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What Would Happen If People Stopped Recycling?

What Would Happen If People Stopped Recycling?

It goes without saying that recycling is good for the environment and the economy. While there has been a lot of sensitization on the positive impact of recycling, there is not enough discussion about what would happen if people stopped recycling.

At M&M Recycling, we’ve decided to look at the other side of the spectrum and explore the effects of not recycling.

In this article, we will look at the consequences our planet would face if we stopped recycling.

More Greenhouse Gases

The production of different types of metals and plastic items generates substantial amounts of greenhouse gases. Recycling metals and plastic items helps to reduce the volume of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by giving recyclable items a new life and keeping them out of landfills. Besides, recycling eliminates the need to produce virgin metal. If we stop recycling, we would have more greenhouse gases in our atmosphere which contributes to global warming. 

Overflow of Landfills

When people throw away recyclable materials, these items end up in landfills where they create unpleasant smells and release toxic gases. These items take up valuable space that could otherwise be used for other productive purposes. It's estimated that the U.S could run out of landfill space within 14 years, potentially creating an environmental disaster. If people quit recycling, landfills will fill up faster.

Besides, not recycling would cause an increase in pollution. Plastics can leach chemicals into groundwater and cause contamination.

Destruction of Natural Habitats

Recycling allows us to create new items without extracting new materials through mining, drilling, and resource extraction methods. When recyclable items are tossed into the garbage, those items need to be replaced through resource extraction and this contributes to the destruction of natural habitats.

Economic Impact

Not only will there be a significant environmental impact if people quit recycling, but there will also be economic benefits. The U.S. recycling industry employs over 1 million people. If people stopped recycling, many people would lose their jobs. In addition, the recycling industry generates substantial revenues. In 2021, the recycling industry generated an estimated $109.4 million and about $13 billion in tax revenue. If people stop recycling, we would lose the economic benefits that come with recycling.


With the amount of waste generated around the world, not recycling items that can be recycled can have a negative impact on the environment. Through recycling, we can reduce the amount of waste we send to landfills, create jobs, prevent pollution, and conserve natural resources. Instead of sending recyclable materials such as scrap metal to landfills and incinerators, it’s best to sell them to nearby scrap metal buyers and make additional income.

Looking for Top Paying Scrap Metal Buyers? Look No Further M&M Recycling

M&M Recycling is a premier scrap metal recycler that offers premium scrap metal recycling for individuals and businesses. We accept all ferrous and non-ferrous materials, including stainless steel, copper, aluminum, iron, brass, alloys, and many more.

Contact M&M Recycling today to learn more about our services.