There tends to be a common misconception that the environment and the economy are two separate entities that can’t thrive without the other one suffering. This erroneous assertion is a fallacy that not only undermines the growing efforts to implement more environmentally sustainable practices into our everyday lives, but simply serves as a dated perspective that fails to realize just how profitable sufficient waste solutions are. 

The environmental and societal advantages of efficient commercial recycling are abundant. From reducing CO2 emissions, curbing climate change, and decreasing our dependence on wasteful materials, the world has come a long way in terms of incorporating recycling into our domestic and foreign policies.

In addition to these global benefits, it’s rarely highlighted just how favorable recycling can be for the economy, especially when utilized in the workplace where materials ranging from ink cartridges to coffee cups often go un-recycled. To get a better idea of just how valuable recycling is, let’s take a closer look at a few of the ways commercial recycling boosts our economy.

Creating Jobs

One of the biggest ways commercial recycling impacts the economy is through the creation of American jobs. The more your company separates waste and contributes to commercial recycling services, the more jobs your business is helping to create! In a 2020 report conducted by the Environmental Protection Agency, they determined that recycling and reuse activities contributed to over 681,000 total jobs in the U.S. alone, leading to more than $37.8 billion in wages paid. When you really break it down, those numbers can be equated to providing 1.17 jobs for every 1,000 tons of materials being recycled!

In Minnesota alone, recycling activities have created more than 60,000 jobs in the state, equating to $3.4 billion in wages, while contributing just under $15.7 billion to the Minnesota economy. Some of the jobs these thorough recycling efforts are helping to create include:

●        Paper manufacturers

●        Recycled material reclaimers, converters, and recoverers

●        Steel mill workers

●        Collection center employees

●        Glass manufacturers

●        Recycled material wholesalers and more

The more successful your company’s recycling program is, the more jobs your business will help create all around the country! 

Cost Savings

If there was ever an incentive to pursue a productive recycling program within a company of any size, it would be to help cut down on spending and increase overall budgets! The more recycled materials your company can contribute to society, the cheaper manufactured goods from recycled materials will be created, utilizing less energy spent processing these materials while in the end, consumers will wind up spending less money on such goods and products!

But commercial recycling can have immediate and direct cost saving-effects for companies as well. In a recycling case study conducted on a New Jersey maritime technology company called Lockheed Martin Maritime Systems and Sensors, researchers broke down the annual cost savings for the company after they began incorporating a larger-scale and efficient recycling program for construction and waste removal projects.

After a year of implementing the recycling program and accounting for all the figures, the company determined it had saved over $145,000 as a direct result of recycling materials for their construction projects rather than merely disposing of them. They directly broke down the recycled material cost savings as follows:

Recycled Material                       Quantity Recycled             Recycling Cost Savings

Asphalt                                          685.00 Tons                         $60,204.65
Commingled Bottles & Cans         24.19 Tons                           $1,783.77
Concrete                                       673.00 Tons                         $59,149.97
Electronic Scrap                           14.05 Tons                            $1,235.12

Metal                                             94.44 Tons                           $8,300.33

Mixed Wood and Pallets               89.07 Tons                           $4,054.11
Paper and Cardboard                   146.93 Tons                         $10,834.62

Reduce Waste in Your Workplace

Every working environment has the potential to increase their recycling efforts and in turn help do their part in stimulating the economy. If you work in an office setting, you can implement more virtual efforts to help reduce the usage of paper and ink cartridges, by only printing documents or files when it’s truly necessary.

If your job resides in a retail or manufacturing location, you can try to emphasize only using recyclable materials for packaging, as well as reuse packaging materials as often as you can. In the end, any minimal changes that reflect more sustainable solutions will only work toward bettering the environment and the economy!

Commercial Recycling Solutions for Your Business

If you’re interested in learning more about how commercial recycling services can cut down on spending and help save your business money, LJP Waste Solutions is here to help! We offer professional recycling and waste disposal solutions, so you can help your company do your part when it comes to contributing to environmental sustainability. Contact us today to learn more about our waste management process, or call us at 507.625.1968 to speak directly with a commercial recycling expert.