“Recycling” means separating, collecting, processing, and ultimately using a material that would have been thrown away. Basically, the materials are reused, or remanufactured into new products. Some products, such as glass, can be recycled or reused over and over again. This morning's newspaper can be recycled into another morning's news. Many new products are being made from recovered materials.
Practicing recycling is important and helpful to reducing your trash. Reducing, reusing, and recycling trash is critical to create less “stuff” to throw away into the landfill or created as litter on the roadside.
- It’s EASY. Recycling in the home, school, and workplace can be easy and convenient. Build in smart shopping habits to reduce the amount of food you waste, for example by buying only what you need. It’s easy to use a rag to wipe spills rather than a disposable towel or cloth bag that can be constantly reused to shop for groceries. There are recycling opportunities everywhere that are easy and convenient to do everyday.
- Saves money. You can save money by smart shopping to reduce waste, reusing materials, and buying recycled products. You can also make money by turning in your bottles and cans.
- Creates jobs. Recycling is big business in California. It is a mainstream industry of statewide importance accounting for approximately 85,000 jobs and producing $10 billion in products and services per year.
- Saves energy. A lot of energy is needed to make products. Reducing or reusing the amount of products we need to buy saves energy. Recycling also frequently saves energy because it can take less energy to clean or convert materials. For example, less energy is required to produce a gallon of re-refined oil than creating new oil.
- Saves natural resources. Reducing, reusing, and recycling materials helps prevent the need to cut down new materials such as trees or digging into new mines. Also, it saves natural resources by not creating new landfills to hold new waste. Reducing, reusing, and recycling materials eliminates the need to build the equivalent of one new large landfill each year in California.