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Benefits of Recycling

As Hoosiers try to do their part in sustaining the environment, the adage of “reduce, reuse, recycle” still holds true in the efficient management of solid waste. Recycling involves collecting, sorting, and processing waste material for remanufacturing into new products. See IDEM’s Recycling Fact Sheet (available on the IDEM Fact Sheets page ) for more general information about recycling.

For recycling to work, everyone has to participate in each phase of the loop. From government and industry, to organizations, small businesses, and people at home; everyone makes a difference when recycling becomes a part of the daily routine. Successful recycling programs ultimately motivate citizens to take the time to collect recyclable materials which would otherwise be thrown away in the trash. If we work to remember recyclables as commodities, not waste, we can do a lot to save resources and money.

Money earned from the sale of recyclable materials can benefit the individual recycler or help communities and companies offset operating costs. Recycling even allows some communities to reduce waste disposal costs.

Recycling also plays an important part in reducing the environmental impacts of industrial production. Supplying industries with recycled materials decreases the need to extract and process new raw materials from the earth. This saves energy, reduces air emissions and water discharges, and conserves natural resources. Valuable materials that were headed for landfills and incinerators become useful again in the manufacture of new recycled-content products.

How you can help

Remember to:

  • Recycle at home.
    • Find out if there is a recycling program in your community.
    • If so, participate in the program by separating and putting out your recyclables for curbside pickup or taking them to your local drop-off or buy-back center.
  • Shop smarter.
    • Use products in containers that can be recycled in your community and items that can be repaired or reused.
    • Also, support recycling markets by buying and using products made from recycled materials.
  • Recycle on the go!
    • Look for recycling places in public spaces.
    • If you can't find a recycling place, ask the responsible authority to look into installing one so you can recycle on the go.

In addition to the suggestions above, IDEM has put together a list of additional resources to consult for additional information. These include websites of trade associations, government agencies, and nonprofit groups and are a great resource to explore.