Did you know that recycling 15 glass bottles saves enough energy to power an air conditioner for an hour or a laptop for more than a day?
These are just a few of the reasons why recycling is a good thing. More long-term benefits include creating jobs, reducing water and air pollution, conserving energy, and preserving natural resources.
However, not enough people are engaged in converting waste into reusable material. Each household spends just two minutes a day, on average, recycling, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In 2015, the latest year for which EPA data is available, about 262 million tons of garbage were generated in the United States, approximately 91 million tons of which were recycled and composted. This is equivalent to a 34.7% recycling and composting rate.
States have recognized the importance of recycling and have been working to promote it for years. A noticeable trend may be making their job difficult — we are producing more waste per person.
To determine what each state will pay its residents for recycling, 24/7 Wall St. looked at beverage container deposit laws in all 10 states that have such statutes and reviewed recycling programs — both public and private — in each state.