More Jobs, Less Pollution: Growing the Recycling Economy in the U.S.

November 14, 2011

Recycling 75 percent of the nation’s waste will create nearly 1.5 million jobs by 2030 while significantly reducing pollution, saving water and energy, and building economically strong and healthy communities, according to a study released today by leading labor and environmental groups. The national report More Jobs, Less Pollution also shows that while the vast majority of municipal solid waste nationwide can be readily recycled, re-used, or composted, only 33 percent is currently diverted from disposal, and only 30 percent of the 178 million tons of construction and demolition debris is recycled. Most of our waste is still sent to landfills and incinerators. By implementing a bold national recycling and composting strategy of 75 percent waste diversion rate by 2030, the report shows that we can create much needed local jobs, save resources like water, and reduce pollution and other environmental pollutants that harm human health.