Why Recycle?

The average American generates 4.4 pounds of trash per day, adding to the grand total of about 251 million tons of trash the United States accumulates per year. American communities recycled and composted nearly 35% of municipal solid waste in 2012, diverting 87 million tons to recovery according to the U.S. EPA.

  • Top 5 Reasons to Recycle

  • Conserves natural resources.

    Recycling conserves natural resources such as trees, water and minerals — preserving the environment for future generations.

  • Reduces the need for landfills.

    Recycling reduces the need for landfills and incinerators because when materials are recycled, less waste is sent to disposal facilities.

  • Prevents pollution.

    Recycling prevents pollution and reduces greenhouse gas emissions caused by the extracting and processing of raw materials.

  • Saves energy.

    Recycling saves energy by eliminating the need to extract and process raw materials.

  • Creates jobs.

    Recycling helps create new jobs in the United States for both the recycling industry and manufacturing.

Use the “Recycling Explorer” below to read interesting facts about each material, how to recycle it and what happens to it after it gets into the recycling stream.

Recycling Explorer

Plastic Bags & Film
Plastic Containers
Food Scraps
Yard Debris
Household Hazardous Waste