Recycling – A Job Creator, Even in This Economy

In the waste management industry of choosing where to create jobs is critical. Let’s look at a simple table on the ratio of jobs created by 10,000 tons of waste: 

Waste Industry Number of Jobs Created/10,000 tons of waste
Incineration 1
Landfill 6
Recycling 36

What kind of jobs are these and what are the details?

Incineration – Quite a bit of this type of job is automated and requires a high level of capital investment to meet pollution guidelines and storage of slag. All exhaust from this method has to be filtered and disposed of. The company still has to deal with the toxic slag left at the bottom of the chamber. In addition, the materials incinerated are lost forever, never to be used in producing new products for creation of more jobs.

Landfill – This method of waste management has some capacity problems in the long run. The resource wasted here is land. Landfills also have their own pollution control problems related to containment of leakage into ground water supplies. Just like incinerators, the materials buried are lost forever, never to be used in producing new products for creation of more jobs.

Recycling – Recycling enjoys many channels to create jobs and stimulate economic growth. The cost to produce the product is cheaper, because recycled materials use less energy and are transported shorter distances. The energy savings are detailed in a previous blog post, https://envisionplastics.wordpress.com/2010/10/14/what-takes-less-energy-to-produce-the-more-times-you-reuse-it/. The shorter distances comes from the recycling centers being closer to manufacturing facilities than where the virgin materials are mined or created. The recycling centers tend to be near large metropolitan areas where the recycled materials are collected. The production jobs can then be closer to the cities, where most of the job seekers live.

To stimulate economic growth, as the products become cheaper, the demand will grow, requiring more jobs to produce more products. A very nice self-perpetuating cycle.

We welcome any other topics you wish to see or your comments on our posts.

Need more information? Envision Plastics Vice President, Tamsin Ettefagh will be happy to discuss your comments or concerns in greater depth. Contact her at 336/342-4749 Ext 225.

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2 thoughts on “Recycling – A Job Creator, Even in This Economy

  1. Pingback: Which Definition Of Sustainability Matches Your Business? | Save The Plastics

  2. I can’t believe they charge us to recycle. I mean yea you can take it down and dispose of it yourself but I feel that recycling should be paid for by the state.

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