Why do people not recycle?

We’ve always been taught that it is necessary to recycle. By reducing our rubbish and reusing what we can, we can live a more eco-friendly life. It comes as a shock that not everyone is a fan of recycling. Some don’t really believe in the potential 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.

The reasons people don’t recycle

Basically, there are 5 reasons why a lot of people don’t recycle. It is not convenient to recycle. They don’t have enough space. Too many find that it doesn’t make a difference to recycle. Many needs a financial reason to recycle and simply find it to hard.

Common reasons why people don’t recycle

Reason number 1: Not enough space

Recycling at home means having separate containers to segregate different waste elements. However, hanging on to recyclables for a few days means needing space for all those different bins. On the upside, there is an easy way to fix that. You can also stay clean and order at home by keeping recyclables in separate bags to save on space. 

Reason number 2: It’s not convenient to recycle

A high percentage of residential areas are placed far from recycling options. This means these people have to make wake a couple more steps than just out to their driveway. For some, this is inconvenient. This stops them from recycling as other people do. This is so sad since it is general knowledge that collecting stuff that needs to be recycled and making that quick walk to the nearest place is a tiny price to spend for our planet.

Reason number 3: People feel it doesn’t really make a difference

Another reason why people don’t recycle is that they think of our trash problem as hopeless. They see no purpose in recycling because they’ve learned that landfills are now overloaded and that weather change is irreversible. But if you really consider, what will occur to us if we give up on recycling? Ignoring to recycle and live an eco-friendly lifestyle will only speed up all the environmental decline, leaving us in a much worse situation.

Reason number 4: Not getting paid to recycle

A lot of people don’t recycle because they are not getting paid to do it, or not paid enough to do it. While there are places where people get paid a little amount for sending in used glass or plastic bottles to recycling, the incentive isn’t enough for a lot of people. But do we really need to get paid to look after our trash? It is our social obligation to make sure our waste is disposed of properly. Recycling does not only help us live a better greener life. When done right, it is actually also possible to save a lot of money.

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Reason number 5: It is too much work

Some people simply can’t be bothered doing a little recycling simply because they believe it is too hard. We know, no one gets those bins proper the first time, but that doesn’t imply you should stop there. Once you have done it a couple of times, it will be easy to figure out where plastic, paper, and organic waste go. It can seem daunting at first, but like most things, it gets easier with practice. There are a ton of recycling guides that can help you start recyclking and even help from waste disposal service providers.

Why should you recycle?

  • It saves energy. Did you know that recycling supports conserve energy? When you reuse and repurpose stuff that has been recycled it means that manufacturing products can be possible with less raw materials. This is another move towards the fight against the depletion of our essential resources. Using recycled stuff helps save energy consumption and reduces production costs as well.
  • It protects wildlife. Recycling helps maintain better biodiversity. Recycling enables us to cut down on the amount of trees we need to make paper. Ultimately, that would mean more homes for wildlife. Proper rubbish disposal and segregation of recyclable materials also mean less trash contaminating the oceans, so we can protect marine ecosystems.
  • It reduces landfill use. When we send less trash 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 great for our economy. It is not only the environment that gains 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 creation of recycled goods also generates more demand for them as more people are inspired to opt for an eco-friendly alternative.
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Common questions about why people do not recycle

What percentage of people do not recycle?

About 52% of people in the US feel like it is difficult to recycle. Numbers are very high among young people and low-income households, but many of them say they wish they could recycle easier. 73% say they could unquestionably learn more about how to recycle, and many people look down on those who don’t recycle. Studies found that 62% 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?

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.

Why should I recycle?

Because the reward for recycling (saving the earth) and the repercussions for infrequently recycling (damaging the environment) aren’t necessarily immediate, it can be hard for people to make the association between their daily habits and those habits’ consequences.

What are the recycling challenges?

The experts say: Recycling can be confusing. It differs from community to community and rules about recycling have changed over time.

Recycling Statistics

Factual sentences referenced across top search results:

  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 75% of trash is reusable/recyclable. (excesslogic.com)
  • For example, according to the EPA, the average American produces 4.7 pounds of trash per day and 1,600 pounds per year! (excesslogic.com)
  • Of U.S. pro-recycling companies, a 2011 study found that 45% of them found that their costs went down after implementing a recycling program. (excesslogic.com)
  • Already, the town recycles 80 percent of its trash through a significant commitment and communal effort. (greenamerica.org)
  • Prior to 2003, this small community used to dispose of its trash through open incineration, according to a short documentary from Discovery Network’s “Seeker Stories.” (greenamerica.org)
  • The only difference I see [between high-recycling communities and low-recycling communities] is that the cities moving toward 90 percent have a very active grassroots network that consistently pushes for increased recycling and, in recent years, zero waste. (greenamerica.org)
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 75 percent of the US waste stream can be recycled or composted, but we’re only doing so for just over 34 percent of it. (greenamerica.org)
  • Germany and Austria are recycling or composting 62 and 63 percent of their waste, respectively, states the European Environment Agency. (greenamerica.org)
  • And the European Union aims to lift all member-countries’ recycling/composting rates from an average of 43 percent to 50 percent by 2020. (greenamerica.org)
  • “The only difference I see is that the cities moving toward 90 percent have a very active grassroots network that consistently pushes for increased recycling and, in recent years, for zero waste,” says Seldman. (greenamerica.org)
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Reasons I Don’t Recycle My Clothes

You might have heard the phrase “recycle it, re-use it, and keep it,” but that’s a big load of baloney. There are some things that need to be recycled, but that doesn’t mean they have to be thrown away. I’m going to talk about those things that should be used for something else, as well as some ways that you can make your own.

There are so many things in the garbage can that you don’t want to throw away: Cardboard and papers, plastic bags, and more. Many of us just throw them out, not realizing what they can do. It’s amazing how much cardboard or paper can go to landfills. There are always those great deals at your local grocery store, and sometimes you can just reuse that paper from the newspaper! You can even use cardboard boxes from old construction projects! Cardboard is also one of the easiest things to recycle when you use it again as decorations. You can make your own posters out of cardboard, or you can even make your own to put on your bulletin board or door!

The last reason that I don’t recycle my clothes is that I don’t care if the labels are on them or not. Most people do, but I don’t. I like clothes that are “my style,” and I don’t mind wearing clothes that I didn’t have to buy.


We have to rethink how we are doing it all. It is important to consider our footprint! Susan has been writing on this blog since 2020, but it has been on her mind for a lot longer!

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