Home Newsletter Archive October 2011: Recycling 6 Reasons Business Should Recycle the Big 5
6 Reasons Business Should Recycle the Big 5
Written by www.greennurture.com   


Aluminum, glass, paper, plastic and steel are the crux of most recycling programs. Collectively, these materials are known as the "big five" in the recycling industry as they comprise more than half of the municipal solid waste stream. They also are easily collected and recycled through most established recycling programs in the United States.

Recycling saves energy, resources and landfill space as well as reduces the environmental impacts caused when creating new material from virgin resources. The big five commodities are prime candidates for helping businesses reduce waste and improve sustainability. Aluminum, steel and glass can be recycled infinitely. Paper can be recycled (from its highest-quality form) seven times before fibers are too short to recycle further. Virgin plastic is made from non-renewable petroleum resources.

The environmental impacts of a carefully formulated solid waste management plan can do more for the environment, and your business, than you might think. There are multiple beneficial and compelling reasons to recycle the big five - in general and at work:

1. Lower Cost for Waste Removal - Reducing your waste stream through recycling can lead to lower waste removal costs.
2. Income - When markets are good-especially for paper and old corrugated cardboard-recycling contracts can be negotiated with your recycling service provider to create income for your business as well.
3. Tax Credits - Twenty-five states offer tax credits for recycling market development. If you work for a recycling industry or manufacturing business that uses recycled materials, you may qualify.
4. Recognition- Many communities and trade associations have recognition and awards programs for companies that recycle. Waste Wi$e, and the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) Paper Recycling Awards are good places to start.
5. Corporate Social Responsibility - Aside from the environmental rewards, benefits also include improved public image, reaching new markets and improved employee morale.
6. Creates Green Jobs - The EPA Jobs Through Recycling program estimates that recycling creates almost five times as many jobs as landfilling.

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