The benefits of, and reasons for recycling are numerous. They include helping the environment, saving energy, reducing waste buried in landfills, and creating and retaining local jobs.
Recycling helps conserve resources and energy:
• According to the Aluminum Association, using recycled aluminum to make new aluminum cans uses 95% less energy than making cans from raw materials.
• Making a ton of paper from recycled materials saves up to 17 trees and uses 50% less water.
• Every ton of trash we throw out fills up 3 cubic yards of landfill space.
Extend landfill life
• 60% of the materials buried in the landfill could be recycled and put to good use. Last year nationwide more than $6.1 billion worth of recyclable materials was thrown in the trash. More shocking is that instead of benefiting from these materials; $2.7 billion was spent nationwide to bury them in landfills. As the residential recycling program was phased in during 2013, the program diverted 31,889.47 tons of recyclable material from the landfill.
• The city's residential recycling service will add an estimated 1.5 years to the Franklin County landfill's 30-year life. When you add in the regional recycling efforts, such as the programs in the suburbs and a commercial recycling facility SWACO is working on, our combined efforts will add an estimated 7-11 years of life to the Franklin County landfill.
For every ton of trash recycled instead of buried the city saves $55.21 in landfill fees
These savings will enable the city to fund services like roads, sidewalks, fire trucks, police cars and other community needs. In 2016, residential recycling saved $1,817,733 in landfill fees.
Recycling creates, and saves, jobs right here in Columbus.
• In Ohio, recycling is a $22.5 billion business, providing over 100,000 jobs.
• Recycling 10,000 tons of waste creates 36 jobs as compared to landfilling the same amount of waste which creates only six jobs.
• 80% of the materials recycled here in Columbus stay within a 150-mile radius and are used by local companies including I.H. Schelezinger in Columbus (steel cans), Rock- Tenn Paper in Columbus (paper products), John Manville in Defiance, Ohio and Owens Illinois in Zanesville, Ohio (glass bottles), Anheuser-Busch in Columbus (aluminum cans), Haviland Drainage in Haviland, Ohio and Signode Plastic in nearby Florence, KY (plastic bottles).