How Recycling Actually Changes the Climate

How Recycling Actually Changes the Climate

Recycling and climate effect each other in many ways. For example, raw materials like carbon dioxide, fossil fuels, and greenhouse gases require a lot of energy to transport. It also takes energy to transport recycled materials, but it’s less which is safer for the environment. Recycling and the reduction of waste also lead to less carbon dioxide and methane being in the air when not in use. The reduction of waste and recycling has also been proven to be linked to the harvesting of forests being slowed down. This is because they absorb all of the carbon dioxide from within the atmosphere.


Some Facts about the Climate and Recycling:

  • In one year, the United States recycled almost thirty-two percent of its overall waste. This is the same as the amount of greenhouse gases from 39,618 cars being removed from the road.
  • If the rate of increase to recycling went up to just thirty-five percent, it would result in an added 5.2 million tons of carbon dioxide being removed from the air and climate.
  • Overall, carbon emissions are four to five times lower than materials such as copper, recycled steel, paper or even glass. To be more specific, it is forty times lower with aluminum.
  • Just one person recycling their magazines, newspapers, glass, plastic, and metal for an entire year is the equivalent of removing four hundred and seventy-one pounds of carbon dioxide from the air.
  • If all of the 62,000 students, faculty and staff at the University of Michigan recycled their newspapers, metals, magazines, glass and plastic, it would be the equivalent of removing two thousand four hundred and thirteen cars from the road.

The Life Cycle of Stuff with the Climate

There are five individual stages, and within each of these stages, our impact can be reduced. The first stage is the materials extraction stage. The second stage is the manufacturing stage. The third stage is the distribution stage, and the fourth stage is the usage stage. The final stage, which is the fifth stage, is known as the end of life management stage. Everything we do plays into something else–this is why we should make smart choices about what we buy, how we use everything, how we get rid of everything and more. It can affect the amount of greenhouse gas emissions that are associated with our overall consumption.

Our daily lives heavily remain on the manufacture stage, the distribution stage and the use of goods stage; these stages also use a lot of energy, which means a lot of fossil fuels. Therefore, recycling is heavily suggested to help reduce the impact on the environment and the climate. It is also known as energy recovery and or reusing items such as up cycling or composting.

Gareth Amon, CEO and Founder of, a company that works with recycling companies, states that: “recycling companies are becoming more and more connected to the communities in which they operate. As people become more environmentally conscious, they turn to recycling companies to provide information on the best practices for recycling. As we make recycling more social, it becomes a social responsibility, and we are doing our best to promote recycling companies to the social communities in which they operate,” added Mr. Amon.

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