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Looking for a way to help out your community and the environment at the same time?
As the week kicks off with America Recycles Day, we can’t think of a better way to get involved than by joining a recycling program. Recycling programs are beneficial to the community and help in the fight against climate change. Here is some information on how these programs work and why they are so beneficial.
HOW RECYCLING PROGRAMS WORK
Recycling programs create their own systems to effectively manage and recycle waste correctly. The staff from recycling programs collect paper, cans, plastic, cardboard, and other recyclable items and send them to various recycling locations where new recycled products are created. Recycling programs are managed at the state and local level in order to help ensure that less waste is sent to landfills.
1. PROMOTE COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Many studies have addressed recycling behavior and strategies to encourage community involvement in recycling programs. Recycling programs tend to create a sense of environmental awareness and good will among community members. If you’re looking for ways to bring your community together, recycling programs are a great place to start.
2. ARE COST EFFECTIVE
Recycling programs help save money. This is because recycling reduces landfill costs and it’s cheaper to dispose of recycled waste since it saves resources compared to other methods of waste disposal.
3. REDUCE WASTE & DISPOSAL VOLUMES IN LANDFILLS
Recycling programs reduce disposal volumes in landfills. According to the EPA, recycling programs in the United States are currently able to keep over 30% of trash out of landfills and incinerators through recycling and composting. Recycling programs aim to eliminate long-term waste.
4. HELP CONSERVE NATURAL RESOURCES
Extracting raw materials from the environment is expensive and can damage someone else’s community or land. Forest communities can find themselves evicted because of the search for cheap timber and rivers can be damned or polluted by manufacturing waste.
Recycling programs help extract less raw materials, which conserves many of our natural resources, including trees, water, oil and metals. The more we recycle, the more we protect our natural resources!
5. SAVE ENERGY
Recycling programs help save energy. Making products from recycled materials requires less energy than making them from new raw materials. This is because when an item is recycled, rather than disposed of as trash, it can be reused in the manufacturing process instead.
Raw materials on the other hand, require larger amounts of energy to be mined or extracted, and typically require more energy in the manufacturing process compared to a recycled material. Just imagine how much energy we could save if everyone joined recycling programs!
6. REDUCES OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT
Last but not least, recycling programs help reduce our carbon footprint and help fight climate change. The process of extracting raw materials can produce a lot of pollution. Since recycling does not extract raw materials, there’s less pollution. Additionally, recycling programs help send less material to landfills, which decreases the level of greenhouse gases that decaying materials in landfills often emit.
As you can see, recycling programs can help you, your community, and the environment by saving money, energy, and natural resources. We should try to reduce, reuse and recycle everything we possibly can. Check out Terracycle’s tool to search for free, national recycling programs that you can join, allowing you to recycle much more than just cardboard, paper, plastic, glass and aluminum!