Sustainable Living & Sustainable Lifestyle

Debunk the myths around recycling and get the facts on how this practice can save more than just the planet.

3 Myths About Recycling

When talking about recycling it can be very difficult to separate fact from fiction. We all want to be environmentally conscious but we also don’t want to take it to an unsustainable point, as some have predicted.  The rising popularity of biodegradable food containers and cutlery right next to people saying we’re spending more energy recycling than we’re saving can get pretty confusing.  Here we debunk three myths about recycling to help clear things up for you.

Recycling Doesn’t Save Money

Recycling myths explained and debunkedWhile it’s true that recycling isn’t free it is still far more cost effective than simply throwing everything away. When you add up the numbers there are many ways that recycling saves money for everyone, from large companies to families.

  • Recycling programs that are working properly cost less to operate than landfills and incinerators, and the more people that participate the cheaper it continues to get.
  • Redeeming recyclable items for cash helps many families make ends meet.
  • Many companies, from Bank of America to the U.S. Postal service, have saved millions by recycling.

Recycling Drains Resources

It’s true that there are some transportation and production costs involved in recycling. While there are resources being used it’s a small amount compared to those used to transport and destroy or permanently store trash.

  • Recycling in the U.S. has saved enough energy to provide electricity to 9 million homes per year. Landfills save no energy at all.
  • Using recycled materials produces less air and water pollution than starting from scratch.
  • While incinerators can produce energy, recycling produces at least 3.6 times more, and doesn’t release harmful chemicals into the air.
  • Recycling prevents the destruction of forests and rivers so that they can continue to help our planet’s ecosystem, which really saves us an immeasurable amount of resources.
  • Recycling even generates a more abstract, but very important community resource; jobs.
  • Recycling creates more jobs than traditional methods of trash disposal

Biodegradable Items Don’t Work 

Items, such as biodegradable food containers and vegetable starch cutlery are popping up more and more these days. While they may look different, they completely work by serving their original purpose, and then saving money after.

  • Biodegradable items take less energy and water to produce, and the process releases less CO2 into the air then their plastic and styrofoam counterparts.
  • You may think that you can continue to use styrofoam and simply recycle it instead of switching products. However, styrofoam is very expensive to recycle making these special products the more cost effective solution.
  • Biodegradable food containers may look different but are designed to survive in freezers, microwaves and even ovens.

Now that these recycling myths have been cleared up for you, please share your recycling tips or other myths you have heard in the comments section below.

Nick Walz is an active blogger and writer who likes to share his advice and tips to the online community. Going green is something Nick believes everyone should start contributing to. You can contact him on Twitter @Nick_Walz.

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