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The Five Reasons Why I Recycle

My wife and I have been pretty big recyclers for quite some time now and occasionally people have asked me why I prefer to recycle so much. I’m not an adamant recycler, where I frown on those who don’t and make them feel bad (though I think those who don’t recycle out of laziness are selfish), but I think it’s one of the simplest things you can do to have a positive impact on the world and our civilization.

Here are the five biggest reasons why I recycle:

Smaller Bags of Garbage

The number one reason I recycle is because I think garbage is pretty disgusting. I don’t react with horror when I have to open up the trash can, tie up the bag, and bring it to the curb but I think everyone will agree that it’s not a pleasant experience. It’s not hard to imagine the revolting smells and the army of flies that make it their home in the summer time and so I do whatever I can do reduce the size of that bag. Recycling is remarkably clean – it’s bottles, cans, and paper. So rather than a really full bag reeking of rotting meat and refuse (we compost fruit and vegetable waste), we have a moderately full bag and a bin of recycle-able material.

It’s Not That Hard

The second reason I recycle is that it really isn’t that difficult. I have to hold onto a plastic bottle or hold onto a soda can for a few minutes longer until I can find a recycling bin or until I go home. When you consider the impact it can have, it’s a no brainer to do it. Unfortunately, many people simply don’t remember that it’s an option but hopefully that will change. For the few that genuinely don’t really care, there’s not much you can do to convince them because that’s simply their personality (and their prerogative).

Recycling Trumps Remaking Any Day

For the longest time people would argue that recycling doesn’t work. It’s expensive to recollect and reprocess and the energy used in that process is just as bad as making the material from scratch – a totally bogus myth that’s been dedunked many times over. While it does cost energy to process recycling, you can’t tell me it’s better to toss it in a landfill and mine for more raw materials! That just doesn’t make any logical sense! (here are some myths debunked [3])

Recycling Saves Me Money

Recycling saves me money because it costs my county less to have it hauled away (in fact, recycling earns money for the county [4]). That means the cost of hauling trash is lowered (or at least it won’t rise as quickly) and that helps my wallet. We’re also lucky to live in an area that is very pro-environment – the county recently instituted single stream recycling (we put everything in one bin) and gave out free recycling bins to everyone.

Who Wants To Live Near This?

Me neither, that’s why I recycle. 🙂

(Photo: dnorman [5])