most commonly recycled products on Earth. Other recyclable metals include iron, copper, tin, and brass. All of these materials can be reused. Instead of trying to mine and extract the raw metals from the Earth, people should prioritize reuse.
For the best reason to recycle glass, look no further than the fact that it takes an estimated one million years to break down a single glass bottle in a landfill. Recycling can have parts of that same glass bottle back in stores in as few as 30 days. Recycling glass is also fantastic for preserving the raw materials necessary for the glass making process. Each ton of recycled glass saves more than its weight in raw materials; it saves an estimated 1,300 pounds of sand, 400 pounds of soda ash, and 375 pounds of limestone.
Recycling is also good for the wildlife in the surrounding areas. New landfills take up a significant amount of space, usually costing woodland critters their natural habitats. This can make animals more likely to end up in areas of human habitation, putting them at greater risk of injury or death as a result of human interaction. Animals who live in cities have also been shown to occasionally become dependent on the scraps of humans, making it more difficult for them to successfully provide for themselves and their young.
Wildlife benefits from recycling, as humans produce less garbage that they can eat and choke on. This is especially relevant for aquatic animals. And the same reduction of greenhouse gasses that benefits us provides the same perk to animals in the form of having clean air to breathe.
Birds are also at an elevated risk of injury or death due to the waste that they scavenge to create their nests. Like fish, they can choke and suffocate after gathering materials or trying to find a quick bite to eat. Additionally, birds can suffer many ill effects of the chemicals released into the atmosphere from plastics breaking down in waterways and landfills.
Recycled plastic can be reused instead of ending up in our waterways, where it can poison or choke the native species of fish. It may also contaminate the water. Recycling allows for the preservation of those same waterways by saving the water that it would have taken to produce new materials.
There is a multitude of ways that communities that recycle can save energy. One example of this comes from the savings enjoyed by recycling paper. It requires approximately 70 percent less energy and water to recycle paper compared to the manufacturing of new products.
Another example of saving energy can be found in the bottled water that Americans love so much. Some estimates put the percentage of recycled water bottles at an embarrassingly low 12 percent of the 35 billion that are thrown away annually nationwide. It has been suggested that a pint-size bottle of water takes almost 2,000 times as much energy to produce as the same amount of tap water.
One final illustration of how recycling can conserve energy is in the production of glass. Creating new glass requires a temperature of 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit. Generating temperatures this high requires an incredible amount of energy, leading to pollution in the form of greenhouse gasses. To contrast this, it takes 40 percent less energy to produce a product with recycled glass.
As you can tell, there are many benefits for communities that implement a recycling program. From saving the wildlife to conserving energy and raw materials, all creatures that live on Earth see advantages when we take the time to recycle. Trash Cans Depot, is a recycling bin company that has the solution for you and your community’s recycling needs. Visit us today to see how the right recycling bin will benefit your community.