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Yes, it does - but so does waste removal. When comparing apples to apples (recycling to waste removal), recycling comes out on top: reduced "tipping fees" (fee to dump trash), energy savings (see "Recycling Facts"), and there are companies that actually pay for those recycled products. Plus, the recycling industry creates jobs!
Actually, manufacturing using 1 ton of recycled materials uses less than half of the energy to manufacture the same products using raw, virgin materials. In fact, making aluminum cans from recycled cans takes 95 percent less energy than making cans from raw aluminum bauxite ore, saving an estimated 14,000 kilowatt hours of energy and 40 barrels of oil. In addition, the energy saved from recycling one ton of paper saves enough energy to power an average household for up to six months, saves 7,000 gallons of water, and keeps 600 pounds of pollutants out of the air . And, those collection trucks are going to be there anyway, whether it's picking up garbage or recyclables.
"It just gets thrown away anyway", "the planet's fine", "it's too much of a hassle", "it doesn't save energy". Obviously, there are things that can be improved upon, but recycling really does make a difference - check out our "Recycling Facts" page - and as technology improves and more people participate, it will make a bigger difference. While there are some who say "the sky is falling" in regards to the environment, you don't have to be "green" to see that it's just plain responsible to manage our resources wisely:
"I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use the natural resources of our land; but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob, by wasteful use, the generations that come after us."