Mandatory Recycling Pros and Cons

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Recycling programs do more than save trash from the waste processing systems of the world. They can make money for communities as well, but only if they are implemented correctly. Many communities are looking at mandatory recycling programs to take advantage of all the benefits that recycling can create. Mandatory programs however, also have some disadvantages to consider as well.

The Pros of Mandatory Recycling

1. It educates the community.
A mandatory recycling program provides educational materials and structural systems that help households to be able to more clearly see the benefits of reducing landfill waste. This can help to get everyone on board.

2. It creates local jobs.
Processing recycled materials requires workers. This means mandatory recycling creates jobs within a community or expands part-time waste management jobs to full-time positions. In return, more money can be spent at local businesses and the entire economy winds up benefiting from the program

3. It helps the environment.
Keeping waste out of the landfill stream helps the environment because instead of needing more fossil fuels and other resources to create new products, the existing products can be used once again.

The Cons of Mandatory Recycling

1. It generally has low compliance.
Anything that is mandatory is going to create rebellion within a community. It is not uncommon for households to just throw away all of their recycled materials because it’s easier for them to do it.

2. It may have high start-up costs.
If a community is just starting a recycling program, then each household will need bins or containers for the materials so they can be picked up. In areas where no pick-up is available and recycling is mandatory, the materials often just pile up in storage areas on individual properties.

3. It may add to a home’s bills.
Recycling makes money, but it also costs something to perform. If the costs outweigh the profits, then the difference is generally charged to the community. This may come in the form of property tax increases, utility bill increases, or a combination of the two.

Mandatory recycling is something that most households don’t mind doing, but there will always be some level of rebellion to such an idea. When properly managed, however, it can be an easy way to benefit the environment.