Why do people not recycle?

We’ve always been taught that we need to recycle. By reducing our waste and reusing what we can, we can live a more eco-friendly life. It comes as a surprise that not everyone is a fan of recycling. Some don’t really believe in the power of recycling because it is hard work and takes up a lot of space at home. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try anyway.

Common reasons why people don’t recycle

  • Not having enough space. Recycling at home means having separate bins to segregate the different waste materials. However, hanging on to recyclables for a few days means needing space for all those different bins. On the upside, there is a simple way to fix that. You can also stay clean and organized at home by keeping recyclables in separate bags to save on space. 
  • It’s inconvenient. A high percentage of residential areas are located far from recycling pick-up points. This means homeowners have to make a bit of a trek from their driveway. For some, this is inconvenient. This keeps them from recycling like everyone else. This is so unfortunate since it is common knowledge that gathering items for recycling and making that short walk to the nearest pick-up point is a small price to pay for a greener planet.
  • It doesn’t make a difference. Another reason why people don’t recycle is that they think of our garbage problem as hopeless. They see no point in recycling because they’ve heard that landfills are now overfilled and that climate change is irreversible. But if you really think about it, what will happen to us if we give up on recycling? Refusing to recycle and live an eco-friendly lifestyle will only speed up all the environmental decline, leaving us in a much worse situation.
  • Not getting paid to recycle. A lot of people don’t recycle because they are not getting paid to do it. While there are places where people get paid in a small amount for sending in used bottles for recycling, the incentive isn’t that great for some. But do we really need to get paid to look after our waste? It is our social responsibility to make sure our trash is disposed of properly. Recycling does not only help us live a better greener life. When done right, we can even save money 
  • It’s too hard. It sounds infuriating, but some people can’t be bothered to recycle just because they think it is hard. We know, no one gets those bins right the first time, but that doesn’t mean you should stop there. Once you get the hang of it, it will be easy to figure out where plastic, paper and organic waste go. It can sound daunting at first, but like most things, it gets easier with practice. There are a ton of recycling guides out there to help you get started and even assistance from waste disposal service providers.

Why should you recycle?

  • It saves energy. Did you know  that recycling helps conserve energy? Reusing and repurposing recyclables means that manufacturing products can be possible using less raw materials. This is another step towards the fight against the depletion of our natural resources. Using recycled materials helps save energy consumption and reduces production costs as well.
  • It protects wildlife. Recycling helps maintain good biodiversity. Recycling allows us to cut down on the number of trees required to make paper. Eventually, that would mean more homes for wildlife. Proper waste disposal and segregation of recyclable materials also mean less trash polluting the oceans, so we can protect marine ecosystems.
  • It reduces landfill use. When we send less waste to landfills, we help stop existing landfills from overflowing. It will also lessen the pressure of forcing new ones to be opened. That means a better living space for everyone in the community. Not a lot of people want to live near landfills anyway.
  • It is good for the economy. It is not only the environment that benefits from recycling, the economy does, too. If we use recycled materials in producing goods, it would result in less waste and pollution while consuming less water and energy. The production of recycled goods also creates more demand for them as more and more people are encouraged to opt for an eco-friendly alternative.

Common questions about why people do not recycle

What percentage of people do not recycle?

About 52 percent of people in the US feel like it is difficult to recycle. Numbers are especially high among young people and low-income families, but many of them say they wish they could recycle more easily. 73 percent say they could definitely learn more about how to recycle, and many people look down on those who don’t recycle. Studies found that 62 percent of people think negatively of people who don’t recycle.

Why do we not recycle plastic?

As much as we may want to, not all plastics can be recycled. Although there are a few plastic types considered to be recyclable, not every community recycling facility accepts them for recycling. 

Does recycling actually help?

Yes. When we recycle, we help lessen landfill wastes. We also reduce the use of raw materials in production, which allows us to be kinder to our natural resources and the environment as a whole.

It is unfortunate for the earth when people do not exert enough effort to help solve a problem they created. Recycling programs and campaigns are literally everywhere. For once, we should all drop our excuses to make the world a better place to live in. After all, it’s the only planet we have.