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Hazardous Waste Recycling Benefits


Electronics recycling, known as eCycling, keeps valuable materials out of the waste stream by converting them back into commodities to be used in manufacturing new products.

Also, eCycling conserves energy and natural resources by using existing components and commodities, rather than mining and refining raw materials.

Photograph of a worker labeling large metal containers.

Hazardous waste reuse, recycling, and reclamation can avoid environmental hazards, protect scarce natural resources, provide economic benefits, and reduce the nation's reliance on raw materials and energy.

Environmental Benefits

Recycling hazardous waste fulfills two of RCRA's goals by reducing the consumption of raw materials and by reducing the volume of waste materials that must be treated and disposed of. Recycling hazardous waste can mean less air, water, and soil pollution associated with the extraction, refining, and processing of raw materials. Recycling also can reduce emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). When hazardous wastes are recycled, less energy is needed to extract, transport, and process raw materials and to manufacture products. And, when energy demand decreases, fewer fossil fuels are burned and less carbon dioxide is emitted into the atmosphere. Emissions of other air pollutants can be reduced, too, as recycling hazardous waste can decrease releases of air toxics from waste incineration.

Economic Benefits

Not only can hazardous waste recycling be good for the environment, it can also be good for the bottom line. Recycling hazardous waste can increase production efficiency and reduce costs associated with purchasing raw materials and waste management. By recycling hazardous materials, a business may be able to eliminate the generation of hazardous waste and avoid RCRA regulatory requirements altogether. A business may also benefit from the positive or "green" image associated with hazardous waste recycling efforts For example, a company who values strong corporate stewardship can increase goodwill with shareholders and consumers and further distinguish itself from its competitors.

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