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NIH Environmental Management System

Take Action to Protect the Future

Benefits of Recycling

​How does recycling benefit the environment?

Recycling reduces the use of natural resources by reusing materials:

  • 94% of the natural resources used by Americans are non-renewable. Non-renewable, natural resource use has increased from 59% in 1900 and 88% in 1945.

  • Recycling saves non-renewable resources. For example, by not recycling paper, 80% more wood will need to be harvested by 2010 to meet growing paper consumption demands. However, through active paper recycling, only 20% more wood will need to be harvested by 2010.

  • It takes 95% less energy to recycle aluminum than it does to make it from raw materials.

  • Making products from recyclables results in energy savings. Recycled steel saves 60% production energy, recycled newspaper 40% production energy, recycled plastics 70% production energy, and recycled glass 40% production energy.

  • Using scrap steel instead of virgin ore to make new steel takes 40% less water and creates 97% less mining waste.

How does recycling benefit the economy?

  • Incinerating 10,000 tons of waste creates 1 job, while landfilling the same amount creates 6 jobs. Recycling the same 10,000 tons creates 36 jobs!

  • The National Recycling Coalition reports that recycling has created 1.1 million jobs, $236 billion in gross annual sales, and $37 billion in annual payroll.

  • By meeting the state's 50% recycling goal, California is expected to create about 45,000 recycling jobs, compared to 20,000 new jobs slated to be created for the manufacturing sector.

  • Massachusetts employs more than 9,000 people in more than 200 recycling enterprises. About half of these jobs are in the recycling-based manufacturing sector. These businesses represent more than half a billion dollars in value to the state's economy.

Why is recycling important to future generations?

Natural resources are being depleted and landfills are being filled at an increasing rate. Our current system of production, consumption and disposal has become unsustainable. It is imperative for everyone - from individuals to large organizations - to rethink our ideas and our relationship to trash disposal. By reducing the amount of trash produced and reusing existing materials, we can all make a difference by protecting the environment, conserving natural resources, and sustaining the planet for future generations.

Recycling Statistics

  • The current NIH recycling average as reported to Montgomery County during CY2021 is 75%, which includes both mandatory and additional recyclables.

  • The NIH recycling rate for mandatory recyclables (mixed paper, commingled, cardboard, and scrap metal) was 60% for CY2021. The current federal government recycling goal for non-hazardous solid waste is 50% by 2025.
  • The Waste Diversion Rate for CY2021 was 49%. This takes into account source reduction and reuse activities in addition to recycling. This does not include construction debris.
  • At the NIH, our average trash disposal for 2021 was 270.71 tons, which is significantly less than the average for 2019.

Revenue from Recyclable Materials

Based on the CY2021 average, the NIH received the following for the value of recyclables on a monthly basis:





Mixed Paper​


Scrap Metal​​


​Wood Pallets​​​


​​Pipette Tip Racks​


This equates to nearly $235,000 in CY2021 for the value of these recyclables. This money helps offset the costs of the recycling program.​

Recycling at Home

Are you looking for more information for recycling at home? Each county has different waste procedures. Please check your county's recycling website for proper guidance.

Contact NEMS

We look forward to hearing from you. Reach out to us in an email.