The city currently recycles or composts over 75 percent of its waste. About 500 people have been hired to collect and sort the materials. Duplicate the program across the country and the study says 1.5 million people could find employment by recycling our garbage.
"Instead of sending it to a landfill where very few people work, you send it to a recycling plant where there is more jobs and you send it to a compost facility where there is also more jobs," said Recology spokesperson Robert Reed.
Besides job creation the study found a 75 percent recycling rate nationwide could reduce emissions by 276-metric tons over the next 20 years -- that's like shutting down 72 coal-fired power plants.