In recent years, more businesses and municipalities have mandated recycling programs, which has been excellent news and created a positive impact. Unfortunately, the economic downturn has meant that, temporarily, some of the costs of recycling outweigh the returns. In the long term, of course, the opposite is true, but for local governments that need to cut immediate costs, the long term is hard to see. It's up to individuals to continue to press for recycling programs to guard against spiraling future costs and environmental catastrophe. Furthermore, recycling doesn't just save money, it saves energy and resources, both of which are in precious supply.