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Why Is Recycling Important For A Business? 5 Surprising Benefits

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If your business isn’t recycling, you could be missing out on a lot of unseen benefits. Not only is recycling good for the planet, but it’s also good for your bottom line. Here are 5 benefits of having a business recycling program that you’ve probably never considered.

1. Save Money

One of the main reason why recycling is important for a business is because it’s a simple way to save money and improve their bottom line. Recycling programs can create cost avoidance and better yet, free up funding for other sustainable initiatives.

Centralized recycling programs specifically can save money through cost savings in janitorial fees. Now that custodial staff don’t have to go desk to desk to collect every employee’s waste and recycling, it frees-up their time to work on other areas of the organization (like cleaning work stations etc. that you may have been paying more for). These cost savings could also be directly used to fund other important sustainability initiatives within the organization.

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A well planned and executed recycling program can generate approximately $100.00 in savings per employee per year. Recycling can save major dollars for your business and save the planet at the same time. It’s a win:win!

2. Make Money

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When companies make sustainable choices and implement recycling programs, they have the potential to sell their recyclable waste for alternative uses thus earning back money that was used to finance the program and in most cases generate even more. As recycling technology continues to make advancements, our metals, plastics, and glass only become more precious as the cost of materials go up. Recyclable materials are a commodity, so find out the market value in your region and discover how much your recyclables are worth.

Further, having a centralized recycling program could also help make your business more money. Centralized recycling programs force employees to be more aware of what trash they’re generating and how they’re disposing of it. This helps reduce the contamination of the recycling streams which in turn helps increase the value of your recyclable assets.

3. Attract Higher Quality Recruits And Improve Employee Retention

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Not only are modern-day consumers increasingly demanding green and sustainable products but business’s employees are too.

Employees are more motivated to work for a company that recycles. A new unpublished study conducted by Lightspeed, commissioned by Rubbermaid Commercial Products, found that workplace sustainability and recycling is more important to millennials than previous generations. In fact, almost one in 10 millennials would be willing to quit a job if their employer wasn’t sustainable. This is relevant because more millennials plan to change jobs within the next two years than other generations.

4. Help Build A Community

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People want to do the right thing and implementing a recycling program in your organization is one way that people can feel their participation is making a positive impact.

Recycling encourages people to come together and to keep each other accountable.  At CleanRiver, we believe that culture is the number one driver for a successful recycling program in any organization. Employees like to feel that they work for a company that is doing the right thing. By communicating the program and your diversion results it helps motivate them to keep sorting their waste effectively. If your employees are motivated to participate in the recycling program, it helps decrease recycling stream contamination and increase the amount of waste diverted from landfill.

For more tips on how to increase a sense of community with recycling check out: Culture- Your People Make A Recycling Program Work.

5. Protect The Environment

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Of course another reason why recycling is important for a business is because of the positive impacts on the environment. But how exactly does business recycling help the environment?

  1. a) Saves Energy

It takes less energy to reuse and recycle material than it does to produce the same material from scratch. For example, newspaper is recycled and reused for printing.

When aluminum cans and bottles are recycled, we can save 95% of the energy used to produce these cans compared to when using raw materials.

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  1. b) Diverts More Waste From Landfill

As our world population continues to grow so do the size of our garbage dumps. Our landfills are only filling up faster and faster each year with many products, many of which are not biodegradable and will remain in landfills for centuries emitting harmful gases.

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According to the EPA fact sheet, our landfills are filled with the following waste which could be easily recycled:

  • 21% of food, the largest component of landfill
  • 14% of paper and card board
  • 10% of rubber, leather, and textiles
  • 18% of plastic

Add all those numbers up and we could potentially start diverting up to 63% of those materials that are being sent to landfill every year!! Think about that and the positive impact something as simple as recycling can have on our planet.

  1. c) Prevents Global warming

Did you know that pulp and paper is the 5th largest industrial energy consumer in the world? Recycling paper instead actually uses 65% less energy than producing new paper products out of raw materials. When we reduce energy consumption, we reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

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Don’t forget that trees help reduce global warming because they breathe in and hold carbon dioxide (a major greenhouse gas). When we recycle 1 ton of paper we save 17 trees who are playing a vital role in protecting our planet.

For more benefits of having a business recycling program, check out our blogs 3 Ways To Convince Your Boss To Start A Recycling Program and 10 Step Checklist To Start Making Money With Your Recycling Program.


CleanRiver Recycling provides a variety of innovative, flexible and customizable recycling solutions. To determine the right solution to meet your needs, use the CleanRiver product selector.

If you have additional questions that weren’t answered in this blog post please call us at 1-866-479-4038 or email solutions@cleanriver.com.