Why Buy Recycled Products (RCP)?

Reduces waste going to landfills. Diverted materials are made into new products and not disposed of, so landfill space is conserved. For example, one ton of recycled paper saves 3.3 cubic yards of landfill space.

Reduces greenhouse gases, water pollution, and manufacturing waste. In most cases, making products from recycled materials creates less carbon monoxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, three major contributors to greenhouse gases. Many of the products that are recycled are used locally to make new products, limiting the distance of transporting the product, thus less air pollution. Water pollution and manufacturing waste are decreased, as well. Such is the case of using recycled-content paint–not only does it cost less than non-recycled, it is just as good and requires very little processing (screening) to manufacture it. Recycled-content paint can be manufactured locally, so there is less air pollution caused by long-distance shipping. Recycling paint also keeps the paint out of the landfill, which keeps the landfill rain water runoff clean.

Reduces energy consumption. Recycled products usually take less energy to make. Recycled aluminum, for example, takes 95 percent less energy to make than new aluminum from bauxite ore. In the process of making paper, using recycled paper saves 22-64 percent of energy costs over virgin paper production.

Creates jobs. The manufacturing process for recycled products creates far more jobs than landfills or incinerators, and recycling can frequently be the least expensive waste management method for cities and towns. For every position held at a landfill, recycling creates four positions, which increases the job market.

Improves markets. When you buy goods made from recycled-content material, your purchases help to create a demand for materials collected in local government recycling programs.

Helps attain procurement goals. This helps every department, board, commission, office, agency-level office, and cabinet-level office. For the requirements and basics of operating a successful “buy recycled” program, see the program requirements section of this site as well as the Summary of Statutes and Administrative Memoranda.

It’s easy. To find thousands of RCPs, search our Recycled-Content Product Manufacturers database.

For more information contact: State Agency Buy Recycled Campaign, SABRC@calrecycle.ca.gov