How recycling saves money

19 May 2021

We often hear about the benefits of recycling and how it helps the environment, preventing our waste to pollute the various habitats. What is mostly spoken about recycling is its impact on the planet, encouraging us to use as little carbon footprint possible. However, what we don’t often hear about is that recycling helps the economy and can also save money. How does it save the money in your pocket? It’s simple – the more you reuse an item that’s already owned, you would end up buying less, therefore saving more money. 

Why recycle?

Central to recycling is the environment. This brings a famous quote to mind: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.” Our job as responsible habitants of planet is to preserve and protect our resources for ourselves and for future generations.

Recycling and the economy

Take a minute to consider the benefits recycling bring to the economy. It creates new businesses such as for transporting, processing and selling recycled materials in addition to those companies that that create new products using recycled materials. It is estimated that for every 10,000 tons of waste that’s recycled, 36 jobs are created. On the other hand, only six jobs are created for every 10,000 tons of waste that’s dumped in a landfill. Moreover, the jobs created don’t require minimal effort, but add value to the worker. Jobs related to the recycling industry range from material sorters, dispatchers, truck drivers, sales representatives, process engineers and chemists. Side note, there are a lot of demand for such jobs and most pay above the average national wage! Material sales will also help generate more revenue - recyclable materials can also be sold in some communities. As not all countries have their own natural resources, they would import the materials. China, South Korea and Japan are known for importing recycled paper and wastepaper. 

Recycling in your home

Before throwing something away, ask yourself whether the items could be reused in some way. Clothing, soap, disposable containers, bags and even furniture could have another use, aside from their primary function. Old t-shirts can be made into quilts or rugs, whilst stained clothing pieces could be used when you’re doing some auto-work or painting around the house. If you’re looking to buy more clothes, check out second-hand stores first! They tend to have nice clothing in good quality! Furthermore, glass bottles, coffee cans and even plastic bags can be reused! Furniture is the costliest one in the list, and if thought carefully, could save you lots of money. Consider refinishing, repainting or even recovering old sofas, tables and chairs. Even your old kitchen drawers and cupboards could be easily redone and used someplace else. It will save you money and act as a new and fun task for you! 

Recycling at work

You can also help save money at the workplace; however, it must be done slightly different than your methods back home. However, some practices can be used at work too, such as using glass container as pencil holders. You could also create an initiative to recycle ink cartridges, which are made up of plastic and other petroleum-based products. In short, these take many years to decompose. It is believed that only 20%-40% of ink cartridges are recycled, with the others being dumped in landfills. Similarly, your company could promote recycling more - empty bottles and containers could be collected and some would even be refunded for being returned. The money collected could be used to help the community by being donated to a local charity.