5 Reasons Why People Don’t Recycle and 5 Reasons They Should

My last post, “I Don’t Recycle” seems to have struck a chord with many. Leave it to the Care2 community to enlighten, elevate and express their opinions on why people do and do not recycle.

Most of us believe that recycling is ethically the right thing to do. From the comments on the post, it was evident that sadly, we all seem to have friends, family and acquaintances that do not recycle. Below are some of the reasons why people do not recycle and why they should:

5 Reasons Why People Do Not Recycle

1. “Recycling is inconvenient.”
This seems to be the number one reason why people don’t recycle – they don’t want to put in the extra effort. Some places have no pick-up. Some people say that they just can’t be bothered. Is that a good enough reason?

2. “I do not have enough space in my home to recycle.”
The lack of space is an issue for many. People don’t want to see garbage and with little storage space for recycling bins, the trash is an eyesore. Is that a good enough reason?

3. “If they paid me, I’d recycle.”
Some countries fine people for not recycling. Some regions pay for just bottle recycling (we know that works). Some areas have no penalties or incentives for recycling. Is that a good enough reason?

4. “Recycling doesn’t make a difference. So why do it?”
Misinformation about overflowing landfills, depleted resources and climate change has convinced some people that recycling doesn’t make a difference. They believe there is no problem. Is that a good enough reason?

5. “It is just to hard to do.”
Since there are so many facets to recycling – bottle, plastic and paper, it’s hard to decipher which kinds go where. Is that a good enough reason?

5 Reasons Why People Should Recycle

1. “Recycling saves energy.”
Recycling saves energy because the manufacturer doesn’t have to produce something new from raw natural resources. By using recycled materials we save on energy consumption, which keeps production costs down.

2. “Recycling reduces landfills.”
Recycling reduces the need for more landfills. No one wants to live next to a landfill.

3. “Recycling preserves our resources and protects wildlife.”
By recycling, we reduce the need to destroy habitats for animals. Paper recycling alone saves millions of trees.

4. “Recycling is good for the economy.”
Recycling and purchasing recycled products creates a greater demand for more recycled goods. Goods made from recycled materials use less water, creates less pollution and uses less energy.

5. “Recycling helps our climate problems.”
Recycling produces considerably less carbon, which reduces the amount of unhealthy greenhouse gas omissions.

Add some more reasons why you do or do not recycle.


Drjones M.
Drjones M.1 years ago

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Martin A.
Paul Bradshaw1 years ago

If everyone re used great, but what about re using buildings rather than demolition, why do councils ignore this, or compulsory purchases, causing re building, cutting down tree's, quarrying, haulage, etc, double standards In Parts of wales they just forced out a whole street of homeowners and demolished a care home and listed building for Tescos, didn't even take the slates off the roof's or glass out of the windows, just off to landfil, Double standards.

Sylva P.
Sylva Pan2 years ago

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Emma Kellow
Emma Kellow2 years ago

I used to houseshare with a rather gormless guy who never bothered to recycle and said didn't understand why I did because just one person doing it was never going to make a difference. I replied with a beaming smile, "You're right, just one person wouldn't make much difference - so if everyone shared your opinion the world would be in a sorry state indeed!" The look of complete puzzlement as to whether or not I'd just agreed with/argued with/admonished him remained on his face for at least 15 minutes. But he did start to recycle his glass bottles and cardboard after that.

George W.
George W.2 years ago

Here's what David Miller, former Mayor of Toronto and CEO of WWF-Canada, thinks about if it is unethical to not recycle http://www.vidoyen.com/questions/do-you-consider-unethical-the-people-who-don-t-recycle/answers/david-miller

Adriana Strama
Adriana Strama3 years ago

Also, some towns actually charge residents to recycle. My friend who lives in northern Jersey has to pay if she brings bottles/cans/etc to recycle.

Laura T.
Laura T.3 years ago

well I do&am greatly vexed my area recycles so little

Kayleigh Harter
Kayleigh Harter3 years ago


Kayleigh Harter
Kayleigh Harter3 years ago


Tamara R Pearlman

I recycle almost 80% or more of the waste here. I put out trash maybe 2 x month! Get in the habit and make yourself aware.

The irony is that I use to separate all of my recycling until I noticed our service dumps it all together!! What!?!?