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5 Reasons Why the Recycling Industry is a Multi-billion Dollar Industry (and will Only Keep Growing)

Dixie Somers

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Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons via Timothy Takemoto

Recycling. It's often a controversial topic, but regardless of anyone's stance on it, there is proof that recycling makes good business sense. Reusing waste is a logical way to 'kill many birds with one stone'. Most materials, when recycled, can save time and energy that would otherwise be expended in freshly manufacturing the same type of material. This, combined with the drive to preserve our ecosystems, helps make modern recycling a multi-billion dollar industry. Here’s a look at why the recycling industry is so profitable and will only continue to grow:

Lowering Production Costs

According to the Keep America Beautiful site, recycling a single ton of steel saves almost two tons of coal and iron ore. Even in purely logistical terms, a great deal of money is saved: moving three thousand tons of materials means fuel bought and workers paid. In 2009, five million tons of steel were recovered. That means that approximately twenty million tons of coal and ore were never shipped or burned. The money saved on production costs allows the recycler to sell the reclaimed metal at a lower cost than would otherwise be possible.

Minimizing Cost of Disposal

Closer to home, neighborhood recycling programs have been able to reduce costs of waste disposal by more than $50 per ton on some occasions. This makes sense, because recycling collection companies can sell the materials they collect (particularly metals). This allows them to charge clients less, as well as reducing environmental damage by keeping garbage out of landfills.

Wide-Spread Benefits

Connected to the household aspect of recycling is that of professionals such as plumbers, electricians, and general contractors. These people work with many recyclable materials, especially those who renovate old houses and other such buildings. Copper piping, old wiring, left-over metals, and paper can all be recycled, often at a profit to the contractor.

Recycling in the 21st Century

Another growing problem is electronic waste. Many still-functioning components and metals are lost when old and broken electronics are thrown away. However, in recent years, the importance of recycling has drawn more attention. Large electronic stores offer "trade-in" discounts: Turning in old electronics can get consumers credit towards new items. Making recycling directly profitable to consumers has gone a long way towards reducing waste.

Recycling Creates Jobs

With the difficulties in the economy today, one aspect of recycling stands out. Recycling creates jobs. Wherever there is a demand, someone will build a business to answer that demand. Recycling demand means business, business means jobs, and jobs mean money. The American entrepreneurial spirit has been turning garbage into money for decades and it's not likely to stop anytime soon.

Whatever your opinion on the practice of recycling, there are plenty of reasons why it is now a multi-billion industry and will continue to grow at this rate. The information for this article was provided by the professionals of King Recycling & Waste Disposal Inc., who offer recycling and disposal bin services in Toronto.


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