Is recycling profitable? Recycling

Recycling used to be a way for the less fortunate to keep above water, because it allowed them to earn additional money. Nowadays recycling has become not only a trend that everyone and their mother is doing now, but also a way to earn a profit similarly to those on Wall Street does from stock exchange. So how profitable can recycling actually be?

Many companies today turn to recycling to get the extra edge they need to outperform their closest competitors. They make investments in recycling, hoping to earn a profit from these investments, because the benefits of recycling are not only cleaner environment related for example fewer landfills, less waste and less resources wasted while manufacturing new materials – these benefits can be real money, too.

In fact, it is estimated that by 2020 the U.S. recycling industry could be worth close to 139 billion dollars. That is a big number, but looking at the industry numbers for today, that comes as no surprise. It is estimated that the world recycling industry is worth about 410 billion dollars with about 56 billion dollars of that attributed to U.S. waste industry. However, experts in the recent years claim, that recycling industry is slowly going into the dumps, pun intended.


If recycling once was very profitable business especially for cities and private companies, right now there are those, who are actually losing money because of recycling. Most recycling facilities now are in the red, even though municipalities are paying them to dispose of their recyclables. The reason for this situation can be contributed to several aspects. The oil prices, US dollar value and weakened China economy all are part of this recycling industry crisis. Luckily things might be looking up, because recyclable markets are starting to mature and move in the direction of recovery, since people still recognize the good that recycling does to our environment.

And although the crisis of recycling industry might be over, people still need to remember, that recycling isn’t free, because it is a business like any other, relying on profits to keep afloat. So yes, recycling is profitable, but to a certain degree. And like most things the recycling process is actually getting more expensive, which means that we as consumers of recycling services need to do our part and place the right recyclables in their right bins, since one of the most expensive parts of recycling is sorting through the waste, in order for the recycling facility to be able to recycle materials in clean and quality new objects. So let’s be conscious of our actions and recycle our waste properly, so the recycling business could be profitable again, not lose money and slowly become extinct.

Interested in green lifestyle, blogging and sports. Always searching for ways to improve myself and the environment around me. Editor for

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