Benefits of Recycling

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Throughout generations, recycling has been a practice in various forms. In the past, individuals would conserve food items as a unique way of reducing or recycling (Blashfield and Black). While many people simply view recycling as disposing paper, plastic, glass, and other items into a blue bag for collection by a local company, there are also those who prioritize reducing and reusing items to extend their lifespan and promote recycling. Recycling has shown to make a significant impact on conserving materials and energy. According to Nicky Scott, the act of recycling one glass bottle alone can save enough energy to power a 100-watt light bulb for four hours.

The popularity of recycling has increased as society has grown and the economy’s influence has become apparent. Many people are now recognizing the financial, economic, and practical advantages of recycling and its elements. According to Clift and Cuthbert (1), “Greening the office will therefore have significant benefits environmentally and financially…as many other businesses have experienced.” Businesses, like individuals, are acknowledging the positive impacts of recycling.

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Recycling is advantageous and allows anyone to make a positive impact by engaging in it. With the availability of reusable and recyclable materials, it is crucial for all Americans to participate in recycling. According to Nicky Scott, “thirty percent of Americans currently recycle.” Recycling is essential for protecting the environment, benefiting society as a whole, and being cost-effective. Initiatives promoting recycling have significantly contributed to preserving our living environment through actions such as reducing, reusing, and recycling.

Composting is a simple way to contribute to the environment, and according to the National Recycling Coalition, it has helped divert almost 70 million tons of material from landfills. Recycling, reducing, and reusing also positively impact trees as more paper products require a greater number of trees. Waste management and recycling processes are heavily influenced by supply and demand factors. By recycling one ton of paper, it is possible to save twelve trees.

Using less paper can help reduce the destruction of trees (Nicks J). Recycling or reducing and reusing can have a positive effect on the global environment. Carbon emissions are produced daily by coal mines, cars, houses, and other buildings. By reducing heat or energy usage, which is a part of recycling, we can significantly benefit the environment. The National Recycling Coalition states that recycling also benefits the air and water by reducing ten major categories of air pollutants. By simply recycling or reducing, we can eliminate or lessen many pollutants.

Many people consume beverages from aluminum cans. Aluminum is highly recyclable and recycling it requires 95 percent less energy compared to its production (National Recycling Coalition). This significantly minimizes the environmental impact. Although main energy sources like coal, methane, and oil will not last indefinitely, recycling helps in conserving these energy sources and other products for future generations (Bainbridge). The advantages of recycling for the environment are limitless.

In terms of simple mathematics, the advantages of recycling are greater than the drawbacks. Recycling is imperative for both present and future generations as it abundantly clear that the environment reaps significant benefits from recycling efforts. Undeniably, recycling contributes to the well-being of our shared environment. However, contrary opinions and alternative sources argue that the environment actually benefits more when recycling is not practiced. It is important to acknowledge that while there are numerous benefits associated with recycling, there are also some unavoidable disadvantages in any situation.

The opposing viewpoint argues that curbside recycling is more expensive and resource-intensive compared to other methods. Their concern is based on the increased mining of iron ore and coal, the manufacturing of steel and rubber, and the extraction and refinement of petroleum for fuel. However, this negative impact on the environment mainly refers to emissions and material usage, rather than the natural environment itself. In certain cities, recycling can be both expensive and disorganized. Furthermore, some individuals assert that recycling can pose a threat to the natural environment. If not managed properly, recycling sites and areas designated for recycling within landfills can become dirty and unhygienic.

The recycled material emits harmful chemicals if not handled properly, and if not properly managed or organized, rainwater can mix with the material, creating a particularly dirty environment (Nicks J). Like any program or organization, negative consequences arise when recycling is not managed or organized effectively. While there may be some opposition and drawbacks associated with recycling, there are always a few resistant aspects in life. Recycling greatly benefits the environment by reducing emissions, preserving trees and preventing destruction, and protecting wildlife living in the environment.

Recycling plants are typically well-managed and organized, minimizing the dangers of mishandled material. Kalenberg suggests that recycling and composting materials actually benefit the environment instead of posing risks. Moreover, recycling programs are more economical than landfills or other disposal methods. The National Recycling Coalition states that efficiently-run recycling programs have lower operating costs compared to waste collection, landfilling, and incineration.

