What Are the Effects of Recycling?

The effects of recycling include lower energy consumption, less waste, lower greenhouse gas emissions and more preservation of natural resources. Recycling can also have an impact on economics, job creation and tax revenue.

When items are recycled, as much as 95 percent of the energy used to produce a new item is saved. That saved energy can then be used on something else, or simply not used. Recycling causes less waste. An item sent to a recycling facility doesn’t take up space in a landfill, allowing that space to be used by something that truly belongs in the trash. Recycling also prevents waste from being generated as a by-product of producing something new.

Recycling helps reduce greenhouse gases. Emissions are lowered by not requiring the entire process of consuming raw materials, production, shipping and disposal to occur. Recycling allows a new product to be created from an old one, skipping steps and helping the environment.

Natural resources are also saved when new ingredients and materials are not used in production. Everything, from coal and gas for power generation to diesel for shipping, is reduced when an item is recycled. These natural resources can later be used elsewhere.

Recycling creates jobs, provides a source of tax revenue and can improve the budget of a city sponsoring recycling programs. New businesses must be created to handle the recycling needs, and cities can benefit from the added business licences, permits and other fees required to run those businesses.