Businesses and the general public alike frequently ask us questions about recycling industry statistics, so we have added some interesting facts and figures for you. Also, please find links to additional recycling facts that can be found on the EPA and Virginia DEQ’s webpage.
Recycling Creates U.S. Jobs
In one year, recycling and reuse in the United States accounted for*:
- 757,000 jobs
- $36.6 billion in wages
- $6.7 billion in tax revenues
* This information was taken from the 2016 EPA Recycling Economic Information Report
By diverting recyclable materials from landfills, immediate benefits are produced for companies by reducing waste disposal fees and the sale of recycled materials.
Retaining Local Employers
Industries that need recyclable commodities that can be obtained from the surrounding region are more likely to stay and expand with the industry.
Support for vibrant recycling industry helps produce revenues that help the surround communities.
Economic Development Opportunities
Increased collection of materials attract businesses that are interested in processing or using the materials.
As waste disposal rates increase, RDS can help you reduce your waste (and, in turn, your bill), turning the recyclables we pull out of it into revenue or reduced costs for you.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle — Three great ways YOU can eliminate waste and protect your environment!
Waste, and how we choose to handle it, affects our world’s environment—that’s YOUR environment. The environment is everything around you including the air, water, land, plants, and man-made things. And since by now you probably know that you need a healthy environment for your own health and happiness, you can understand why effective waste management is so important to YOU and everyone else. The waste we create has to be carefully controlled to be sure that it does not harm your environment and your health.
What exactly is “waste?”
Waste is anything we throw away or get rid of, that doesn’t get used.
How can you help?
You can help by learning about and practicing the three R’s of waste management: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle! Practicing all three of these activities every day is not only important for a healthy environment, but it can also be fun. So let’s take a minute right now to learn more about waste and waste management, so you can become a key player in making our world a safe and healthy place.
Reducing your Waste:
- First and foremost, buy and use less! If all the other people on the Earth used as much “stuff” as we do in the United States, there would need to be three to five times more space just to hold and sustain everybody… WOW! So buy only what you need and use all of what you buy. Or make sure that when you are through with something, you pass it along to other people who can continue to put it to good use. This is especially important when it comes things that can be dangerous to our environment, such as paint and chemicals.
- Start making wise “package” selections. Why is it important to consider how something is packaged when you consider what to buy? You can reduce waste by selecting products that are not wasteful in their packaging. Flashy and fun packaging costs more, usually adds little or no value to the product, and (worst of all!) can do considerable harm to our environment by creating more waste or waste disposal difficulties. Keep the following package-related tips in mind no matter what you are buying:
- Recycle by purchasing products in materials/packaging that can be readily recycled. So whenever you have a choice, put plain and recyclable packages high on your list to reduce packaging waste in our environment.
- Avoid single-serve containers. You can buy juice or water in large recyclable bottles or cans and then divide it up into reusable, washable containers as you need it at home or to take with you. And if you want to take juice or water with you on your bike rides or to the gym, just take it along in your own reusable sports bottle.
- Before you buy bottled water, first find out if you really even need bottled water. City water (and clean well water) is usually just as healthy, much cheaper, and may even be safer than bottled water products.
- Refuse store bags! When you buy one or two items at a store, carry them out in your hands; or take a reusable bag with you to carry the items you buy. And don’t forget to take your old plastic and paper bags back to the grocery store for reuse or recycling. Most grocery stores have convenient paper and plastic recycling bins located near the entrance.
Reusing your Waste:
You can “reuse” materials in their original form instead of throwing them away, or pass those materials on to others who could use them, too. Remember, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure! Here are some examples of reuse…
- Take along washable cups or travel mugs instead of disposables; a lot of restaurants and stores will be glad to fill or refill your own mug.
- When you do use disposables like plastic cups, plates, utensils, and plastic food storage bags, don’t throw them away! Wash and reuse them—most of them will last for a long time with many uses. They may not cost much to replace, but it doesn’t make any more sense to throw away those things than it does to throw away your bicycle after one use.
Recycling your Waste:
Recycle—don’t just toss everything in the trash. Lots of things (like cans, bottles, paper, and cardboard) can be remade into either the same kind of thing or new products. Making new items from recycled ones also takes less energy and fewer resources than making products from brand new materials.
Just about anything in your home (or office, school, etc.) that cannot be reused CAN be recycled into something else. You’d be amazed what can be done with a recycled product! A recycled soda bottle can be made into t-shirts, combs, or hundreds of other plastic goods that can be used for many years. Even your brand new computer case might be made from ordinary recycled plastics. And paper products can take on different forms as well; an old phone book or coloring book might become one of your school books or a notebook.
Your recycling mission is not impossible! In fact, it is very simple: Don’t throw away anything that can be recycled!
Here is a list of things you may be able to recycle
- Aluminum cans
- Electronic equipment
- Glass (particularly bottles and jars)
- Plastic Bags
- Plastic Bottles
- Steel Cans
- Writing/Copy Paper
- Yard Waste (leaves, grass)