Published May 20, 2016
It might seem obvious that the reasons to be in the recycling industry include all the reasons to recycle in the first place: it saves natural resources, saves energy, and keeps usable materials out of landfills.
Those are all good reasons to recycle, and we certainly need more people to recycle. Individuals can make a difference, and not just by recycling more. In fact, according to the Washington Post last year, getting people to be more careful and aware of what they put in their big blue bins would have massive benefits for the recycling business.
But there’s one crucial difference between what an individual can do and what a business can do. That difference is the scale of the impact. An industry can create and influence change on a much larger scale.
Here are the ways recycling businesses help the environment and the economy on a whole different level:
1. Create Jobs
It’s one of the best things business does for any economy: create jobs. Recycling businesses can do just that as they grow and expand to process more materials in more ways and find new markets for recycled goods.
Innovation is one of the biggest keys to growth. Finding new ways to acquire recyclables, more efficient processing methods, and new ways to use recycled materials are all important for the industry to thrive. They’re also essential to the process of improvement that will move the industry to greener and greener practices and greater positive impact.
For example, the problem of disposing of scrap tires is a big one, and almost half of scrap tires are burned as TDF (tire-derived fuel). It has its benefits, but it isn’t an ideal use. As new uses and new markets open up, these materials can be used in better and better ways.
3. Save Resources
We mentioned this as one of the reasons everyone should recycle. It’s here again because it’s the size of the impact that matters. The natural resources saved by a person or family’s recycling habits pale beside how much is conserved on a business or industry level.
At that level, you also become part of reducing the need for some of the dangerous and destructive means of gathering raw materials.
4. Generate Raw Materials
This is the other side of the resource-conservation coin. Recycling businesses conserve resources because they produce raw materials that other industries can use instead. That means you’re fueling other businesses, too, by providing a sustainable source of materials.
5. Help Other Businesses Work Better
Recycled goods are often less expensive than their raw or new counterparts. What potential client or customer doesn’t want to hear that you can reduce their costs?
You can do your part to save municipalities money, too, since sending material to a recycling center is usually more cost efficient than paying to dispose of it in landfills or incinerators.
No matter how you look at it, there are always good reasons to recycle.