I’ve spent some time in the recycling industry and can tell you that placing recyclable products in your blue container is good for the economy and good for the environment.

In this time of high energy costs and escalating oil prices, saving energy is critical for our environment and economy. Californians recycle over 35 million tons of newspaper, cardboard, plastic, metal, glass, food scraps, yard trimmings and other materials every year.

This effort is good for the environment as it saves enough energy to power 1.4 million California homes. Aluminum beverage cans and tin food cans can be recycled. In fact, recycling 25 aluminum cans saves enough energy to refrigerate those same drink cans for two days.

Computer paper, magazines, phone books, junk mail and brochures are recyclable. For every ton of paper manufactured from recycled paper, 17 trees are saved and 3 cubic yards of landfill space is saved.

Newspapers and everything inside including inserts can be put in that blue container and recycling a three-foot high stack of newspaper saves the equivalent of about 14 percent of the average household electric bill.

Glass jars and bottles including all food and beverage containers and clear and colored glass can be recycled as well as plastic containers like soda, water and cleaning products and detergents like bleach, soap and shampoo containers (containers must be empty). These plastic containers are marked with numbers 1 or 2 on the bottom and include all beverage containers marked with the “CA Redemption Value” or “CA Cash Refund.” Recycling one glass container saves enough energy to light a 100-watt bulb for four hours and if we recycled every plastic bottle we used we would keep 2 billion tons of plastic out of landfills.

This effort is good for the Economy as recycling one ton of waste will pay $101 more in salaries and wages, produce $275 more in goods and services and generate $135 more in sales than discarding it in your local landfill. Recycling in the golden state accounts for 85,000 jobs, generates $4 billion in salaries and wages and produces $10 billion worth of goods and services annually.

In addition, to creating more jobs and greater economic activity at the local level, recycling generates $200 million per year in sales tax revenue which helps local governments pay for various services including infrastructure and public safety.

So, remember, the next time you recycle, you’re making a difference both to the environment and economy!

– JOHNNIE PERKINS

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