It reduces the need to build landfills and incinerators.
It reduces pollution caused by the extraction and processing of raw materials as well as the manufacturing of products using raw materials.
Recycling also has many economic benefits:
It turns items that otherwise would become waste into valuable resources. Recyclables have value. The recyclables you place in the bin or take to the drop-off center end up on the market as commodities that are bought and sold.
Recycling is big business in South Carolina. "The Economic Impact of the Recycling Industry in South Carolina, commissioned by DHEC, the S.C. Department of Commerce and others, shows that the recycling industry has a $13 billion impact on the state's economy. The study also shows that the recycling industry, which is comprised of more than 500 companies, is directly responsible for:
More than 22,000 jobs;
$2.7 billion in annual labor income; and
$329 million in state and local taxes each year. Source: "The Economic Impact of the Recycling Industry in South Carolina" April 2014
Recycling, in fact, is one of the nation's best environmental success stories. Americans recycled about 86 million tons of municipal solid waste (MSW) in 2012 according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
South Carolinians recycled about 1.3 million tons of MSW in fiscal year (FY) 2013 (July 1, 2012 – June 30, 2013) and more than 5.7 million tons since FY09.