4 Compelling Reasons Why Recycling Is a Worthy Investment

Recycling has become a vital part of our efforts to reduce waste, conserve resources, and protect the environment. While there are associated costs with recycling various materials, it’s essential to recognize that these costs are an investment in a sustainable and cleaner future. Despite recycling having a universal impact, it still has its fair share of critics who claim recycling costs more than it’s worth.

In this blog post, we’ll explore four compelling reasons why recycling, including materials like IBC totes and electronics, is worth every penny.

4 Reasons Why Recycling is Worth It

1. Conservation of Natural Resources

One of the most significant benefits of recycling is the conservation of natural resources. Recycling initiatives reduce the need for raw materials and virgin resources. These natural resources include timber, water, and minerals, which also prevent pollution by reducing the need to collect new raw materials.

IBC totes and electronics both contain valuable materials that can be reclaimed and reused, reducing the need for virgin resources. IBC totes are often made of durable materials like plastic or steel. Recycling these containers helps save energy and raw materials used in their production. Reusing IBC totes after proper cleaning and refurbishing also reduces the demand for new ones.

Electronic devices contain precious metals such as gold, silver, and copper, as well as rare earth elements. Recycling electronics ensures these valuable materials can be recovered and reused in future manufacturing processes.

2. Reduced Energy Consumption

Recycling is an energy-efficient process compared to manufacturing new products from raw materials. As some examples: it takes 95% less energy to recycle aluminum than it does to make it from raw materials. Meanwhile, for steel, it’s about 70% energy saving. Making paper from pulped recycled paper uses 40% less energy than making it from virgin wood fibers.

Producing new IBC totes from scratch requires a significant amount of energy, especially when dealing with metals like steel. Recycling IBC totes consumes less energy, making it a more sustainable choice.

Additionally, manufacturing electronics is energy-intensive. Recycling electronics not only conserves energy but also reduces greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of new devices.

3. Waste Reduction and Environmental Protection

Recycling plays a pivotal role in waste reduction, which in turn contributes to environmental protection. Environmental benefits include reducing the amount of waste sent to landfills and combustion facilities. Landfills have a certain amount of space. When one is full, another is created to take its place. The costs of locating a new landfill, purchasing the requisite land, constructing the landfill, and operating and maintaining it after it is operational usually result in the new landfill costing more than the previous one.

Recycling initiatives allow old landfills to remain open for extended periods of time, reducing the need to create new ones. At the National Institute of Health (NIH), the average trash disposal for 2021 was 270.71 tons, which is significantly less than the average for 2019.

Recycling IBC totes reduces the volume of waste going to landfills. Proper disposal and recycling of these containers also prevent potential contamination from leftover chemicals or hazardous materials. E-waste, or electronic waste, contains toxic substances that can harm the environment if not disposed of properly. Recycling electronics ensures that hazardous materials are managed and disposed of safely, protecting ecosystems and human health.

Recycling IBC totes reduces the volume of waste going to landfills. Proper disposal and recycling of these containers also prevent potential contamination from leftover chemicals or hazardous materials. E-waste, or electronic waste, contains toxic substances that can harm the environment if not disposed of properly. Recycling electronics ensures that hazardous materials are managed and disposed of safely, protecting ecosystems and human health.

4. Economic Benefits

Recycling has economic advantages that extend beyond the immediate costs. Economic and community benefits include increasing financial security by tapping a domestic source of materials, supporting US manufacturing, and creating jobs in the recycling and manufacturing industries. It stimulates job creation and can lead to long-term financial savings.

In 2020, recycling and reuse activities in the US accounted for 680,000 jobs, $37.8 billion in wages, and $5.5 billion in tax revenues. This equates to 1.17 jobs for every 1,000 tons of materials recycled. The industry that contributes the most to all three categories (job, wage, and tax revenue) is the ferrous metals industry, followed by construction and demolition (C&D) and non-ferrous metals like aluminum. Recycling materials should eventually cost less than waste disposal as cities acquire experience administering effective recycling systems.

For example, recycling IBC totes can create jobs in the collection, refurbishing, and recycling industries. Recycling electronics can generate revenue from the resale of valuable materials and components. Additionally, it reduces the cost of managing hazardous e-waste, which can be expensive if improperly handled.

Recycling programs that are well-designed and well-managed make perfect economic sense. For more information on waste disposal and recycling (especially IBC totes and electronics), please contact AllSource Environmental Services to see how we can help.