Why Should I Recycle?

There are many good reasons for reducing waste and increasing recycling. Here's a few to think about:

  • Capacity at the White Oak Landfill is reaching its limit and new landfills are getting more difficult to permit in North Carolina. The county is faced with spending millions of dollars in the next several years to close one landfill cell and prepare another for use.
  • Last year, Haywood residents and businesses generated 58,850 tons of solid waste that went to the landfill and only 3,400 tons of recyclables that could be sold to commodities markets. As much as 60 percent of the materials that go in the landfill could be recycled, which will extend the life of the landfill and reduce the costs associated with waste disposal.
  • Landfills compete with other land uses, such as residential, business and industry, transportation and recreation.
  • Extraction of raw materials to manufacture new goods is threatening natural ecosystems around the world. Many of these raw materials could come from recycled goods. For example, it can take as much as 1 ton of earth to get 5 grams of gold. However, a ton of cell phones yields not only 400 grams of gold, but 500 grams of silver.