How to Create 1.5M Jobs: Bump Up Recycling
Increasing recycling could boost economy and reduce pollution
By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 15, 2011 11:58 AM CST
Multi-hole recycle bins dot the convention hall at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo convention Wednesday, Nov. 11, 2009, in Phoenix.   (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(Newser) – Help the planet and create jobs, all at the same time? According to a new report, it might be that easy: If the US increases its recycling rate from 33% to 75% by 2030, an additional 1.5 million jobs will be created, according to the Tellus Institute. Why such a bump? According to the report, waste diversion is more labor intensive than waste disposal, meaning it requires more workers to assist with trash collecting, processing, composting, and making new recycled products.

If the plan is enacted, the US would see 2.3 million jobs generated—1.5 million more than existed in 2008, and 1.1 million more than would be created at our current level of recycling. And, as a bonus, pollution will be reduced—the drop in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 would be equal to pulling 50 million cars off the road, USA Today reports.

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Showing 3 of 28 comments
Nov 16, 2011 4:19 AM CST
who's gonna pay the 1.5m employees (which a bs number btw)? if a job is created by the government, that means the tax payer pays the salary. that's not a real job. it doesn't benefit the economy.
Nov 15, 2011 5:42 PM CST
the average ton of household trash is composed mainly organics, glasses and cheap metals. ALL of which can be ground up together and processed in stages. stage one thermal depolymerization. Gets rid of the organics produces methane and steam and oil. The oil can be refined the remaining glasses and metals can be separated easily, and the steam can be re-used to pre heat the next batch of garbage, and the methane can be stored to power the heating process or generate power. Waste water from sewage (as well as the sewage can be used in the process as well) The process is proven, but the infrastructure to support it is not there ...yet
Nov 15, 2011 5:39 PM CST
I've read SiFi stories that describe the money to be made 'mining' all of the last century's landfills and dumps. The idea is that with the right robotics and other technologies, it becomes profitable to go after all the recyclables buried there.