Environment & Science

Report: Doubling recycling would create jobs, cut air pollution

Trash and recycling bins.
Trash and recycling bins.
Photo: Samuel Gordon/Flickr

A new report released by labor unions and environmental groups argues that doubling the nation’s recycling rate within 20 years would create jobs and cut air pollution.

The Natural Resources Defense Council’s Adrian Martinez says that means California and other places should find ways to divert 75 percent of waste away from landfills.

"Recycling equals jobs," Martinez said. "Reusing materials equals jobs. And it equals a lot more jobs than if we just send that materials to the incinerator or the landfill."

The report uses public data to predict that recycling and reusing construction materials could create more than a million more jobs.

The report says it would also cut greenhouse gas emissions. The NRDC’s Martinez says changing how we throw stuff away could cut air pollution the same as taking 50 million cars off the road.