These costs also suggest that emissions are reduced because recycling centers are conveniently located along common travel routes, which decreases the amount of time cars are running and emitting pollutants. Recycling also minimizes the demand for energy production, further reducing air emissions and benefiting the environment. According to Nicks J, recycling materials reduces energy needs in various manufacturing processes, including refining and mining. This reduction in destructive activities and emissions from mines, plants, and factories enhances rather than impairs the environment.

Recycling has numerous benefits for the environment, particularly in terms of reducing pollution. Every day, items like aluminum cans, plastic containers, and paper products are often improperly disposed of, leading to environmental pollution. Those who litter have a harmful impact on the environment. However, by implementing recycling practices, this issue can be minimized since there will be less waste present and the environment will flourish. Despite opposing viewpoints suggesting otherwise, recycling is actually highly advantageous for the environment rather than a hindrance. Moreover, recycling is essential as it provides various positive benefits to society.

Recycling has gained popularity each year due to its social and convenience advantages. A growing number of individuals in society are acknowledging the benefits associated with recycling. According to Bainbridge, the recycling industry is experiencing rapid growth as an increasing number of people recognize the importance of preserving an eco-friendly environment. Additionally, there is a “lead by example” team effort element that further benefits society. Numerous people serve as role models and unite together for a common cause, which, in many cities and towns throughout the United States, is recycling. This collaborative effort is immensely beneficial in terms of social impact.

“Any place you go—school, church, club, business—can become a place where you can get recycling activities started and get other people caring about the Earth” (Blashfield and Black 117). Recycling has been proven to bring members of a community together to support a cause, one of the most marked benefits of recycling. Many large cities also have gotten into the realm of recycling, realizing the benefits, but also leading by example. “New York City leaders realized that a redesigned, efficient recycling system could actually save the city $20 million and they have now signed a 20-year recycling contract” (National Recycling Coalition).

Recycling is a simple and accessible task that anyone can do. Creating a compost site by digging a hole, placing garbage items in it, and covering it with dirt offers an effortless and advantageous recycling method (Kalenberg). Even children can participate in recycling because they enjoy helping and treating it as a game where they place specific items in their designated spots. “Children are fond of the concept of recycling and composting…” (Scott 35). The use of blue bins and bags further simplifies the recycling process. Most individuals can easily identify a blue bag and place recyclable materials, symbolized by three arrows, inside it. This idea is straightforward and uncomplicated.

Three important “R” words – reduce, reuse, and recycle – come together to form an easy reminder for recycling. Numerous household and everyday items can be recycled in various ways. For instance, wire hangers can be easily recycled by taking them to a second-hand store or giving them to a steel center (Scott 39). Recycling has been proven to offer numerous social benefits and is incredibly simple to do. However, Opposing Viewpoints argues that recycling does not bring any benefits to society. In some cases, sources suggest that recycling programs can lack organization and be confusing.

Some negative social aspects of recycling are also mentioned. According to Opposing Viewpoints, despite the existence of numerous curbside recycling programs, packaging waste still makes up around 35 to 40 percent of household waste. It seems that Americans do not prioritize recycling enough. Opposing Viewpoints also suggests that Americans will not become environmentally aware until all of our energy and consumable resources are depleted. Additionally, individuals may find recycling perplexing as they have to sort out specific materials, determine what to recycle, and figure out the proper recycling methods.

According to Opposing viewpoints, mandatory recycling programs are not beneficial for future generations. They argue that these programs only provide short-term advantages to a limited number of groups. Additionally, they claim that recycling may be the most inefficient activity in contemporary America. However, skepticism is only present when there is insufficient evidence to argue against recycling. Similarly, certain groups believe that specific forms of recycling can be complex and tiresome. For instance, sorting different types of plastic systematically can be a challenging task. Different materials require different recycling methods, which some perceive as a negative aspect.

