Recycling is one of the best environmental success stories of the late 20th century. In 2003, the United States’ recycling and composting efforts diverted more than 72 million tons of material away from landfills and incinerators and instead turned those materials into valuable resources. Collecting recyclable materials is just the first step in a series of actions that generate a host of financial, environmental and societal returns. There are several key benefits to recycling.  


  • Protects and expands U.S. manufacturing jobs and increases U.S. competitiveness in the global marketplace, creating 1.1 million jobs.
  • Saves energy and prevents pollution caused by the extraction and processing of virgin materials and the manufacture of products using virgin materials.
  • Decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change.
  • Conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals.
  • Helps sustain the environment for future generations.
Recycling not only makes sense from an environmental standpoint, but also makes solid economic sense. With the steady growth of manufacturing in the Southeast, the need for recycled materials has grown steadily as well. Your old cans, bottles and paper products are in high demand and EPA is encouraging local communities to increase their recycling collection totals through the Resource Conservation Challenge. By supporting manufacturing through recycling in your community, you are also supporting the development of jobs and an increase your community’s wealth. 

MNN Public Information from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency