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. (Read more recycling stories.)