Benefit of Recycling
Recycling is an important way for individuals and businesses to reduce the waste they generate and reduce the negative impact of that waste. Because recycling is big business in Ohio, every time you recycle, it also supports the many companies and employees doing this important work.
Recycling conserves our natural resources, saves landfill space, conserves energy, and reduces water pollution, air pollution and the green house gas emissions that cause global warming.
Together, Reducing, Reusing, Recycling and buying Recycled products make up a comprehensive waste and resource reduction strategy that benefits our natural world and our economy.
Saving natural resources and natural areas
Making products with recycled material slows the depletion of non-renewable resources such as metal, oil and natural gas, and reduces the encroachment of new mining and drilling operations.
Conserving renewable resources through recycling also helps preserve undisturbed land and natural diversity by reducing the amount of land needed for agriculture and timber production.
It generally takes less energy to make products with recycled materials than virgin materials, often significantly less. For example, it takes 20 times more energy to make aluminum from bauxite ore than using recycled aluminum. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to power a computer for 3 hours.
Benefits of reduced energy consumption include reduced costs and reduced dependence on foreign suppliers.
Because most energy in Ohio is generated by burning fossil fuels, using less energy means generating less water and air pollution--especially the greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
Recycling also reduces other forms of pollution as well: Runoff from mining operations and farms, soil erosion and the toxic chemicals released when raw materials are processed.
Conserving landfill space
Everything that goes into a landfill stays there, taking up space. As waste breaks down—which can take hundreds of years—it releases the greenhouse gas methane and can emit many toxic pollutants into our water table.
Keeping recycleable items out of our landfills keeps air and water cleaner, reduces the need for Ohio to build new or expanded landfills, and conserves resources by putting existing materials back to good use.
Creating industry and jobs
Recycling isn’t just good for the environment, it’s good for business. Ohio firms are among industry leaders in research and development of recycled-content products and mechanical and chemical systems for recycling material into new products.
As of 2000, almost 100,000 jobs in Ohio were directly dependent on recycling; Ohio recycling resulted in $22.5 billion in sales and an annual payroll of $3.6 billion. Landfills and incinerators provide far fewer jobs.