Benefits of Recycling

Recycling Works for Businesses

Recycling works by eliminating waste and increasing the value added, keeping your employees engaged and loyal, and bringing more customers to your business.

Recycling creates jobs, saves money, & conserves resources

Between 2013 and 2015, Texas saw increases in the statewide recycling rate and in jobs related to recycling activities that had an overall economic impact in excess of $3.3 billion (Burns & McDonnell, 2017).

Economic Impact of Recycling in Texas
  2013
(Burns & McDonnell, 2015)
2015
(Burns & McDonnell, 2017)
Recycling Rate 18.9% 22.7% 3.8%
Jobs 12,678 17,037 34%

Recycling practices drive the circular economy. Recycled materials are used in the manufacturing and consumption of products rather than going to waste in a landfill.

Businesses can help make recyclables more valuable by choosing products made from recycled materials over those sourced from natural materials and by finding new and innovative ways to reuse materials that can be recycled. A report from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce encourages businesses to find value in their waste “and make changes to their processes to take greater advantage of cost savings and new profit streams” (Bowdish, 2016).

Adopting this circular model of recycling materials rather than using natural resources will improve the economy and make businesses more sustainable and resilient.

Recycling helps to attract and keep employees

Businesses are always looking for ways to attract and retain talent. Recycling can help.

As early as 2011, more than half of businesses were integrating sustainability efforts into their culture, messaging, and values (McKinsey&Company, 2011). Now, the majority of young people entering the workforce want to improve the environment, but feel they cannot do it alone. They feel more empowered when working toward sustainability at work. 76% of millennials believe business can drive positive social impact (Deloitte, 2017). Recycling helps employees stay and have a greater positive impact on your business.

Creating an employee led recycling program that provides employees the opportunity to be engaged in something they care about at work will help keep them engaged day to day (Makower, 2014). These “Green Teams” afford employees a chance to gain new skills and influence in your organization while emphasizing teamwork and collaboration.

Recycling is important to San Antonio

88% of consumers surveyed in a 2010 study agreed that companies should practice corporate responsibility with regard to improving “society and the environment” (DoWellDoGood LLC, 2010). Today those sentiments still exist (Deloitte, 2017).

One of the most visible ways for businesses to communicate their commitment to sustainability is for businesses to offer recycling onsite, but only a fraction of businesses in San Antonio currently have recycling programs.

Research shows that overall San Antonio residents value a company’s environmental record when purchasing products and services (Esri, 2017). More than half of San Antonians have used or purchased recycled products in the past year and will pay more for environmentally safe products.

RECYCLING BEHAVIORS

Source: American Community Survey (ACS), Esri, Esri and Infogroup

What’s more, San Antonio is a young city whose residents have increasing purchasing power (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2017). Businesses that make their recycling practices visible to customers will have a competitive advantage in the San Antonio market because they are making a public commitment to sustainability.

Working directly with stakeholders in the local business community, we created a series of tools and programs to make recycling work for you. ReWorksSA is committed to empowering our local businesses to implement cost effective recycling programs that appeal to employees and customers.

 


References

Bowdish, D. L. (2016, February 18). Trash to Treasure: Changing Waste Streams to Profit Streams. Retrieved from U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation: https://www.uschamberfoundation.org/reports/trash-treasure-changing-waste-streams-profit-streams

Burns & McDonnell. (2015). A Collaborative Effort to Measure Recycling: Biennial Report (January 2015). Austin, Texas: Texas Recycling Data Initiative.

Burns & McDonnell. (2017). Study on the Economic Impacts of Recycling. Austin Texas: Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

Deloitte. (2017). Analysis: Deloitte Resources 2017 Study Energy Management: Sustainability and progress. Retrieved from Deloitte: https://www2.deloitte.com/us/en/pages/energy-and-resources/articles/residential-and-business-energy-study.html

Deloitte. (2017). Insights: The Deloitte Millennial Survey 2017. Retrieved from Deloitte.: https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/millennialsurvey.html

DoWellDoGood LLC. (2010). The Do Well Do Good Public Opinion Survey on Corporate Social Responsibility: Summary Report. DoWellDoGood LLC.

ESRI. (2017). Data from Business Analyst Online. ESRI.

Institute for Local Self-Reliance. (2002, February 1). Waste to Wealth: Recycling Means Business. Retrieved from Institute for Local Self-Reliance: https://ilsr.org/recycling-means-business/

Makower, J. (2014, February 14). State of Green Business: Employee engagement becomes strategic. Retrieved from GreenBiz: https://www.greenbiz.com/blog/2014/02/17/state-green-business-employee-engagement-becomes-strategic

McKinsey&Company. (2011, October). The business of sustainability: McKinsey Global Survey results. Retrieved from McKinsey&Company: http://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability-and-resource-productivity/our-insights/the-business-of-sustainability-mckinsey-global-survey-results

Tellus Institute with Sound Resource Management. (2011, November 14). More Jobs, Less Pollution: Growing the Recycling Economy in the U.S. Retrieved from National Resources Defense Council: https://www.nrdc.org/sites/default/files/glo_11111401a.pdf

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2017, April). Consumer Expenditures. Retrieved from U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Reports: https://www.bls.gov/opub/reports/consumer-expenditures/2015/pdf/home.pdf

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