Is it just us, or did 2022 go by quicker than a Minnesota summer? With 2023 here, millions of Americans are making resolutions to better themselves in the new year. And while weight loss and business-building goals are great, we’re hopeful more Minnesota natives (and everyone around the world) will commit to being more eco-friendly by recycling unused items throughout the year. Unsure if you can uphold a year-round responsibility? Here are just 5 reasons (in no particular order) why you should think about committing to recycling in 2023.
This one might seem like a no-brainer, but recycling does more for our environment than reducing energy waste. Recycling has a direct impact on lowering Minnesota’s carbon footprint and decreasing emissions from greenhouse gases. But that’s not all – recycling has some great indirect effects on our environment too. Buying products that have been recycled keeps Minnesota’s rivers and lakes clean. Plus, when industrial facilities manufacture products from recycled materials, they generate much less water pollution than manufacturing products using new materials.
In today’s day and age, finding a well-paying job that people can use to support their families is easier said than done. The good news is that making a commitment to recycling can actually create jobs for those who need on the most. In fact, about 37,000 Minnesota jobs are indirectly or directly supported by the recycling industry. When combined, the aforementioned jobs generate almost $2 billion worth of cold hard cash for workers and add more than $8 billion to our local economy right here in Minnesota.
Here’s a fun FYI: If we recycled the more than 20 million tons of residential items sent to landfills every year, it would be like taking 20 million fuel-dependent cars off the highway. How? Taking trees, metal ores, oils, and other raw materials from the earth and processing them into other items like plastic jugs means using a bunch of energy. When we recycle these materials instead, we only use a fraction of that energy to recirculate materials back into use. Using less energy in Minnesota means reducing greenhouse gasses and harmful emissions, which is good!
When was the last time you saw a landfill? If you’re like most folks, the answer is probably not very often. The truth is that many landfills in Minnesota pollute our water and air. Unfortunately, according to the Office of Environmental Assistance, almost 72% of waste sent to landfills contains items that could have been recycled instead. By recycling your unwanted household items instead of sending them to the landfill, you’re doing your part in keeping our air and water less polluted.
Did you know that recyclable materials provide value for our local economy? Minnesotans recycled 2.3 trillion tons of materials in 2021, adding over $690 million to the local economy. But when we don’t recycle, it hurts. Almost 1.2 million tons of recyclable items are tossed in the garbage yearly. If those items had been recycled, we would have almost $285 million more to use to benefit our local economy. Instead, we spend more than $200 million to send these items to landfills across Minnesota.
We’re really into recycling, but we don’t do this just for us. Recycling appliances, electronics, and furniture gets junk out of your space and keeps the planet looking and feeling good. And who doesn’t love looking and feeling good?
So instead of tossing your laptop or microwave in the trash, give it to us. Why? Because we recycle 98.6% of everything that comes through our door. That’s only 1.4% away from perfection. But we’re not here to brag. We’re here to recycle.