Green Recycling Energy policy
Achieving 75 percent recycling in California could produce more than 110, 000 jobs.
- California has a plan to prioritize creation of new green jobs: expanding recycling is a key part of that plan.
- Reaching California's goal of a 75 percent recycling rate by 2020 would create at least 110, 000 new recycling jobs and many more jobs in related industries.
- Plastic and aluminum recycling have the highest potential to create new jobs.
- Recycling 75 percent of plastic (an additional 2.12 million tons) would create 29, 000 jobs - more than any other material.
- Landfilling and incineration generate the fewest jobs per ton of waste.
- New recycling facilities in California are needed to process the increase in recycled materials and ensure that we take full advantage of the job creation potential of this policy.
NRDC recently commissioned Tellus Institute to assess the job creation potential of meeting the 75 percent recycling goal, and the results reported in a new publication, From Waste to Jobs: What Achieving 75 Percent Recycling Means for California, projected job growth in recycling jobs, thousands of processing jobs, and likely tens of thousands of indirect jobs that would result from achieving the recycling goal. In order to realize the economic benefits of increasing recycling, California must enact policies and incentives to retain more of those recovered materials in state for processing and use in manufacturing.
Just half of California's waste is currently reduced, recycled or composted. The rest winds up in landfills or is incinerated, and the amount of total waste in the state is steadily increasing. In 2010, California's waste stream was 72.8 million tons. The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) estimates that by 2020 the state will produce 80 million tons of waste annually.
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