Whether you are looking to improve your company’s local image, or just want to reduce your business’ carbon footprint, making your business more sustainable through recycling is a great starting place. Here are three benefits of recycling, in addition to changing perceptions and reducing emissions.

1. Reduced Cost

Initially, going green costs money. You’ll need to get color-coded bins for the break room and conference room, invest time and effort into educating your team and sharing the vision with your employees, and you may need to shuffle vendors to really make an impact. However, even after these costs, you’ll still be saving money in the long run.

Becoming a business that recycles has simple, cost-effective consequences. Here are just a few:

– Fewer Trash Pickups: Simply by separating out recyclables like paper and plastic bottles, you’ll reduce the amount of waste your company produces. This means you can keep a portion of the money you’re currently spending on waste disposal.

– Reduced Disposable Expenses: Instead of dumping pages printed with your outdated letterhead or keeping the break room stocked with Styrofoam cups, reduce and reuse. That outdated letterhead works fine for internal memos (which you can take online once you run out) and if your employees bring in their own mugs, you’ll need fewer disposable cups. Check out these other waste reduction ideas as well to reduce your supply expenses.

– Lower Energy Costs: You won’t get a smaller power bill just from recycling paper and cardboard. However, once you’ve begun recycling it will be easier to implement other sustainable practices (like turning off your machinery and heat at the end of the day) that can save you money on more than just waste disposal.

2. Improved Economy

Since recycling became a major concern, the industry has grown to meet rising demands, creating jobs and improving local economies in the process. Though it may not seem like a single company can make a difference, economic improvement is a long-term process that your company can help with.

Basic recycling (sorting your waste into bins before it’s picked up) keeps waste disposal workers employed and encourages local waste plants to devote more workers to recycling processing. Moreover, educational efforts in your own company can motivate your competitors to do the same, opening educational positions in local companies and creating a community movement.

Recycling accounts for a huge number of jobs. In Ohio, for example, there are almost 170,000 recycling-related jobs. These jobs account for $6 billion in annual wages in the state. Even small efforts at your company can improve the economy on a local and state level. And a better economy means better business.

3. Tax Breaks

Emissions are a serious national concern. Many states have implemented programs that reward homeowners and businesses for going green. And they aren’t the only ones: Federal tax breaks also encourage businesses to improve their sustainability.

Here are a few green tax credits businesses can take advantage of:

– Federal Depreciation Allowance: The IRS gives companies a tax allowance for conservation efforts. This tax allowance includes purchases of equipment and machinery used for recycling with a life span of 5 years or more. Your business is only eligible for this allowance during the first year after you buy the equipment, so be sure to take advantage of it.

– State Income Tax Credits: Many states offer income tax credits for the purchasing of recycling equipment. Some states only offer these credits to recycling companies, but others include manufacturers and other kinds of businesses.

– Tax Exemptions: Many states, including North Carolina, New Jersey, and Iowa, offer property tax and sales tax exemptions for recycling equipment and property purchases.

Recycling comes in many forms—from acquiring processing equipment and making recycling part of your business to reusing packaging materials. Talk to your employees and partners about their vision for a greener, more sustainable business practice. Develop an eco-friendly business plan with these benefits in mind so you can begin saving and impacting your local economy today.