More Jobs, Less Pollution: Growing the Recycling Economy in the U.S.

Tellus Institute with Sound Resource Management for the BlueGreen Alliance: Teamsters, SEIU, Recycling Works, and GAIA

[From an article in Money magazine] …The report… examines the impact that increased recycling would have on the nation’s job market. If more Americans recycled their trash and the nation achieved a 75 percent waste diversion rate, an additional 1.5 million new jobs could be created by 2030…

The waste disposal process only generates 0.1 jobs per 1,000 tons of waste. Plastic, on the other hand, is a job generating recyclable. Approximately 10 jobs per 1,000 tons of waste are needed to keep the plastics manufacturing industry going. In a plastic-loving country, this is good news for the job market.

 There is also another benefit to increased recycling – reduced pollution. A 75 percent waste diversion rate would eliminate 276 million metric tons of pollution by 2030. To put this into better perspective, this is equivalent to taking 72 million cars off the roads of the nation or removing the pollution emitted by 72 coal-fired power plants. ..

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