Recycling is the process of turning waste into useful or reusable materials. It is one of the best practices to sustain the environment for future generations. Recycling reduces the use of raw materials, air and water pollution, use of energy, plastic production, and it lowers greenhouse gas emissions. Many materials, such as paper, plastics, glasses, metal, electronics, car batteries, textiles, iron, asphalt, etc., are recyclable. While households create tons of garbage, industrial and manufacturing processes create hazardous waste. Hazardous waste is under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) by EPA. The EPA also has guidelines in place for solid waste disposal as well as regulations for hazardous waste management and published manuals for recycling programs. Recyclable materials can be collected at drop off centers, curbside collection programs, or deposit and refund programs. Collected materials are sent to recovery storage to be cleaned and used in manufacturing. Many new products from recycled materials include common household items (paper towels, steel cans, glass, newspapers, etc.). OSHA standards require fire prevention, electrical equipment safety, proper ventilation, adequate PPE, and recommended training on the hazards associated with recycling plants, transportation, and waste handling OSHA also requires workers involved with recycling to be trained on the use of heavy machinery such as forklifts and compactors.

  1. Recycling Benefits:
  • Presents opportunities for businesses to save money.
  • Creates jobs.
  • Reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Keeps useful material out of landfills.
    • Reduces overall amount of waste filling landfills and incineration plants.
  • Creates a healthier environment for future generations.
  • Encourages sustainability.
  • Prevents pollution and conserves nature by reducing the use of raw materials.


  1. Some Recyclable Materials:
  • Newspapers, cereal boxes, comic books, egg cartons.
  • Car bumpers.
  • Carpeting
  • Motor oil.
  • Trash bags
  • Glass containers
  • Aluminum cans and steel products.
  • Laundry detergent bottles.
  • Paper towels.
  • Styrofoam (cups, plates, etc.).