Recycling provides benefits for you, your community and the businesses of Las Cruces by reducing waste that must be put in landfills and then managed over decades. Because recycling has a business component, every time you recycle, it supports the many companies and employees in your community doing this important work. Recycling conserves our natural resources, saves landfill space, conserves energy and reduces water pollution, air pollution and the green house gas emissions that cause climate change. Together, Reducing, Reusing, Recycling and buying Recycled products make up a comprehensive waste and resource reduction strategy that benefits our natural world and our economy.
Making products with recycled material slows the depletion of non-renewable resources such as metal, oil and natural gas, and reduces the encroachment of new mining and drilling operations. Conserving renewable resources through recycling also helps preserve undisturbed land and natural diversity by reducing the amount of land needed for agriculture and timber production.
By recycling approximately 30% of our waste every year, Americans save the equivalent of 11.9 billion gallons of gasoline and reduce the greenhouse gas equivalent of taking 25 million cars off the road. It generally takes less energy to make products with recycled materials than virgin materials. For example, it takes 20 times more energy to make aluminum from bauxite ore than using recycled aluminum. Recycling one aluminum can saves enough energy to power a computer for three hours. Benefits of reduced energy consumption include reduced costs and reduced dependence on foreign suppliers.
Because most energy is generated by burning fossil fuels, using less energy means generating less water and air pollution--especially the greenhouse gases that cause climate change. Recycling also reduces other forms of pollution as well. Runoff from mining operations and farms, soil erosion and the toxic chemicals released when raw materials are processed.
Everything that goes into a landfill can remain there for generations. As waste breaks down, it releases methane and can emit many toxic pollutants into our water table. Keeping recyclable items out of our landfills keeps air and water cleaner, reduces the need to build new or expanded landfills, and conserves resources by putting existing materials back to good use.
Recycling isn’t just good for the environment; it’s good for business. For every one job at a landfill, there are ten jobs in recycling processing and 25 jobs in recycling-based manufacturing. The recycling industry currently employs more workers than the auto industry. Recycling is a growth industry with many kinds of business opportunities, from collection and processing to manufacturing to inventing new technologies.