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Why Should I Recycle?

Recycled items being sorted on a conveyer belt.Recycling helps ensure that plastics, metals and paper materials are able to be reused, thus reducing the need to extract and consume raw natural resources. Recycling also saves valuable space in the landfill.

Prevent the waste of potentially useful materials.

So many of the objects we interact with each day are made out of glass, plastic, paper, cardboard and metal. These materials can be ground, washed, and processed into new materials. Recycled materials are given a new purpose and can continue to be useful in our daily lives.

Without recycling, these materials would end up in the landfill, ending their lifecycle and taking up space. Recycling prevents millions of tons of materials from being wasted in a landfill.


Reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials.

Crude oil (petroleum), natural gas, coal, trees, silica and ore are some of the raw resources used to make glass, plastic, metal, cardboard, and paper. These valuable resources are finite and important to preserve.


Reduce energy usage.

Processing raw materials requires more energy than processing and repurposing existing recyclable materials. For example, silica and ore need to be treated with high heat in order to be turned into usable forms of glass and metal. Even transporting the raw resources requires gasoline, which is a finite energy resource.

Reusing existing materials, instead of starting from scratch with raw materials, is significantly more efficient.


Reduce air and water pollution, as well as greenhouse gas emissions.

Recycling prevents multiple sources of pollution. First, it decreases the pollution associated with drilling, mining, extracting and processing fresh resources. Recycling materials, instead of starting from scratch with raw materials, is much more efficient and causes less pollution.

Recycling also prevents chemicals from recyclable materials from leaching into the soil or water via litter or an unlined landfill. Recycling also decreases air pollution from incineration, which occurs in some waste-processing facilities.