Why We Should Recycle

By Larraine Roulston:
There are hundreds of great reasons to recycle! Rather than just throwing everything away, recycling why-should-we-recycle mainsaves space, natural resources, energy, money and time. It also creates jobs and reduces the release of toxins into our environment. During the mid-1980s, recycling became a necessity. Our disposable society, together with population growth, was filling up landfill sites while environmental regulations simultaneously were making it harder to seek either landfill or incineration options.
The links below list a few of the numerous advantages of recycling.

  • By recycling, not only are we allowing our existing landfill sites to remain open longer, but also we are saving space in general. If there are fewer landfills, there will be more land available for farming, housing, parks and natural habitats.
  • In 1993 the U.S. reported that its paper recovery strategy saved more than 90 million cubic yards of landfill space.


  • Reduce our need to drill for new oil by recycling used motor oil and plastics.
  • If recycled glass is substituted for even half the raw materials required, mining waste would be cut by more than 80%.


  • Extracting aluminum requires large amounts of electricity to separate the metal from the ore. By recycling it, we save up to 90% of the energy needed to manufacture new aluminum.
  • Recycling just one aluminum can will save enough energy to run a television set for three hours.
  • In the United States, steel recycling saves enough energy to heat and light 18 million homes for one year.


  • It costs 50% to 80% less to construct a paper mill designed to use waste paper rather than new pulp.
  • Recycling a ton of resources costs, on average, $30 to recycle, $50 for landfill, and between $65 – $75 to incinerate.
  • Schools and other organizations are Using Recycling as a Fund Raiser.
  • Many small businesses can find metal recycling lucrative.


  • Charities will pick up items at your home, saving you from finding a good home for your unwanted furniture, clothes and other items.


  • Recycling councils were formed to establish a network of expertise.

– Recycling facilities and municipal waste management departments require staff.
– Many nonprofit recycling groups such as http://www.greentreetextiles.org/ in Brooklyn, NY, which recycles textiles and old shoes, have emerged.

  • Advertisements to educate result in employment for graphic artists, etc.
  • The buying, selling or trading of one company’s waste to become another company’s resource requires employees to sort and transport the material.


  • One quart of improperly disposed of motor oil can pollute up to 2 million gallons of fresh water.recycle
  • Seventeen trees saved by recycling a ton of paper each year can absorb a total of 250 pounds of carbon dioxide. Burning the same amount of paper would create1500 pounds of carbon dioxide.
  • Landfill sites do not biodegrade; therefore, by reducing the amount destined for landfill, less toxic substances will make their way into our local atmosphere and waterways.

Check out all the things that are recyclable at search.earth911.com/‎. To help keep our planet healthy for ourselves and future generations, it is imperative to embrace the concept of recycling.
Related Links:
Larraine authors a children’s book series on composting at www.castlecompost.com

Larraine Roulston

A mother of 4 with 6 wonderful grandchildren, Larraine has been active in the environmental movement since the early l970s. When the first blue boxes for recycling were launched in her region, she began writing a local weekly newspaper column to promote the 3Rs. Since that time, she has been a freelance writer for several publications, including BioCycle magazine. As a composting advocate, Larraine authors children's adventure stories that combine composting facts with literature. Currently she is working on the 6th book of her Pee Wee at Castle Compost series, which can be viewed at www.castlecompost.com. As well, Larraine and her husband Pete have built a straw bale home and live in Ontario.

1 Comment

  1. Reply


    January 18, 2016

    The only problem I have found with recycling is that many people don’t recycle. They throw perfectly useful and reusable items away. So I end up dumpster diving, cleaning the item, and then taking these items over to the local homeless shelter. They can either use it or sell it in their thrift store.
    Today, for example, I drove past a house that had some head boards from a bed set. Beautiful dark wood & in that sleigh design. I almost stopped, but seriously, I don’t have any more room in my garage for other people’s thrown away stuff.
    So people! Part of recycling your stuff is to have the number of a local thrift store that benefits some cause that you care about. They’ll send their truck and men to move it out of your way.
    However, last Friday, I hit the jackpot of recycling. I took a wrong turn and as I was circling around the block I found a large bird cage on the curb. I stopped, rang the doorbell (no one answered) and then decided that the bird cage was at the curb, so the owner wanted to give it away. Her effort to recycle will enable me to make the birdcage over into a Monarch butterfly Display for a local Nature Center.
    And the only cost was a few bruises, and the realization that no matter how I wanted that birdcage to fit in my small car, it simply couldn’t. At that point, I finally met the owner and assured her I would be back with a truck to move it.
    Within an hour, the birdcage was off of her curb and in my garage. And soon will be installed at the Nature Center.
    So she recycled, and I repurposed the birdcage. An enormous win-win situation!

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