Home Insights & Advice Missing out on the economic benefits of waste management and recycling?

Missing out on the economic benefits of waste management and recycling?

23rd Jul 18 1:49 pm

Waste management and recycling are both promising yet under-explored industries. The recycling economics comprise numerous benefits for those who recycle.

Even though business and industries are gradually realising the positive impact of recycling on the environment and economic front, the industry has a lot of untapped potential. Even the government has rolled out certain policies and programmes which provide organizations and individuals opportunities to make profits through waste reduction and waste management. Let’s see how:

  • The government has created the waste prevention programme for England. This programme helps businesses identify and act upon potential savings opportunities through enhanced resource management and reduced waste production.
  • Numerous new businesses in the fields of transportation, processing, manufacturing and selling have been created because of recycling. Recycling creates more jobs as compared to waste disposal. Statistically, this can be compared as – only 6 jobs are created by dumping 10,000 tons of waste in landfills, whereas recycling the same amount of waste creates 36 jobs. Also, a majority of the jobs in the recycling industry pay above the average national wage and are located in the urban areas where the demand for jobs is high.
  • Energy consumption is increasing with each passing day. To meet this ever-increasing demand, not just precious natural resources but billions of money is also being invested. Recycling can not only help address the demand for energy efficiently but also save a lot of money. Consider this – a ton of mixed paper recycled is equivalent to 165 gallons of gasoline saved in terms of carbon dioxide reduction.
  • Excessive exploitation of natural resources is gradually causing an imbalance in the ecosystem. The result is climate change – a pressing concern faced by the world. The research, initiatives and infrastructure required to mitigate the problems resulting from climate change require millions of dollars. Recycling is one of the best options to conserve natural resources and reduce pollution.
  • The process of trash disposal generally involves collection, sorting and combustion which add up to make it costly. Recycling on the other hand is more economically effective and the re-manufactured products from recycled materials are fast gaining demand across various industries. Such products help both manufacturers and consumers save money. Also, numerous products which are made using recycled materials require less energy overall for their manufacturing.
  • Recycling creates millions of dollars per year in the form of sales tax revenue. These funds are put to good use by the local government. They are used to build better public transportation, pay for social and health services program, welfare initiatives, educational sector, public safety and a host of other important services and infrastructure for the betterment of the public.
  • Last but not the least, recycling helps keep a lot of garbage out of landfills. This means the landfill space saved can be used for other revenue-generating functions. This is especially beneficial for countries where land is scarce. Acres and acres of land can be saved and diverted for other revenue generating purposes.

Thus, recycling industry holds a lot of potential for generating revenue worth millions and numerous jobs. Also, UK’s waste policies function on the basis of ‘shared responsibility’, which essentially means that since everyone generates a certain amount of waste so all parts of society also have a responsibility towards reusing, recycling and disposing of waste properly.

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