Recycling doesn’t just help keep the “garden” in Garden State; it also helps keep almost 27,000 New Jerseyans gainfully employed, according to a recent study by the Northeast Recycling Council and United States Environmental Protection Agency.
That number may not accurately indicate the economic heft of this sector. But as the NJ DEP’s Bureau of Recycling and Planning reports, total receipts from recycling and reuse “establishments” are valued at over $5.9 billion annually. What’s more, recycling has a documented role to play in cost cutting and energy efficiency: New Jersey’s recycling efforts annually save about 128 trillion BTUs of energy, equal to nearly 17.2 percent of all energy used by industry in the state, with a value of $570 million.
The bureau also reminds residents that, “The economic value of clean air, water and land is significant, but difficult to quantify,” adding that recycling and reuse play an important role in protecting natural resources.