Despite the minimal negative effects, recycling has numerous positive benefits for society as a whole. The opposing viewpoint’s first mistake lies in its reliance on “It seems,” which fails to consider objective facts. Furthermore, Nicky Scott’s statement that “360 million plastic bottles were recycled in 2002” highlights the widespread adoption of recycling due to its convenience. In fact, this figure demonstrates that over 1 million bottles are recycled daily!

Socially, it is crucial to care for future generations, including daughters, sons, grandchildren, great grandchildren, and subsequent offsprings as they are integral to the country’s future. To ensure their well-being and strive for a better world, we must conserve resources starting now. Americans and leaders are taking proactive measures by not waiting for energy sources to be fully depleted before implementing recycling initiatives. According to Blashfield and Black (15), many cities have already begun collecting a portion of waste materials for recycling. This signifies the growing societal influence on governments and cities to prioritize actions that benefit the society as a whole. Moreover, increased participation in recycling would significantly reduce packaging waste.

According to Scott (68), more than 80 percent of the plastic products we use end up in landfills. However, recycling and reusing plastic cans greatly reduce this number and eliminate the need for further processing. Additionally, sorting through recycled material is simple. The products are labeled with a three arrow diagram, indicating how to recycle them. Most recycling instructions are straightforward. During times of drought, it is advisable to add items to your already recycled materials. Blashfield and Black (29) remind us of the three Rs of 3RC: Reduce waste production, Reuse items whenever possible, and Recycle everything that can be recycled.

The arguments against the societal benefits of recycling are unsupported opinions, lacking factual evidence. Recycling has been scientifically proven to bring advantages to society, including convenience and strengthening social bonds. Criticisms that deny these benefits are baseless, lacking thorough research and observation. Moreover, recycling is economically advantageous, as it is cost-effective and creates more job opportunities. Thus, making the decision to recycle is a smart financial choice. This holds true for both large corporations and small town families, as recycling has been proven to bring financial benefits to all. Furthermore, companies often lead the way in setting trends for countless Americans.

According to the National Recycling Coalition, American companies have been able to save millions of dollars by implementing voluntary recycling programs, which they would not do if it was not economically viable. By reusing items, reducing energy consumption, and recycling old products, money is being saved. Each time a product can be reduced or reused, it eliminates the need for further expenditure. In addition to economic benefits, recycling also has positive social impacts such as creating more job opportunities. Furthermore, recycling plays a role in research and development by fostering new and innovative ideas. Bainbridge suggests that recycling promotes the advancement of environmentally friendly technologies.

According to the National Recycling Coalition, the private sector in the United States creates around 1.1 million jobs for research and implementing recycling programs, as well as other roles related to recycling. This not only stimulates the economy but also keeps jobs within the country. Additionally, recycling and buying recycled materials can lower expenses. If more products were recycled or made with recycled materials, the cost of goods would decrease significantly. As Scott states, about 30 cents out of every dollar consumers spend on packaged goods goes toward packaging expenses (12).

Recycling, when done correctly, can be a cost-effective practice for companies and families. It can even boost productivity and competitiveness within a specific market for certain companies and organizations. By recycling, reusing, and reducing, companies can reap multiple benefits in society. Not only do recycling and reducing help cut down overhead costs, energy expenses, and water bills, but they also contribute to increased sales and productivity by establishing a positive reputation in recycling and minimizing costs (Clift and Cuthbert 1-2). Furthermore, in the current economy, recycling proves to be advantageous.

Reusing, which is a part of recycling, can be a wise financial choice. When materials are reused and recycled, there is less need to buy new items. This is particularly advantageous in an economy recovering from a recession and during times of tight budgets. According to the National Recycling Coalition, recycling helps families save money, especially in communities with pay-as-you-throw programs. There are numerous programs throughout the United States that are economically and financially sensible. For instance, opting for cloth rags instead of paper towels for clean-up is a simple yet conscious cost decision.

Opposing Viewpoints argues against the benefits of recycling in society, asserting that it is not advantageous in any aspect. According to various sources, a recycling program can be expensive and may not be a financially viable decision for society. Opposing Viewpoints points out that in Ann Arbor, MI, the cost of a recycling program amounts to approximately 1,014,000 dollars, which, when factoring in additional expenses, exceeds the cost of a typical garbage program by over 400,000 dollars (Opposing Viewpoints 103). Furthermore, some individuals contend that specific types of recycling are costly and not economically feasible for a program.

