Lambeth council in London pointed out in 2017 that "it is 6 times cheaper to dispose of recycled waste than general refuse".
Recycling, particularly in cities that offer curbside pick-up of recyclables, is an easy way to do something good for the environment and it can lead to other green lifestyle changes, too.
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Imagine all the potentially useful reusable stuff that's been buried over the decades. Landfill also pollutes soil and water by leaching noxious and toxic liquids over time.
Landfill also releases greenhouse gases, like methane, into the atmosphere. Incineration, burning our rubbish, is extremely wasteful of valuable resources that could be reused or recycled.
Recycling can be a gateway to other forms of environmental activism.
A homeowner might start out by recycling and graduate to composting or installing solar panels.To generate the textile from scratch would mean harvesting the cotton or linen crop, or manufacturing the synthetic fabric.But if the same company uses recycled textiles it can cut out that first step of the manufacturing process, saving energy as a result.Rivers can be damned, or polluted by manufacturing waste, which harms local people.Far better to recycle existing products than to damage someone else's community or land in the search for new raw materials.Reducing carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases being emitted into the atmosphere is vital for stopping disastrous climate change.Dumping our rubbish in landfill tips is hugely wasteful.At a fundamental level: Recycling reduces the need to grow, harvest or extract new raw materials from the Earth.That in turn lessens the harmful disruption and damage being done to the natural world: fewer forests cut down, rivers diverted, wild animals harmed or displaced, and less pollution of water, soil and air. As you'll know if you watched David Attenborough's Blue Planet II, a lot of plastic ends up in the oceans, where it causes all kinds of havoc.A report we published a few years ago calculated that at least 50,000 new UK jobs could be created by 2025 if we can reach the target of recycling 70% of our waste. (As we've said it's around 45% now.) Roughly 30,000 of the new jobs would be in recycling directly, with about another 20,000 in supply chains and the wider economy.Recycling helps cut the amount of waste we produce, but the best thing to do is reduce the amount we use in the first place.