The EPA stated that 250 million tons of trash were tossed out by Americans. Americans also recycled and composted 83 million tons of trash. Discovery News wrote that the EPA's calculations is equivalent to the carbon emissions savings of taking 33 million cars off the road.
That seems rather fantastic given the fact that everyday millions of people commute to work, school, and other destinations by automobile. Automobiles release gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere in large quantities, that it cannot break it down as the rate we produce it. This causes a problem because the harmful gases stay trapped on earth due to our ozone layer. As it's trapped, uneven heating throughout the earth happens.
There's more that goes into recycling than us sorting out our waste into trash cans and recycling bins. It cost millions to have the recycled products sorted out based on their material; aluminum, plastic, and paper. It often labor intensive by picking up the smaller pieces that machinery don't pick up. The benefits are clear but the economic standpoints of recycling is expensive.
So is recycling worth it?
I believe recycling is worth it. I think that recycling may be expensive now, but if we keep recycling more and more products, it would force for more recycling programs to start up. Major companies like Walmart have invested in recycling; the main reason is that it's cheaper to reuse old products' materials and turn it into new products. If more companies invested in recycling, it will reduce the chances of companies being wasteful and also makes it easier for companies to develop better technologies/techniques to recycle.