According to Nicks J, paper recycling can be expensive due to the need for additional industrial processes like bleaching to make the paper reusable. Furthermore, recycling programs have faced criticisms for being costly to maintain and enforce. Opposing Viewpoints argues that curbside recycling is 35 to 55 percent more expensive than simply disposing of an item. They also suggest that using less of one resource often leads to using more of another. This claim pertains to the advantages of recycling. Additionally, some sources concur that recycling is more expensive than a typical landfill or garbage program.

There are differing viewpoints on the costliness of products made from recycled materials. Some argue that certain items cannot be effectively recycled, leading to increased costs. Others suggest that the quality of recycled products may be inconsistent due to the manufacturing process. However, these concerns present only a slight risk associated with recycling and its resulting products. Nevertheless, there is limited evidence to support the notion that recycling is not advantageous for American society.

While mismanaged recycling programs can be expensive, the majority of recycling programs are cheaper than traditional garbage systems. The use of terms like “usually” often indicates a lack of thorough research and representation, thus highlighting the significance of why opponents employ such language. The information provided by Opposing Viewpoint pertained only to Ann Arbor, one city, and cannot be considered representative of the entire nation. It is important to acknowledge that this information reflects a bias towards recycling specific to that particular city. The factual benefits that support economic interests outweigh the opposing opinions. Hence, society clearly attains economic advantages through recycling.

Recycling is certainly more advantageous compared to the landfill industries. According to the National Recycling Coalition, “Recycling creates four jobs for every one job created in the waste management and disposal industries.” This economic and social benefit of job creation is crucial for society. Ross Bainbridge further argues that recycling provides financial and social advantages, including cost reduction and increased production for certain businesses. Despite claims by opponents that recycling is more expensive than other programs, there is no evidence or data to substantiate these findings.

However, research has been conducted to demonstrate the opposite. According to the National Recycling Coalition, “Well-run recycling programs cost less to operate than waste collection, landfilling, and incineration.” Numerous curbside programs impose no additional financial burden. The recyclable materials are placed together with regular garbage and disposed of concurrently. Despite the erroneous arguments against recycling, well-organized recycling programs have been shown to be economically comprehensive and cost-effective. Recycling programs offer ongoing benefits that are immeasurable.

Many benefits offer no reason not to recycle as it helps the environment, is economically sound, and benefits society. With numerous items that can be reused or recycled, it is imperative for every person to participate in recycling. Moreover, recycling is a straightforward and effortless process that even children and teens are embracing. According to Nicky Scott, the percentage of Americans who recycle has increased to thirty percent in just a few years. It is crucial for everyone to contribute to recycling and strive towards a future where every American is participating and experiencing the advantages.

Everyone should recycle because it has benefits for the natural environment, positive effects on society, and is cost effective. Works Cited (two of the web pages are from Bainbridge, Ross. “Benefits of Recycling” Nov 6 2006. 7 Dec 2009. Blashfield, Jean, and Wallace Black. Recycling. Danbury: Children’s Press, Inc., 1991. Clift, Jon, and Amanda Curthbert. Greening Your Office. White River Junction: Chelsea Green Publishing Company, 2007 Heneffe, Braeg. “Modernize Your Kitchen With New Kitchen Appliances.

“Positive and Negative Effects of Recycling” is an article written by J. Nicks on on July 31, 2008. The article discusses the various benefits and drawbacks of recycling. According to the National Recycling Coalition, there are many reasons why recycling is beneficial. Rachel Kalenberg, an Environmental Studies Major at the University of Montana, provided insights on the topic in a personal interview conducted on December 10, 2009. Scott Nicky’s book “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” published by Chelsea Green Publishing Company in 2007 also explores the subject. Additionally, the book “Garbage and Recycling” edited by Mitchell Young provides different perspectives on recycling. The information was accessed on on June 30, 2009, and the sources were consulted on December 7, 2009.

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Benefits of Recycling. (2016, Aug 07). Retrieved from

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