Headline: Strong Recycling Could Create New Jobs
Submitted by South Central Solid Waste Authority
Date: June 4, 2021 (Bulletin)
A majority of our trash is still sent to landfills. While it may seem like our vast desert is endless, it’s a resource that we cannot take for granted. A way to divert the waste we create is to reduce our consumption, reuse what we have, and recycle what we can. Recycling takes people at all ends – from what you throw in your blue bin, to the people who sort it out at the end to be shipped, to those making new things from recycled material. The more recycling, the more jobs, even right here at home.
“Recycling is more labor-intensive than landfilling, with sorting recycling, and managing the materials, so the recycling industry creates more jobs,” Patrick Peck, SCSWA director, said. “The stronger our recycling program, the more jobs could be created to support it here in Las Cruces.”
According to the US Recycling Economic Information 2020 Study (REI), there are 1.17 jobs and $9,420 tax revenues attributable for every 1,000 (US) tons of recyclables collected and recycled.
It’s a growing industry. According to the National Resources Defense Council, in 1980, recycling and composting kept 14.5 million tons of trash from landfills and incinerators in the United States. By 2013, that number had reached 87.2 million tons.
“The jobs won’t be just with the processing of material, but we could also create new businesses that take the recycled material and create new items or find a new use for it,” Peck said. REI’s study states there are as many as 26 different kinds of recycling businesses, including manufacturing recycling equipment, reuse stores, and remanufacturing factories that make the material into things like outdoor furniture or recycled paper.
“The less the material has to travel – if those businesses grew with the growth of the recycling that is automatic with the growth of our population – the more we can capture the economic benefit here,” Peck said.
South Central Solid Waste Authority manages solid waste and recyclables for residents and businesses throughout Doña Ana County. Contact SCSWA at (575) 528-3800 or visit www.SCSWA.net.
Caption: Workers sort recycled material. More recycling could mean more jobs that process and remanufacture recycled material.