“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”
– Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Recycling is the third and most recognizable of the “Three Rs”–Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. By recycling and buying recycled-content products, every Californian can make a vital contribution to preserving our environment. Here are five good reasons to recycle:
- It’s easy. Recycling in the home, school, and workplace can be easy and convenient. Most California communities have curbside recycling programs for paper, cardboard, plastic, bottles, cans, and other materials. Check with your local waste hauler or public works department to find out what can go into your curbside bin. Californians already divert from landfills about 65 percent of their trash–nearly double the national average–through recycling and reuse programs. Back in July 2012, recycling programs expanded to include most California businesses and multifamily housing, too. Ongoing or one-day community recycling events allow for proper disposal of items prohibited from landfills, including computers, TVs, batteries, fluorescent light bulbs, paint, used household hazardous waste products such as paint, and cell phones. Televisions, computer monitors, and other electronic waste that is no longer working and can’t be fixed can be taken to recycling centers–visit our e-waste webpage to locate one near you. For do-it-yourself mechanics, used motor oil can be taken to a local used oil recycling center. There are recycling opportunities everywhere that are easy and convenient!
- It saves money. The first step to saving money is to shop smart: Buy recycled products when possible, and consider product packaging. Recycling can also put money in your pocket! Many beverage containers made of plastic, glass, and aluminum are redeemable for California Refund Value (CRV), which is 5 cents for containers less than 24 ounces and 10 cents for containers 24 ounces or larger. CalRecycle has a searchable database to help you find nearby beverage container buyback centers.
- It creates jobs. Recycling is big business in California. It is a mainstream industry of statewide importance accounting for approximately 85,000 jobs and producing $10 billion in products and services per year. It is equivalent in size to the motion picture industry in California.
- It saves energy. It takes 95 percent less energy to make an aluminum can out of recycled aluminum than out of raw virgin materials. Making glass from recycled material allows manufacturers to run their furnaces at lower temperatures, also saving energy.
- It preserves natural resources. Reducing, reusing, and recycling cuts down on the amount of raw material needed to create new products, lessening the overall impact on natural resources. And by sending less material to landfills, Americans can put a dent in the amount of trash we produce each day: enough to fill the New Orleans Superdome top to bottom, twice a day.